Maidul Islam, PMP, CSCMP, MCIPS is a procurement and supply chain management professional with almost 9 years’ experience in public and private sector procurement management, project management, contract management, and vendor relationship management. Maidul is a certified Supply Chain Manager and currently working as Senior Purchasing Agent at Toronto Community Housing Corporation. He recently mentored a newcomer through TRIEC Mentoring Partnership.
Why did you want to start mentoring?
I wanted to start mentoring to help people. When I first came to Canada, I felt that many immigrant professionals with excellent backgrounds could not land jobs mainly because of lack of information. With a strategy a newcomer can land a job in their field sooner. I felt that I could help people as I knew the newcomers’ problems (challenges to settle, anxiety, overthinking, etc.) as I was previously a newcomer to Canada and also went through a similar process. I wanted to help others by sharing my knowledge and experience so that they had less challenges when looking for a job.
I was previously a teacher and during that time I enjoyed not only teaching but also transferring energy and enthusiasm to others. That confidence always drives me to help people through mentoring and helping others to grow. I love to see people’s sparkling motivated eyes and when I see someone has benefitted because of my mentoring, I really feel grateful to God that I could be the source of someone’s happiness and smile. I always believe that frustration is an unnecessary luxury which a person can easily replace with focus, hard work, continuous effort, and persistence.
What does being a mentor mean to you?
Being a mentor is a process of learning how to help others effectively. To me, this is very important that my mentoring sessions go in an organized way so that my mentee becomes very actively involved and stays motivated during the mentoring sessions. In my opinion, a mentor needs to be an empathetic person having updated information so that their mentees listen, understand and trust the suggestions and feel motivated to apply as per the mentor’s recommendations. I am really blessed that I have a couple of success stories as a mentor in Canada and my mentees have been working in jobs in their fields in different provinces here. Mentoring provides me a great opportunity to explore and apply my leadership skills, and to be familiar with people with diverse backgrounds from different countries and cultures of the world. To me, being a mentor is about the great opportunity to be part of someone’s success story, their happiness and relief after a long and determined job-hunting journey.
How did you support your mentee throughout the partnership?
While mentoring my TRIEC mentee, I initially tried to learn about his expectations, strengths, technical and soft skills, qualifications and experience. I shared with him an overall idea about the employment situation in Canada and how to start the job searching process. After that, I checked his resume and cover letter and provided him with some initial tips where he needed to make the improvements. I shared a standard model of a resume and a cover letter to give him direction. My mentee was a cooperative and enthusiastic person as he worked on the documents with great effort and did a lot of research to finalize the documents. Within a couple of sessions with him, his resume and cover letter were ready for the job application process. I also told him to update his LinkedIn profile based on the information in his resume, and to start connecting with people on LinkedIn. My mentee informed me that once he started applying with the version of the resume we finalized, he started getting invited to interviews.
I also had discussions with my mentee on how to get prepared for the interviews. I shared with him some common questions usually asked in the interviews. I stayed in touch with my mentee when he was attending interviews so that I could get his feedback and provide him with tips for improvements. I always tell my mentees that one of the vital habits they must adopt is accepting any rejection as normal and consider it to be a lesson as well as a stepping stone for the next effort.
Notably, my TRIEC mentee got his first job in his field (Procurement and Supply Chain Management) in Canada within 3 months of his landing here. During the pandemic, it’s a great achievement for him!
What has been your top mentoring moment?
It is the moment when I hear about my mentee’s success. I do not consider my mentees to be my mentees only, rather they become good friends. I always try to share with them some information so that their settlement process goes well. As per my experience of talking with different people here, almost all of the newcomers face the same challenges, for example, culture shock, homesickness, overexcitement, anxiety, overthinking, etc. These challenges have a strong impact on their psychology which hampers their personal life, their job seeking effort and performance in their job interviews. So, I try to help them providing needed information about their settling process so that they gain confidence and understand that they are not alone facing the challenges rather this is a very common story. After a couple of sessions with a mentee, I always feel that our relationship becomes strong. I already know what they were going through and how much was their struggle. I really feel great when I hear from them with the news of getting a job. It is something very special!
What motivates you to continue as a mentor?
I believe mentoring is a noble task. I always love talking to people, and when I talk to people from different backgrounds and cultures, it expands my knowledge and outlook. I believe it is a great and special blessing that I can help others sharing my knowledge and experience. Rather than seeing life as a competition, I would like to see life as a gift, a great blessing, and a great opportunity to stay alive and meaningful in other people’s memory. Mentoring provides me with the opportunity to contribute to people’s success and to change their lives. I always feel motivated when it’s about doing good deeds in life – mentoring is one of them.