Laverne came to Canada from the Bahamas in 2011 and took advantage of the many programs available to newcomers, including The Mentoring Partnership through JVS Toronto.
“I wanted to get insight into the Canadian workplace culture,” says Laverne. “I wanted to present myself in the best possible light to potential employers.”
It took Laverne a year to land her first job in her field as a Pension Analyst. “Employment was a pivotal moment,” she said. “Until that point, I was trying to find my way in Toronto. Getting this opportunity was a validation of sorts that everything would be okay.”
Having gone through that experience, Laverne decided she wanted to help other skilled immigrants get their feet through the door. Therefore, she returned to The Mentoring Partnership as a mentor.
“I am happy to see my mentee has grown comfortable with presenting herself to possible employers in a job interview. Practicing mock interviews helped my mentee to grow her confidence in her ability to effectively communicate her skills to others, and provided her with reassurance to start applying for jobs.”
That is one of the rewarding moments as a mentor that Laverne is most proud of.
Recognizing the significant potential for employment in the “hidden job market” Laverne emphasized the importance of networking to her mentee.
Laverne strongly believes in nurturing continuous relationships.
“Be deliberate in all your relationships. Environments change. Someone might be here now, but who knows where they can assist you down the line and vice versa. Build and maintain positive relationships.”
For new mentors, Laverne draws advice from her own experience as a novice mentor: “Be patient about the process and it will be more meaningful.”