Meet Stephen York and Helen Hersom.

Helen was mentored by Stephen in 2017 through TIME’s 25th program intake. We asked them for recollections of their shared TIME experience as Mentor and Mentee.

Here’s what they had to say.


What drew you to the TIME program?

I have high expectations of myself and I continue to seek out new ways to expand and broaden my career aspirations and professional opportunities. I am inspired by others that have succeeded in their roles and I was confident that I would be able to learn from some of the best in the industry.

I also have had colleagues that completed TIME, and they spoke very highly of the program and encouraged me to apply.

What do you recall from your first session with Stephen?

I was initially quite nervous, wondering what would my mentor be like. Would we have any commonalities?

From the moment I met Stephen that nervousness vanished. We are very like-minded individuals and we instantly bonded from that 1st meeting. I know that TIME takes its mentor-mentee matchmaking very seriously, and they definitely got it right.

Stephen demonstrates wonderful graciousness. He was very giving of his time, always ready and willing to offer advice and impart his well-developed knowledge and experience of the travel industry.

What did you find the most challenging part of your TIME mentoring experience?

As clichéd as it sounds the most challenging part of the TIME program was allocating TIME to meet with my Mentor. Whilst we didn’t meet every two weeks – it was mostly every four – we allocated longer sessions every time we met.

And the most rewarding?

Setting out to achieve my goals with the encouragement and support of my mentor.

Knowing I had someone ‘in my corner’ so when I felt overwhelmed or defeated with work goals, my mentor was there to offer his advice through his own learnings, and empower me to succeed.

What specific learnings from your experience guide you in your career now?

The biggest learning was around managing my workload.

Prioritising and learning to schedule time for myself by blocking out time in my calendar to complete tasks and deadlines.

In what ways do you feel your career prospects have been enhanced by your TIME experience?
How do you feel you’ve changed?

I set out to achieve 3 specific goals.

They were:

  • Work towards building a network of like-minded professionals
  • Creating a balance between my work/life commitments
  • Develop the skills and business aptitude to take the next into Senior Management roles

From a networking perspective, I am so much more confident now. I can walk into a room and easily initiate a conversation with anyone which I found quite difficult to do 18 months ago.

I have achieved a much better work/life balance and am a much better decision maker and I have taken on a global role within my company.

Who should consider being a Mentee?
Anyone who has interest in career development, self-development and learning more about the amazing industry we work in.

Describe your TIME experience in three words.

  • Rewarding
  • Invaluable
  • Fulfilling


How did you get involved in the TIME program?

I was initially approached by an industry friend who thought I could bring some value to the program, especially as at that stage there were few TIME mentors in Queensland.


I thought it was a great opportunity to get involved in a program that so proactively supports the next generation. I know I would have loved to have had a mentor in the early stages of my career.

How many TIME participants have you mentored?

Just one: Helen.

How would you describe Helen’s development through the mentoring experience?

Helen has continued to succeed in her current role and I have heard very positive feedback about her progress and personal development. She has also been given opportunities to further develop internally within her company.

What was the most rewarding thing for you about mentoring Helen?

I enjoyed building the relationship, sharing thoughts and ideas, helping each other through some of the challenges, hopefully giving some constructive advice about her day to day and long-term challenges.

Mentors often say that they learn many things from their mentees, what did you learn from Helen?

It is always interesting to learn how different companies structure their roles and the expectations they have of their people.

I also learned how we handle challenges both personally and professionally in different ways yet facing these challenges together can ease the load.

Have you ever had a Mentor?

No I have not. But I still would like to at some stage.