Mentor spotlight: Tyla Routhan on supporting Career Navigator students at Gore High

Tyla Routhan

When asked how the Career Navigator programme has an impact on students at Gore High School, mentor Tyla Routhan explains it simply: “Career Navigator does the things that should be covered in school but aren’t.”

She’s talking about the practical and mindful experiences that Career Navigator covers to help students think about what comes next after secondary education, like putting together a C.V. and interviewing skills for a prospective job.

“There’s a lot of pressure at school to know what you want to do. An important role we fulfil as part of the Career Navigator programme is to help students understand that you don’t have to have the answers right away. If you want to take a gap year – go for it. Don’t let other opinions dictate what you choose to do.”

It’s the kind of advice Tyla wishes she had at High School and is pleased to be able to share her learnings and perspectives from a “view a little bit down the track.”

Tyla is a real estate agent at the Bayleys Gore branch now, where she loves the variety.

“We get to be a part of some pretty huge milestones in people’s lives which is such a privilege.

“I’ve always loved working with people, and I love working in a fast paced and changing environment. My previous role was also in sales and marketing, so I guess it was just one of those things where all of the dots ended up joining.”

Like so many others, she didn’t leave school knowing where her career journey would take her. “While real estate had always been kind of on my radar, it’s not exactly a career you hear lots about while you’re at school.”

Now she is able to provide a window into the world to Career Navigator students at Gore High School and help them envisage career paths that are a good match with what they value in life.

Seeing the programme work

Student Jadyn really enjoyed taking part in Career Navigator last year. He chose Tyla as a mentor and described her like a friend, “cool”. The way the programme runs means Jadyn said he learnt a lot while also having so much fun. Highlights for him included doing a mock interview along with the workplace visits and activities. He’s now looking into becoming a Customs Officer, after seeing what they do on a TV show.

Tyla shares that one of the highlights for her is “strangely, seeing the number of students dwindle as the year progresses. That’s because they’ve found a path and they’re off undertaking things like apprenticeships or they’ve found employment. It’s great to see them head off into the world beyond school.”

The personal benefits to mentoring

This is Tyla’s third year as a mentor at Gore High School, having supported the programme since it began there. She was inspired by a colleague who mentors for the Career Navigator programme at Southland Boys High School and the idea it is something she wished she had when she was at school.

“I’m usually more of an observer, I sit back and take things in. But as a mentor, I’m in the experienced position and there’s an expectation to share my opinion and speak up. This has put me out of my comfort zone which has been good for me.”

Tyla adds that for others considering mentoring, it is a great opportunity to make local business contacts and it also provides a cool networking experience. “I’ve learnt a lot from other mentors and that has been really great from a personal development perspective.”

She adds that she’s in a fortunate position to participate in Career Navigator because her job flexibility enables it, and she encourages other workplaces to support their employees who are interested in mentoring.

Interested in helping rangatahi reach their potential through mentoring? Find out more about how you can get involved with Graeme Dingle Foundation in Southland here.

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