Naveena Ravindran, Director, IT Development at Teranet, recently spoke with us about her passion for mentoring and helping people find success in their careers. She connected with TRIEC Mentoring Partnership through Sheridan College a few years ago and has been a mentor to two newcomers.
Janet Gaffney, Mentoring Coordinator at Sheridan College, helped connect Naveena with the TRIEC team to share her experience as a mentor, and why she sees so much value in being a mentor – particularly as she was once a newcomer herself.
Mentoring helps newcomers recognize their own value
“I’ve noticed that the newcomers I’ve mentored don’t recognize the value they offer and the experience they offer. They feel they’re not the right people, even though their resumes are very strong.” Naveena explained that her most recent partnership, he was reluctant to apply for jobs that matched his level of expertise, and wanted to aim lower.
“We looked at his resume and reframed it in more Canadian terms. Better described the scope of his projects to fit with the Canadian context. I assured him that he could find that first job without PMP certification – it’s listed as an asset. I advised him to get that first job, then pursue his PMP certification.
Mentoring is satisfying
“The most satisfying part of mentoring is that I enjoy teaching. I enjoy helping people, especially in the new immigrant space.” Naveena’s husband sponsored her to come to Canada, and it took her a year to find a job in Canada. Fortunately, she was able to continue working remotely with her previous employer in India. Ultimately, Naveena found her first job in Canada through networking.
“I think TRIEC Mentoring Partnership is perfect, because it creates opportunities for newcomers to build networks. And for me, it’s an opportunity to help my community.”
It’s important to share the experience
Naveena has shared her mentoring experience with friends, leading to some signing up themselves.
“One of my friends runs a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathmatics) centre for children to learn coding. I connected him with TRIEC Mentoring Partnership and he registered to be a mentor.”
Recently, Naveena attended Sheridan’s Mentor Recognition event. Until attending that event, she didn’t realize the scale of the program, the number of employers that are partners, and that some have achieved over 1000 matches. It inspired her to share the experience further.
It’s a learning experience for both mentor and mentee
“The biggest thing that I’ve learned from my mentees is that each person has different needs.
“My first mentee gave up on his search easily. I had to build him up and tell him it’s normal to get frustrated and he needs to keep working at it. He always wanted to get a survival job. I had to keep him aligned, needed to give him a push.
“He’s now finally settling into a job in his field and settling in Canada.”
Naveena’s passion for giving back to her profession and helping fellow project managers is infectious. What do you think of her story? Do you feel like signing up as a mentor right now? It only takes a few minutes to register online!