Home » Mentor stories » Carlene Perkins – Mentor to 10 or more skilled immigrants

“I find it incredibly fascinating to meet and work with mentees from different countries. Many are from parts of the world that I will never get to visit, so it’s a way for me to experience those places, while also educating myself on some cultural differences.”

Why I started mentoring

My employer, The City of Toronto, is a huge supporter of mentoring skilled immigrants. They were doing an intake of volunteers and I stepped forward. I was eighteen when I arrived from Jamaica and could definitely have used a support system back then.

What I learn from mentoring

Mentees explain how accounting works in their country compared to here in Canada. It’s good to know about some of the nuances in systems and how the mentees’ experience translates here.

How I first approach the mentoring relationship

I first review the mentee’s resume on my own, but I don’t suggest any changes until I’ve met with them and get a clearer picture of their job search objectives. It’s important to approach each mentee differently.

The importance of networking

I introduce my mentees to my manager, supervisor, co-workers, friends – anyone who’s in a relevant field. I know what it feels like not to have connections in the labour market. I know you can feel lost and I want to change that for as many skilled immigrants as I can.

Mentee Igris Darrell on mentor Carlene Perkins

Coming from Guyana with over 10 years of experience in accounting, it’s been a huge challenge to find a job in my field. I really appreciate that Carlene has tried her best to help me find a place in labour market. She advised me to map out my short-term and long-term career goals, and would send me any relevant job postings that she heard about. Carlene is very pleasant and open, and always took the time out to see me. We continue to keep in touch.

More on mentor Carlene Perkins

  • Corporate Accounts Payable Service Representative, Accounting Services, Finance Department, City of Toronto.
  • Mentor to 10 or more skilled immigrants through The Mentoring Partnership.
  • Heard about The Mentoring Partnership through The City of Toronto.
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