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Akhil Shah migrated to Canada in 2003 from India having worked as a Pharmaceutical Sales professional for more than 20 years. Being a mentee with TRIEC Mentoring Partnership helped him greatly in his job search. Now working in regulatory affairs at Medtronic of Canada Ltd., Akhil decided to become a mentor to share his experience with other newcomers and help them succeed. Here he shares his story.

Migrating to Canada from India in 2003 was a huge cultural change, particularly when we had no relatives or friends around who could guide me through the process of establishing myself at my adopted home.  It was an extremely challenging environment for someone from a sales background.  Even today it is hard for a newcomer to find employment as a sales professional, much less in pharmaceutical sales.

On joining the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program as a mentee, I was mentored by a person in my field and the sole mantra he gave me was to network as much as you can.  I would say that the job search is a job by itself.  The emphasis on networking meant that I would get out of my house and talk to as many people as I could. With the support of my mentor, I was able to find a career in the field I was interested and currently, I work as Regulatory Affairs Compliance Specialist at Medtronic of Canada Ltd.

After gaining years of Canadian experience, I wish to share the best practices that I have acquired with the newcomers who need guidance and help them integrate into the system faster. I want to educate them on the resources and support services available and help them understand the Canadian work culture and become adaptable

Mentoring gave me the opportunity to facilitate a mentee’s personal and professional growth by sharing my knowledge learned through years of experience. While the primary intent of my role is to challenge the mentee to think in new and different ways, the mentee is not the only one who gains from the arrangement. As a mentor, I am able to benefit as well by enhancing my skills. The experience gained by mentoring someone can facilitate your own professional growth, making you more of an asset to your organization.

I feel proud that I am able to contribute to someone’s success.  My goal is to make a difference in at least one person’s life a week. By becoming a mentor, you create a legacy that has a lasting impact on your mentee and the profession. Not only you will gain the satisfaction of helping to develop future talent, the knowledge you foster in your mentee can inspire new ideas for generations to come.

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