There are many great ways to volunteer and give back to the community. Mentoring a newcomer and coaching them on their professional journeys is just one of those ways. To give you an idea of what’s involved in mentoring, we asked Eric Madan, a Security Strategy & Risk Management Consultant at Accenture and a mentor in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, to share his story.
What makes you keep doing this?
I feel I’m extremely blessed in my life to be where I am today. A lot of people have mentored me, helped me out and gone out of their way when they didn’t need to help me and set me on the right track. In very few cases I can help those people who have helped me back.
The most important thing is that I help other people. Newcomer mentees have passion, enthusiasm, and are ready to get into the workplace with years of experience where they come from. What they need is just a bit of guidance and help for a better understanding of how things are done here in Canada. Giving them the guidance is a great way for me to give back and pay it forward. It feels like the right thing to do.
Why did you start mentoring through TRIEC?
I wanted to get involved because I believe in giving back and paying it forward. I think I’m extremely blessed and fortunate with a lot of good luck in my life. If there is anything I can do to help someone else, I’m always interested in doing that. Beyond mentoring, I also manage the relationship between Accenture and TRIEC. For example, I help with recruiting other mentors, promoting TRIEC within my organization and organizing meetings and events.
What was the process to become a mentor?
One week after signing up for the program in November last year, I was assigned a mentee. We had an orientation session of mentors and mentees at Accenture. We kicked off our mentoring partnership. We worked together closely. We had a phone call and in-person meetings every week and sometimes more than once a week.
Tell us about the mentoring partnership with your mentee
It was a really nice relationship. He was very enthusiastic, energetic and curious about how to kick start his career. The first step of our mentoring partnership was understanding his dream job. He wanted to work in a security operations centre as well. There was this fantastic Canadian company in Kitchener Waterloo, which was doing this type of work. He really wanted to get involved with that company. He was able to retain my feedback and guidance, and applied for the job right away. That company in Kitchener interviewed him, and he got the job in the first shot last spring. It was a huge success: the first job he interviewed for was the job he got hired for.
He did all the hard work to get to where he is, but was a journey we needed to go on together. We learned from each other. It was beneficial both ways. At the end of the day when he got the job, we both felt like we succeeded in what we set out to do. The beautiful thing about the partnership is we still keep in touch and talk. I was able to make a friend and build a lasting relationship.
What are the three biggest takeaways from your mentoring partnership?
First and foremost, it develops you as a leader. It teaches you to be empathetic – you need to have a certain amount of emotional intelligence to understand someone, their story and what their struggles might be right now.
It broadens your perspective on life and the way you look at your own challenges. It develops you as a person and as a professional. You get to learn about different cultures, different thought processes, different ways of approaching problems. It’s a very positive experience, especially in a diverse place like Toronto, with people from everywhere. It’s just fascinating to meet all these interesting people. We can learn from their journeys.
It’s a great way for mentors to increase their own network. You get to meet all these talented and passionate people as well as interact with other people throughout the process of mentoring. It definitely broadens your horizons.
Advice for a new mentee for making the most out of their partnership
The most important thing I learned was that I don’t think mentees necessarily need a lot of help in terms of getting a job. They are extremely intelligent and have a lot of relevant experience and successful careers wherever they have come from. I think what the program is trying to do is provide mentees with those nuances of how things are done in Canada, to help them understand the culture here and make meaningful connections.
To learn more about TRIEC Mentoring Program, click here.