“Human to human interaction”, -voluntarily transferring one’s personal skill sets or knowledge to another. During this period of interactions, a powerful, meaningful and transformational experience is exchanged between the mentor and the mentee.
2. You mentioned you mentored a young person a few years ago. What value do you think you added to her life?
The mentorship program that I participated in was one where we gave orphaned young girls hope that their lives matter. The hope that, after they finish their matric, they can achieve any dream possible. I would like to think that I brought out the values of self-confidence, responsibility, respect, and courage to my mentee.
During our time together we engaged in discussions of what life was about outside her school and orphanage. I gave my mentee an opportunity to learn computer skills as well as showed her the positive impact a laptop can have on a young lady that wishes to make a contribution to this world.
We talked of the corporate world and how much work is required to push forward despite the daily challenges that we face. She learned about terms such as corporate etiquette, dressing, and body language and the subtle messages you give off subconsciously to your co-workers.
3. What did you gain as a mentor?
I saw the world through the eyes of an innocent teenager that lived a sad and lonely life without her parents and her close family. By helping my mentee with her assignments, I learned many new aspects of life. One such assignment that I worked with her was on “Mixed Marriage”. I learnt how apartheid was the main cause of separating people that love each other just because of their races.
4. How did this ignite your career change to facilitate skills development programs?
I followed the flow of life and it brought me to where my passion and talents lie. When I reflect just 4 years back, all I knew was that I enjoyed spending my time with my mentee. In the famous words of Paulo Coelho, “when you want something, the universe will conspire in helping you to achieve it.” By having a personal experience of what a mentor/mentee relationship is, has now inspired me to work for the Foundation of German Industry for International Cooperation (SES).
I truly believe that I am guided and directed by the hand of God. Serving humanity is one of my fundamental values and I am grateful that my career path has aligned me with that.
5. Even physically if transport is an issue/ venues etc, how is mentorship STILL possible?
Brilliant question! We live in the Information Age. Technology is a brilliant way to keep connected. WhatsApp calls/texts, skype, emails or even a telephone call can be used to help a mentor/mentee stay in touch. My personal favourite is WhatsApp calls — For example, my current mentor that I am engaging with is an industry leader. He is a very busy person and lives in Mauritius. So, I schedule a WhatsApp call with him at least once a month and we exchange information for about 2 hours.
My second mentor a previous Managing Director who ran a Government entity and we meet at least once a month. We usually catch up over lunch and we specifically choose a venue that is surrounded by nature. My mentor is a lover of nature and I have learned from him the power of engaging out of our office spaces and the power of reconnecting with Mother Nature whilst I learn the ropes of the business.
Curated by Tamryn Demetria, Impact17 for Yvonne Iyer.What does MENTORSHIP mean to you?