Hispanotech is an immigrant-led association with the mission to promote the success of Hispanics in Canada’s technology sector. Recently, Hispanotech completed the first batch of its mentoring program, with nine mentor-mentee matches.
We spoke to Jose-Luis Otero, Director of Mentorship Program, Hispanotech, who explained the process of setting up the mentoring program.
As stated in Hispanotech’s mission, we wanted to help Hispanic professionals succeed in Canada’s technology field. We believed that the best way to achieve this was through a solid mentoring program that will increase their self-confidence, improve their skills, and grow their professional networks.
We contacted TRIEC to help us launch our mentoring program. TRIEC support has been a key factor that helped us create a very high quality program so quickly. Monica Brennan, Director, The Mentoring Partnership, TRIEC was the key note speaker at our first meeting and was always available to help us during the program. She provided materials, templates and many new ideas that shaped our first program edition for the best.
Another fundamental factor in our success was assigning the right Project Manager for the program. Gabriel Sorozabal brought with him an almost turnkey solution, because he came to Hispanotech with the most suitable background possible complemented by an enormous enthusiasm to make this program work efficiently.
Hispanotech formally announced the launch of the program at the last Annual General Meeting (AGM). The recruitment campaign began four weeks prior to the program start date. We promoted it by distributing the registration information to our members via email and supported its marketing through all our social media channels. The recruitment was so successful that we reached our maximum numbers two weeks before the end of the planned date and had to close registrations.
The program ran from April 9th to June 25th this year and was a big success. For the first batch, Hispanotech had planned for ten pairs of mentors and mentees. Eventually, eleven pairs were accepted to start the pilot and nine pairs completed. The program ran for three months. Mentors and mentees spent a minimum of 12 hours together during that period, and we also had three mandatory group meetings. The mentor worked with the mentee to set realistic goals and objectives and used tools to measure their progress along the way until the completion of the program and beyond.
Among the mentees, four found employment in their field during the three-month program. More importantly, all of them have been able to develop their self-confidence, interview skills and networking abilities. It is a great pleasure to see how this program is helping to change our members’ lives for the better. The response has been phenomenal, and we hope to duplicate the number of matches in our second batch, which starts on September 15, 2015.
The mentors are pleased to have the opportunity to pass on their experience and knowledge to the mentees. They also stated that they were able to learn some new things from their mentees. Many expressed their interest in returning to the program and already, more than 50 per cent of mentors from the first batch have registered for the second round.
My advice to newcomers is to get in a mentoring program like ours that provides participants with the personal attention of an experienced individual who has worked in the same field for a number of years.
The program’s success depends on the participants’ commitment to hard work, being honest about their own strengths and weaknesses, keeping a positive attitude, and always being respectful of their mentor’s time. The mentor’s success is measured on their ability to help the mentee achieve their goals. I encourage mentees to take advantage of their mentor’s experience, knowledge and network.
Click Here to hear what Carlos Cortes, a mentee from Hispanotech’s program, had to say about the program.