Claudius Otegbade is Partner, Forensics & AML at C&G Professionals Services Inc. He shares his mentoring experience and the transition he made from mentee to mentoring newcomers himself.
Why did you become a mentor?
It was my way of paying it forward. I was a mentee in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership in 2015. My mentor, a Senior Manager within KPMG’s tax group helped me with my resume, had several sessions on interviewing with me, and connected me to a few of her industry colleagues. It was a life changing experience for me – due to limited knowledge as a new immigrant to the Canadian labour market.
How did receiving mentoring help you in your job search, especially with finding your first job in Canada?
The mentorship provided by TRIEC helped me a great deal in understanding the Canadian labour market. I came into Canada with a 5-page Curriculum Vitae (CV). The program helped me realize a 2-page resume was the ideal standard. While I did not land a job during the mentorship program (as I later attended an Ontario post-graduate college), the lessons learnt played a big part in my eventual landing of my first Canadian job.
Can you give an example of how you’ve put your learning from the TMP program into practice?
I have shared the many lessons learned on resume writing, interviewing and networking skills to those that arrived in Canada after me – some from the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, and others from several networking platforms.
What advice would you give a new mentee of how to make the most out of their partnership?
Be humble and learn. I usually tell my mentee that there’s always something new to take from each connection – even if it’s only one thing. It could be the deciding factor!
After transitioning from a mentee to mentor, what does being a mentor now mean to you?
I am passionate about mentorship. I’ve had (and still having) incredible career progression since I arrived in Canada six years ago – mostly because of the mentors in my life. I also remember driving through Tim Hortons’ driveway one time to get a cup of coffee. I drove up to the window only to be told the car that in front of me already paid for the next driver! Strange! But that’s the Canadian spirit. I have since then always tried to pay it forward too, whether it is buying a cup of coffee for a stranger or offering to mentor a new immigrant. You want to help those coming after you because someone ahead of you offered to help you too.