On November 13, 2019, NWPB hosted a networking and orientation night for members of our Immigrant Mentorship Program. The event brought together new and existing program participants to connect and share best practices with one another. It was also an opportunity for newer members to receive orientation for the program, and for mentors to learn specific ways to help newcomers overcome the barriers they face to employment.
The evening also featured a talk with Karen McGrath of McGrath Consulting. Karen has assisted in developing a mentorship program with the Ontario Library Association, as well as having participated in NWPB's Mentorship Program. She shared her insights in her presentation, "What Makes a Good Mentor", specifically highlighting the things that helped her mentee, Marcella, find success:
- Commitment to the person. Your mentee is your new friend, and you want them to succeed!
- Bringing your mentee to meet people in the industry and develop connections.
- Providing assistance with finding new career paths, and how to traverse them.
- Being flexible and creative. Karen, for example, often communicated with Marcella over Skype when they couldn’t connect in person.
- Having fun! Karen brought Marcella out to experience Niagara not just in a career context, but in the context as a place to live and thrive - a place that is now home. It’s also important for mentees to have social inclusion, so making time just for fun is a great way to help mentees integrate more wholly into their new community.
Speaking of having fun, the evening itself was a great time for all involved, with some fantastic poutine and plenty of networking and friendship-making. This event is one of many ongoing social opportunities NWPB has planned to provide mentors with professional development, and mentees with further opportunities to make personal and professional connections in Niagara.
Are you interested in NWPB’s Immigrant Mentorship Program? We invite you to connect with Josie to learn more about how we're working to foster a more inclusive Niagara.