Sue Chan is the Vice President of Digital Delivery and Release Management at the Royal Bank of Canada. She has a Bachelors in Computer Science from The University of Waterloo, she has worked at RBC for 31 years — as an IT professional for most of that time.
Why Sue decided to mentor
“Throughout my career I have had many mentors. I decided to join TRIEC Mentoring Partnership as I wanted the opportunity to give back.”
What being a mentor means to her
“It’s being available to assist a person with getting them familiar with the Canadian professional work environment. You provide observations and coaching based on your past experience.
“It’s very satisfying when you see that your dialogue and coaching is making an impact on the individual. I see this through all the mock interviews and workforce discussions – my menteesbecome a lot more confident in themselves as they gain skills.”
How mentoring has helped her own career
“Mentoring has helped me succeed in my own career. You learn a lot by teaching. Working with the mentees over a period of time, I have become a better coach. We learn from learning with our mentees – when I talk about practices of the Canadian workforce I become aware of those practices and I do them myself as well. It has increased my awareness of diversity: and working with a large range of people over the years enhances my self-awareness as well.”
What Sue’s learned about mentoring through her time with the program
“I think at the beginning it was a learning process for me to figure out how to approach the partnership and what to focus on to really help them. Over the years, I got into a rhythm and now I have a sense of comfort when I am mentoring. I find it so much easier after doing it more frequently. It gives me more confidence seeing success my partnerships have had.”
The benefits of mentoring
“I absolutely believe that other professionals should mentor. I have learnt there are benefits to both sides of the partnership. The newcomers need a way to get into the workforce mentors also gain a potential hiring pipeline for our own organizations. Another benefit is we gain stronger coaching and mentoring skillsets as a mentor.”
How a mentor has helped Sue in her career
“I have had many mentors over the years, although one that does stand out to me was someone who was very pictorial. He would make a complex problem into a picture, which is something that helped me and I now do it myself.”
Sue’s top tips for new mentors
Treat your mentee as an individual who has a lot of value to contribute. In a mentor to mentee relationship there should be no hierarchy, just two individuals who have values, skills and experiences to share.
“Just start it – do it!”