The NZCS conference breakfast aims to provide students and early-career professionals with an opportunity to network with, and ‘pick the brains’ of, invited mentors who have ‘been there, done that’ in the coastal scene. Following the success of past conference student breakfasts, we have expanded to include early career (<5 years) coastal professionals. Most invited mentors are in positions that involve recruiting, so they are able to provide insights into what they are looking for in potential coastal employees and to offer a range of career examples and advice. The breakfast event is also an opportunity to network with people at the same early career stage. A selected range of food and beverages will be provided. Registration for this event is free and open to all students and early professionals registered for the NZCS conference.