A mechanical engineer by profession, Joaquin Milo currently works as an engineering project manager at Enbridge. He first registered with TRIEC Mentoring Partnership as a mentee, after accessing support from Community Partners ACCES Employment, JVS Toronto and Costi. He became a mentor in 2013 and has been mentoring with the program ever since. Joaquin completed his 10th partnership in 2017.
Why Joaquin started mentoring:
“My journey of learning about the energy sector in Canada made me appreciate how difficult and complicated it can be to land a professional job in the competitive Canadian job market. After much effort, and with the help of various settlement programs, and TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, I was able to land interviews with important companies in my field.”
Why he thinks other professionals should start mentoring:
“Experience is the best teacher and is a gift that should be shared with others. It is also a way to give back to your new country. Finally, mentoring is mutually beneficial for both mentor and mentee.”
What being a mentor means to him:
“It means being able to help someone achieve their potential in their search for meaningful employment in their new country. It is also a way to show gratitude for the help that was given to me when I first came to Canada.”
How Joaquin has changed throughout his time mentoring:
“Mentoring has been a learning experience for me. At the beginning I was a little bit nervous about working with mentees who had more education and experience than me, and what I would be able to offer them. However, now I am confident that they can benefit from my experience in the Canadian workplace. Some of my mentees have successfully achieved interviews, job offers and their professional designation.”
The impact mentoring has had on Joaquin’s own career:
“Mentoring has helped me to appreciate the importance of good communication skills, and the need to be open minded, flexible and adaptable in order to succeed in the Canadian workplace.”
Joaquin’s mentoring highlights:
“Back in 2015, one of my mentees was invited for an interview. Prior to the interview I spent a lot of time coaching him on what to expect and how to handle the interviews, especially the behavioral questions. He was very focused on his education and years of experience and didn’t place much importance on behavioral questions and the value of soft skills. I told him that education and experience are important and that’s why they are included in the job description but soft skills are a key complement to this. In an interview, besides the education, experience and expertise, hiring managers are looking for that potential new team member that can get along with their colleagues as well as providing results.”
Top Tips for new mentor:
“Keep in mind that people coming from different countries and backgrounds are not always aware of Canadian workplace culture and you may need to take extra time to emphasize the importance of soft skills.
Remember that newcomers to Canada may be facing a lot of stress in their personal and professional lives as they try to settle here. Be patient and supportive.”