Teresa Cobarrubias has over a decade of executive administration, office management and project coordination expertise. Teresa is currently an Administrative Assistant 1 with the City of Toronto, responsible for providing executive administrative support in the day-to-day operations to the Office of the Director, Development Process and Performance. She contributes to critical functions in their office, including giving support to key initiatives, staff onboarding, Council and Committee management, and continuous improvements to their administrative processes.  

Teresa, a 15-time Mentor with TRIEC Mentoring Partnership. She shares her mentoring story and why she is giving back to newcomers to Canada. 

What motivates you to keep coming back as a mentor?  

Being a newcomer immigrant in Canada 20 years ago, I can relate to the challenges newcomers face. I believe being “once one of them” and “now being one with them” in this journey, keeps the passion in me. It is humbling to have the opportunity to help newcomers in goal setting and equip them with tools to successfully navigate in their career journey. 

What would be your top tip for a new volunteer mentor? 

Be an active listener, genuinely care, dedicate, and commit time to help them succeed. Advice and guidance in a way that empowers your mentees by allowing them to plan, think and plot their own path. Mentors are meant to support and enable growth, not to direct or dictate.  

What has been your top aha mentoring moment? 

My mentees took baby steps with a focus on keeping their “eye on the prize” – carefully plotting sustainable steps while instilling patience until they achieve their goal.  

Has becoming a mentor also helped you succeed in your own career? If so, how?  

I was able to advance meaningful professional development, expand my networks and reconnect with established networks, and connect with City of Toronto public servants from diversified careers and leadership levels. Mentoring strengthened and reinforced my confidence, communication, and presentation skills. 

In one sentence, describe the importance of mentoring for newcomers starting their career in Canada? 

Mentoring newcomers drives progress by catalyzing knowledge and skills, offering a path to success through cross-pollination and strengthening our labour force. 

Inspired by Teresa’s story and interested in mentoring newcomers to Canada? Find out more about becoming a mentor.     


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