Analisa Allen is a trained Communications practitioner with over 15 years of experience in Public and Media Relations, internal communications, employee engagement, and events planning and management.  

Analisa transitioned from a mentee to a mentor in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership and shares her experience in the program as a mentee and mentor. 

Why did you become a mentor? 

Giving back is at the core of what I do whether personally or professionally. I believe that supporting individuals helps them to grow and growth comes from experience. Growth does not have to be hard and if I can use my experiences to help someone on their journey and make it even a tiny bit easier, then my role as a mentor would have been fulfilled. I wanted to serve as a mentor to help someone on their journey, to be that practical cheerleader, the sounding board, and that source of objectivity that is often required as one tries to navigate a new space and find their footing. 

Mentorship is a two-way street, it allows the mentee an opportunity to share, learn, and develop. It also provides a safe space to make plans and decisions while getting the time for practical do-overs as you improve – the mentor provides that space for open dialogue and transparency. On the flip side of this, the mentor also gets the opportunity to learn from the mentee who may bring a difference of experience to the table which can support renewed thought and perspective. You learn from each other so you both can be better. 

Can you give an example of how you’ve put your learning from the TMP program into practice? 

As a mentee, I was very new to Canada (literally 2 weeks in when I met my mentor) and was so focused on getting back into the field of communications and back to the level I was at that I was a little unwilling to accept that I had a lot to learn about the communications landscape here in Canada. My mentor was very kind and patient and she took as much time as I needed to not only review the work that I produced, to provide guidance on programs and courses I could take to acquire some of the nuanced skills I needed, and she also helped me to broaden my network by introducing me to some of her colleagues in the field (one of whom I have forged a meaningful connection with and continues to act as a mentor to me even five years after). 

It was through her approach, the tools, and tips she shared, my efforts in implementing her advice, and keeping the connections formed that helped me to land my first Communications job here in Canada. 

Advice for a new mentee for making the most out of their partnership? 

Listening, planning, implementation, follow-through/ asking for feedback, and setting expectations are the keys to success (in my opinion). So, from the perspective of a mentee, I took the advice of my mentor, I planned and shared with her, and used those 9 months at school to build on my craft and network and follow through with applications, volunteering, and continued to practice until an opportunity presented itself. Additionally, being open to a conversation – many mentors are busy but are always ready to share. I always reached out to my mentor, and she was generous with her time, and I respected it (I was always early or on time). As a mentor, I shared this approach with my mentee and encouraged her to tweak it to suit herself. 

Advice for a new mentee for making the most out of their partnership? 

As a new mentee entering a partnership with a mentor, I would encourage that you always have a plan, and come to your meetings prepared, organized, and willing to listen. We all have our goals but knowing that we do not know what we do not know is important and your mentor, through experience may have the keys to opening the door to the knowledge you seek. My second piece of advice is to always be honest with your mentor. You may need to bring a certain amount of vulnerability to your interaction – share your professional goals and even your areas of opportunity – you may find that your mentor has also experienced these same things and can provide support. Be yourself and build a meaningful authentic relationship. 

After transitioning from a mentee to mentor, what does a mentor now mean to you? 

With the shoe now on the other foot, my focus remains the same, giving back and supporting others in the same way as I needed support. I feel privileged to be able to share my experiences. Mentorship is a reciprocal relationship, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to be a mentee even while providing that support to anyone who needs it to help build their professional lives in Canada. 

I will continue to volunteer my time as often and to as many people who need it. I am grateful to TRIEC for this opportunity. 

Are you a newcomer wanting to reconnect with your career in Canada or a professional wanting to give back to your professional community? Consider joining TRIEC Mentoring Partnership. 

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