Adejisola Atiba started working in the banking industry in 1989 in Nigeria. When she came to Canada in 2005 it was exceedingly difficult because her network did not know how to help her get a position in banking. Eventually after a year of doing various jobs, including volunteering Adejisola was introduced to a banker that guided her on reconnecting with her profession in Canada. Adejisola is currently a Community Manager at RBC and completed her EMBA with DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University in 2019.
What motivated you to join TRIEC Mentoring Partnership as a mentor?
I joined TRIEC to reduce ambiguity for newcomers. I see mentoring as showing the right way to others. I wanted to give what I did not receive; I figured my story does not have to be somebody else’s story. I wanted to be a little part of changing the narrative, make the journey shorter for someone else. Mentor, sponsor, guide, inspire and motivate to ensure these new professionals land, thrive and become successful in Canada. I say this because I know that, when an immigrant succeeds, Canada succeeds. Hence the reason for my founding a non-profit organization that supports existing and new immigrants to be successful in Canada and more. I also use the opportunity to encourage them to be the best they can be, and not be disappointed or discouraged, but use their time to better understand the system.
How have you supported your mentees throughout the partnerships?
During the partnership, it is important to understand what the mentee wants to achieve, and their goals. I try as much as possible to keep things simple and straight forward. I support them by making an introduction to others in their profession to expand their network and give them hope that they will be okay eventually.
I guide them around interview skills, review their resume, advise them on courses that may be an advantage to them, and make them competitive in their job search. I provide review of the various jobs they are interested in, to ensure it is the right fit for them. I encourage them to know that, having a mentor is not derogatory, but necessary so they do not fall into pitfalls some mentors experienced. We work on them having a good understanding of their various life skills, hard, soft, and transferable skills in case there is a need to pivot and change lanes in their career to enable them settle in.
Finally, I share my thoughts about what can make them succeed, when they do get the opportunity in the Canadian workplace, which has helped several people to stay ahead of the curve:
- Know your brand. Understand who they are, know that they are valuable and only need to build on the value they have, to succeed. Not conform to everything that is thrown their way. To remain authentic.
- Continuously network, by joining a program like this, attend events that will add value to them. Purposefully and intentionally seek out professionals or people that will build them up and add value to them.
- Volunteering brings in a different skill set. I encourage them to learn more about it and become a volunteer.
- Have a culture of continuous learning to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive.
- Speak-up about the value they bring to their various organizations, so they can be properly recognized for their effort, and rewarded for going above and beyond.
What has been your top mentoring moment?
My top mentoring moment is when my mentee gets a job. I am aware this is not the expectation, but if I am able to make this happen, it just makes me feel better that one more person is able to highlight their talent, support themselves, start their career and become a value add to the Canadian economy. Also, most mentees, become excited and pay back by mentoring others.
How has becoming a mentor helped you succeed in your own career?
Becoming a mentor has made me to be more grateful and appreciate where I am. I can see the impact of giving my personal time to humanity. I meet amazing minds every time, I learn from them as much as they learn from me, it is a win-win situation, and it expands my personal network. The experience has also increased my patience. It has improved my presentation, problem solving, mentoring, and coaching skills. I am also able to learn from the diverse cultures represented in the Canadian system and travel the world virtually.
What advice would you give to someone considering mentoring newcomers?
My advice to someone considering mentoring is to SIMPLY DO IT! As I mentioned above, it has really embellished my skills. I am a better person because I mentor, because I volunteer, because I have realized that life is more than just me, and my family.
If you are a newcomer to Canada looking to build your career, consider applying for the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program.