The following blog post was written by Katalina Bardell, Mentorship Coordinator at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement.
Flash mentoring? However many different ways we call it, mentoring is mentoring and has stood the test of time.
The concept originated with the Greek Gods (or more accurately the Greek goddess Athena, goddess of war and patroness of the arts and industry) and lives out in many forms today. There is peer-peer mentoring, speed mentoring, 1-1 mentoring, group mentoring, reverse mentoring, mentoring up and e-mentoring.
Mentoring continues to exists because it matters. Whatever it is called, the same few elements need to exist. There is a mentor (an advisor/guide) and a mentee (or protégé) and there is an exchange of learning. Many times it is presumed that the learning is one way – from mentor to mentee, but most often mentors come away from the experience with as much learning if not more.
There are two approaches to mentoring, formal and informal. When asked if someone has been mentored, we tend to think of formal ways. However, we are being mentored and mentoring informally all the time. Formal mentoring programs usually have a beginning and end and are structured to provide participants with support for a successful partnership. In your work, each time you spend time with a colleague teaching them a new task or explaining a process, you are mentoring.
Two of the most important elements that are crucial for a successful long term formal partnership are a clear understanding of expectations from both the mentor and mentee and the ability to build a relationship based on trust.
You may not know that Bow Valley College has been in partnership with the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) since 2010 and has matched over 500 internationally educated professionals with Calgary employers in formal 1-4 month partnerships.
If you are interested in finding out more about mentoring please drop by the Intercultural Centre (N322) or email Katalina Bardell at firstname.lastname@example.org