“Mentoring provides real professional development. You learn about other cultures and get to interact with many types of people. I do a lot of mentoring on the job, so I can apply what I learn through The Mentoring Partnership to my daily activities of coaching new hires.”
Why I started mentoring
Mentoring is a way of returning the help I got when I came to Canada. I am paying it forward because I remember what it was like. The Canadian culture can be different; you don’t know how to find a job. I was fortunate to receive informal mentoring from someone at Sunlife and guidance from COSTI. When COSTI approached me to mentor, I didn’t think twice.
Why mentoring is meaningful to me
I remember I introduced one mentee from the Philippines to a contact in a competing insurance firm – and he found a job! When you see mentees succeeding, it’s better than any pay cheque.
The importance of networking
I always tell my mentees that the way to be successful is through networking. I highlight which networks events might be relevant and try to introduce my mentees to a few new professional contacts.
My advice to someone who’s unsure of becoming a mentor
I would say this is an amazing opportunity to grow your people skills and to build up your own network. Helping other people will make you grow.
Mentee Himanshu Thacker on how Joe made a difference to him
I practiced medicine in India and my research told me Canadians didn’t have enough doctors. Despite the shortages, it became clear that it would be difficult to practice again, so I looked to Seneca for help. Back home I handled the insurance department in the hospital, so I decided to look into that field. Joe described what I would need to land a job in insurance, including a license, but also kept discussions open so that I could admit that my heart was still in medicine. I have now been accepted into a training program more closely related to my field, and hopefully I will be practicing again soon. I have to thank Joe for sharing his immigrant experience and for always encouraging me to pursue my passion. He still checks in on my progress and I really appreciate it.
More on mentor Joe Ferreyro
- Associate Manager, Sun Life Financial.
- Mentor to 10 or more skilled immigrants through The Mentoring Partnership.
- Joe heard about The Mentoring Partnership through COSTI.