I recently attended an event at the smart offices of Amadeus in Sydney to acknowledge the Travel Industry Mentor Experience‘s (TIME) 23rd graduating class, and the commencement ceremony for the program’s 25th intake.

Founded in 2009 by renowned travel industry figure, Penny Spencer, TIME has produced some 150 graduates from more than 60 travel, tourism and hospitality businesses.

During our careers, most of us will identify some key influencers who we’d call mentors. People who inadvertently have a positive affect on our careers and help shape our futures. I can think of a few, for sure. The TIME program, on the other hand, is a structured, mentee-led program of professional development. Aspiring travel industry leaders apply to join TIME, successful applicants are matched with an experienced mentor and, over the course of 6 months, they’re challenged and inspired before emerging fundamentally changed by the experience. It’s a truly impressive thing.

Hearing the participants talk about the benefits of their mentor-mentee experience exchange was fabulous. It’s clear that the mentors get as much out of the exchange as their mentees do.

At the heart of TIME is an unexpected generosity. Both parties give plenty to the process, and it’s surprisingly touching to see the wisdom of an established career being shared with one just starting out.

Keynote speaker was co-founder of Seek, Adam Ryan, who spoke passionately about the importance of understanding that it’s OK to fail both in business and life – a lesson learned at numerous stages of Seek‘s development. Failures resulted in the early Seek business re-shaping itself, re-focusing and re-starting. The Seek success story is the result of each of those re-calibrations. A nice reminder, indeed.

Resource is now involved with TIME as a sponsor, and we were delighted to run a workshop on content marketing with TIME alumni before the main function. One of Resource’s resident storytellers, Ben Alcock, took the audience through a look at ‘content’, why it’s important, trends, case studies and how to go about producing and broadcasting it. It was a real privilege for us to bring some of our own expertise to the TIME community.

We don’t know of too many other not-for-profit, industry-specific, formal mentoring programs. The collective, structured sharing of experience within the travel industry makes it particularly potent, sharpening the skills of the industry’s future leaders with each graduating class.

And long may they continue.

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