Veronica Seeto is a 40-time Mentor with TRIEC Mentoring Partnership. Veronica shares her mentoring story to celebrate this milestone and why she has continued to mentor newcomers for almost 18 years.
What motivates you to keep coming back as a mentor?
I am truly fortunate to be living in Canada and to be happy and successful, I need everyone in my community to thrive. Every individual is impacted by what happens to others. Canada is targeting to welcome over 465,000 immigrants in 2023 but many newcomers need support in understanding the job market and how to find a job equivalent to the one that they left behind. We need to support, value, and empower people to achieve their best potential.
I have realized that my professional experience and knowledge can help an immigrant professional, and that small help will have lasting impact and make a significant difference on that person and family. It is extremely rewarding to help people transition their careers to Canada and see them grow, develop and be successful.
My first mentee came to our partnership after over 2 years of struggling with learning the language, working at survivor job (security guard), and trying to find a way back into IT. Her mental health and marriage were impacted. She had enrolled in an adult unpaid co-op program and looking for related IT position. Through our partnership, I was able to support and guide her through the co-op position and eventually find an IT comparable position. She was able to successfully work in IT and two years later was able to have a 2nd child and find a rewarding personal and professional life in Canada.
I am also motivated to keep mentoring so I can continue to meet and learn from some amazing, talented, and resilient people. It keeps me learning, growing, and staying humble. This has been a life changing and extremely rewarding experience for me.
So why not be a mentor and make it a benefit to you and the Mentee and continuously do it repeatedly?
What would be your top tip for a new volunteer mentor?
It is important to discuss expectations for both Mentor and Mentee in the first meeting. Expectations should lead to discussion on goals of the Mentee and the partnership and relationship should be customized to meet the needs of the Mentee.
A simple expectation of being on time, open communications and always consistent with the established work relationship and meetings is an important lesson in Canadian work cultural awareness
What has been your top aha mentoring moment?
Like life, some partnerships are more successful, and some are not as successful. Do not take it personally. The Mentee may have a lot going on that you do not know about, and this partnership may not be the right timing. The onus is not always on mentors only. As mentors, we sometimes want to really make it work but we may have to just let it go. Learn from it and move on to the next one and keep mentoring.
How has becoming a mentor helped you succeed in your own career?
These are some of the key skills that I have learnt, improved, and helped me succeed in management and teamwork.
- Communications (verbal and written)
- Problem Solving
- Cultural awareness
- Being more inclusive, diverse and equitable
My professional background is in IT and this is a fast-moving industry and that job market can go up and down quickly. By mentoring, I stay current and have the tools and network to be able to find a job quickly in a downturn like we are now facing in the technology sector. During the last recession in 2007, I was able to pivot quickly to a successful job search using my mentoring experience. Everyone, in any position should be prepared for the next job search or promotion (internal or external) anytime and all the time.
Inspired by Veronica’s story and interested in mentoring newcomers to Canada. Find out more about becoming a mentor.