Student reconnects with mentor company that inspired career path

It’s a fortuitous moment when ABCN students get the chance to reconnect with the member company that mentored them earlier. Five years ago, Mohammed Amir was a Year 9 participant in a GOALS program at law firm MinterEllison. That experience inspired him to study law at La Trobe University. At a recent legal careers fair in  Victoria, Mohammed spied a stand representing MinterEllison. A conversation with Scott McKerrow, the law firm’s representative and an ABCN mentor himself, brought back memories of how Mohammad’s ABCN program eventually led to him pursue a double degree in law and criminology.

These are the sorts of stories we love to hear about at ABCN and we hope to report many more of them as our students grow up and reconnect with their former mentors and mentor companies.

Mohammad, who went to John Fawkner College in Melbourne, says the GOALS program he undertook in 2014 was eye-opening for a younger version of himself “with no sense of direction”. He recalls learning vital skills such as critical thinking and communication, along with the “confidence to sit in a corporate environment without being overwhelmed”.

GOALS is one of ABCN’s most popular programs. It pairs Year 9 students with corporate mentors who share their workforce experience and suggest advice on goal-setting, communication and personal financial management. The program aims to boost Year 12 completion rates and encourage further tertiary study by making students aware of the many personal, educational and professional choices available to them.

Mohammad remembers the moment he first laid eyes on the MinterEllison offices. “I thought to myself: this is the life I want for myself,” he says. “Tall buildings and fancy suits, and fighting for people’s rights. It also really changed the way I thought about success. As a 14-year-old, seeing the corporate world from [inside] one of the most successful law firms was a major driving factor for me in pursuing my law degree and staying motivated.”

Samuel Woff, who was Mohammad’s mentor at the time, gave the young student some lasting advice on work-life balance. As a child, Samuel had a passion for football and was able to combine his love for the sport with his pursuit of law by competing in football tournaments with other law firms. Mohammad recalls: “I could relate to Sam as I wanted to become a professional boxer as a child but now I have a strong passion for law. Instead of letting one go, I took up Sam’s advice on time management and am now doing both boxing and the law. He made me realise that I don’t have to give something up and can satisfy my passion for both things.”

Now aspiring to become a criminal defence lawyer, Mohammed says he chose law “because I have always been really persuasive and was involved with public speaking from a young age. I believe in the concept of a fair trial so I would like to build my way to the top to be involved in high-profile criminal cases.”

We wish Mohammad all the best in his future studies and are looking forward to seeing what he will achieve. Read more about our GOALS program.

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