How Maria Clarified a Career Pathway and Gained Confidence

🎉 Developed confidence that helped her stand out

Maria learned communication skills and techniques that allowed her to best represent herself and feel confident

👔 Built strong networks to earn a mentorship

Maria learned how to network and used her skills to get a business opportunity and mentorship from industry professionals

🧠 B. Psychology and Business Administration

Maria got into her dream course of a Bachelor of Psychology and Business Administration at Macquarie University 

Orange curve
Yellow curve

The Challenge

Maria had ambitious goals but struggled with confidence and knowing where to start, which ultimately impacted her ability to reach her goals. Insecure about her lack of experience and skill set, Maria didn’t seek out opportunities for professional development that seemed competitive or prestigious. She doubted she would be successful and was wary about presenting herself as boastful. In need of some confidence-building and direction, she turned to Art of Smart’s Pathfinder Mentoring Program to help her reach her full potential.

I used to be quite an introvert, I’m usually not very proactive but being a part of the Pathfinder program really helped me learn how to communicate and reach out to people.

Key Problems

💡 Maria wasn’t seeking out opportunities to further her skillset or network due to a lack of drive and confidence. As a result, she would miss out on things that could’ve alleviated her worries!

🤧 Maria stayed in her comfort zone and didn’t work on her confidence – something that cost her opportunities.

😬 Maria wasn’t sure what she wanted to pursue at university or as a career pathway

Our Approach

Maria adopted the mantra, ‘It’s not about skill set but mindset,’ from her mentor Cathy, which helped make opportunities seem more achievable. With this in mind, Maria started seeking extra curricular activities during high school – not just for her resume but for her personal and professional growth as well.

These atypical experiences helped her flesh out her résumé with relevant soft skills employers look for.


  • Finding opportunities available
  • Obtaining experience and soft skills 
  • Developing confidence
  • Clarifying career path
  • Building a network


  • Actively seeking opportunities
  • Engaging with extra-curriculars
  • Developing a growth mindset
  • Researching possible career pathways
  • Creating a LinkedIn profile

Seeking opportunities

Extra-curricular involvement

Growth Mindset

Professional development workshops

The Result

Maria’s newfound confidence and career direction ultimately led to her successfully partnering with a business after graduation! She also successfully applied for and received an early entry offer into her dream degree.

Through career clarification, confidence building strategies and learning how to best represent herself and her skills, she was able to create a solid network and pursue opportunities after school.


Increase in professional skills


Improvement in developing personal brand


Increase in resume optimisation


Increase in knowledge of university opportunities

With the Pathfinder program, Maria successfully developed her personal brand.

I knew what I wanted to do after school, but Pathfinder helped reinforce it. Pathfinder showed me that it’s important to not just know where you want to go, but also know how to get there.

Helping high school students thrive since 2009

We know school isn’t just about getting the grades, it’s about staying happy, healthy and answering the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?”

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