Sam Samanta, Senior Financial Analyst, City of Toronto

Having mentored eleven times since 2004, Sam Samanta, a senior financial analyst at Corporate Finance Division, City of Toronto, always finds it rewarding. Sam is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s Degree in Management from the University of Waterloo. “I enjoy mentoring. It not only helps me to be a better listener, but also to be a better person and to appreciate the challenges a newcomer, which I was once, has to go through,” admits Sam. “I learn a lot. I learn about other countries, culture and education systems. And it’s an eye-opener.”

The secret of success

The first time Sam heard about The Mentoring Partnership in 2004, he wanted to join the program and help newly arrived professionals overcome the barriers preventing them from finding employment in their professional field in Canada. Since then, he was mentored immigrant professionals from Ukraine, Malaysia, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Mexico. He has learned that having a positive attitude and the right mind-set is key to success. He is also certain that both can be fostered. To achieve that, Sam suggests to:

  1. Develop confidence and positive thinking right from the beginning
  2. Have a long-term view and set your goals and objectives, but always divide them up into bite-size and achievable parts
  3. Target your job search, set up a timeline and go after it

The benefits go both ways

The mentoring experience is a two-way street: mentors gain as much as they give. As a multiple-time mentor, Sam has learned how important it is to listen to other people and understand their challenges. “Once you develop a relationship with your mentees, they open up. They talk about their issues and problems,” explains Sam. “You really need to listen to these so that you can help them and direct them in a proper way.” Sam is also motivated to continue mentoring because of the feeling of achievement it brings. The satisfaction of helping skilled immigrants reach their professional goals and get their foot in a door boosts Sam’s own confidence and brings a sense of accomplishment.

Advice for Mentees:

  • Expect things to be different
  • Be a strong observer: learn about the Canadian life-style, learn about the business world, how things get done here, listen to others and learn how to express yourself verbally and non-verbally
  • Start appreciating things: you’ll see there is so much to discover and learn

Advice for mentors:

  • Have an open mind
  • Listen and try to understand what your mentee is going through and then take the lead to help them.