The Power of Mentors

Once again, I am looking forward to connecting current students with alumni through the Digital Portfolio assignment in our BUS 2504 Web Development Course. Thanks to the alumni for volunteering to support this assignment by mentoring our current students. These informal conversations are extremely valuable and I love reading them over the years. I am sharing below snippets from previous Mentoring Conversations as I truly believe in the power of student relationships with peers, faculty, and alumni! I hope this can help you create another circle of support.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

John Crosby

Network as much as you can to find that first opportunity. Talk to your professors, leverage your connections on LinkedIn, and keep communicating. The references put across by these people really help to find your first opportunity. The trick is to find connections where there is a potential to grow. Come up with an action plan and find yourself somewhere with such an opportunity.

Lubnaa & Ryan

The last advice Chad gave me, and which stuck with me the most, was to see the “Jose” in 10 years from now, and backtrack his path until where I am now. Everything you do now has to have in mind the goal you have. If in 10 years from now I want to have my own fashion line, I have to focus my current activities and skills on that goal. My future self can become the guide to what I currently should do in my career.

Chad & Jose

Faria told me about her upbringing and it reminded me of myself as I too am a first generation Canadian. We both exchanged that we had an aspiration to get the best education possible and push ourselves to make our parents proud. It was comforting to hear that knowing we both came from a place of familiarity.

Faria & Nadera

Amanda’s advice for graduating was very realistic and I enjoyed that about her, she essentially let me know that it is of course ideal to look for the best position possible however, in most cases you will start out small and that’s perfectly fine. The best thing she found was being proactive on LinkedIn through following pages in respect to her field, connecting with likeminded people and anyone with the same field description or experience and of course posting or sharing which is actually what helped her land her first job as an Assistant Product Manager at Venmar Ventilation ULC.

Amanda & Natalia

Alex gave me a tip that I didn’t even think myself but, not everyone can work in retail, you must be able to excel in it and have thick skin because you will get tough conversations and difficult feedback that you need to handle, which to me is so important to have because it isn’t always perfect. 

Alex & Mirka

Ryan talked about ways to stand out in the competitive industry. We discussed that doing small things to set yourself apart from the rest goes a long way. He explained how networking was a great place to start, no connection is a bad one. Knowing people is never a bad thing, it just gives you more opportunities in the future. Ryan explained how your career can be very unpredictable in where you may end up, so it is important to establish positive, professional relationships in order to give you early advantages.

Ryan & Sara

In my meeting with my mentor Thomas, I learned quite a lot in regards to how to leverage myself within Humber College and classmates. Thomas mentioned that like me, he was not a very social kid while at Humber and it was not until he got his first paid job through Humber, that he began to realize that the time is now to create connections to get his foot into the door. This is something and I was immediately able to relate to, I have not fully used the tools presented to me to get the experience employers are looking for. Thomas also made a very important point, that almost all of the work that a beginner will do, will be for free, anything for the experience.

Thomas & Tyler

One of the main things I learned from her is confidence. She told me about her past being a very shy introverted girl who was afraid to speak in public, which is completely different from who she is now. She said that all those presentations experiences from Humber have helped her a lot with building her confidence in public speaking, which is a very important skill in the workplace. In order for her to stand in front of the crowd and speak, she had put in a lot of efforts to prepare and practice herself beforehand. In order for her to grow and improve, she needed to step out of her comfort zone and try to make changes. Practice makes perfect, and with all the experiences she had, she was able to build her confidence and getting better at public speaking. Now, she was able to present comfortably in business situations, and applying her knowledge confidently and flexibly. 

Nathalie & Chrissy

Before having the chance to talk with Martin, I was always worried that being an international student would lower my chance of competing with others when applying for a job. However, Martin reassured me that it is not an issue in reality. Martin himself was also an international student. Using his skills, his confidence when applying and working, he has been able to do his job very well.

Martin & Nhan

Jenna said that it’s important to know the levels of job roles when applying to jobs in order to get the job. For example she said that after graduation you should look for entry level  or assistant level jobs. She mentioned that it’s very helpful to use keywords in your resume because that’s what hiring managers will use in order to narrow down their list of candidates that they’d like to interview. Relationship management is another key factor when working as it will really help you to stick in someone’s mind if you’ve spoken with them or had a coffee and chatted with them and to find a main contact when applying to a company to get your foot in the door.

Kate & Jenna