MENTORING

Looking for a mentor?

Thanks to their rich experience and wisdom mentors can act as advisors, tutors, sponsors supporters, and role models. People with extensive background in their area of expertise may be willing to share their knowledge with those who are just starting up in their field. They may be willing to help you bounce ideas around regarding possible course of action and share their own experience. This input may help the mentee gain a new perspective and avoid some common beginner’s pitfalls. Having a mentor as a guide, the mentee can navigate more confidently in a new terrain.
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Let’s start from the very beginning and the origins of mentorship. The term mentor has its origins in classic Greek mythology. A wise teacher named Mentor was asked by his friend Odysseus to watch over his precious son, Telemachus, as he embarked on a lengthy voyage. As a surrogate parent, Mentor gave his support, guidance, protection, and blessing to the young man until Odysseus returned home from his long journey.
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Momentum - The Fast Track to Entrepreneurship Programme

In partnership with Equals, Startupbootcamp, Unknown Group and Workmode
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If you are a female professional embarking on an entrepreneurial journey, then this programme designed for female professionals by female professionals is for you. In its 4,5-months-long startup accelerator programme, participants learn to discover their superpowers with a dedicated coach and business mentor to guide them on their entrepreneurial journeys.

the art of mentoring

Coaching and Mentoring

Hiring a coach is different from entering a mentorship relationship. A coaching agreement is entered on more equal terms than with a mentor and patron. An experienced coach may alternate between the two roles with conscious discernment, sometimes choosing to step into a mentor role and offering to share more of their personal experience. If the coach has sufficient expertise in the area of the coachee’s dilemma, this kind of interaction may be beneficial. It is important to remember that a coach is not an advisor and their assignment is not to offer solutions, but help the coachee find their own answers.

The Role of a Mentor

Thanks to their rich experience and wisdom mentors can act as advisors, tutors, sponsors supporters, and role models. People with extensive background in their area of expertise may be willing to share their knowledge with those who are just starting up in their field. They may be willing to help you bounce ideas around regarding possible course of action and share their own experience. This input may help the mentee gain a new perspective and avoid some common beginner’s pitfalls. Having a mentor as a guide, the mentee can navigate more confidently in a new terrain.

Benefits of Having a Mentor

Mentors can act as sponsors, not in the financial sense, but as sources of valuable information and aid in obtaining opportunities. By sharing from their own life experiences and business expertise, mentors support their mentees in building their self-confidence, enhancing their skills and expanding their horizons. They can help demystify the profession, organisation or business. They can point you to the right direction and help you save a lot of time and energy and ultimately reach your destination faster. This advantage is particularly important for members of minorities, who often don’t have the privilege of an easy access to valuable networking opportunities. They can activate their own network, and thus help the mentee build and foster their own circle of connections. While looking out for their mentee’s interest, a mentor’s powerful word can open doors and give access to precious resources.

Career Vitality Mentor Programme by Female Ventures

In partnership with EWOB European Women on Boards and Odyssey
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The Career Vitality Mentor Programme gives female professionals the unique opportunity to set themselves up to be their best selves and to have a vital, ambitious career that suits them. It is a programme for female professionals, by female professionals that will help you be balanced, choiceful and authentic. The programme is designed for female professionals, entrepreneurs or women working in a corporate setting. Its goal it to design a vital career path in which the participants can grow personally and professionally. It supports ambitious women on their journeys to define their career goals, and create a path that is aligned with them as individuals.

mentorinG STYLE

Strategic Choices

The mentor is not a coach. You can expect the mentor to provide you with feedback and suggestions regarding your mid-term and long-term aspirations, but they typically won’t be too involved with your day-to-day performance. A coach is typically more actively engaged in your life and will also be there for you to support you on short-term results. They will help you define your tactics and make sure you stay on track to reach your goals throughout the coaching trajectory.

Key Qualities of a Good Mentor

To be a good mentor, in addition to your experience you also need to acquire the knowledge of certain concepts and techniques. Mentors and coaches use some of the same skills, which is why the two roles are often confused. The core skills applied by a mentor are asking powerful questions and active listening. While the questions may seem challenging at times, their intention is to help the mentee grow. A good mentor will have mastered the art of conversation and will be able to pick up on clues so subtle that go way beyond the surface and the what is actually being said.

Global Mentoring Day in Amsterdam

In partnership with The Society of Polish Professional Women in the Netherlands and Vital Voices
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Global Mentoring Day event takes place each year around the International Women’s Day in Amsterdamse Bos. It is organised by the Polish Professional Women in the Netherlands Society in partnership with Vital Voices. Each edition of the the Global Mentoring Walks convenes established women leaders to mentor emerging women leaders as they walk together in their communities. These women are different, but they are guided by a shared belief: power expands the moment it is shared. Through their efforts, thousands of women and girls came together across cultures, generations, religions, countries and identities to bring this message to life. The Society of Polish Professional Women in the Netherlands has been organising the Global Mentoring Walk in Amsterdam since 2017 and with each subsequent edition the number of the participants grew significantly.

THE NATURE OF MENTORSHIP

The Responsibilities of the Mentee

Being a mentee is by no means a passive role. It takes serious commitment and preparations. If you want your conversation with the mentor to be effective, you need to approach the process with a clear intention in mind. As you are likely to work with a professional who has earned some professional reputation for themselves in their respective field, showing a certain degree of respect on your part will be called for. You will be expected to honour your mentor’s time, show up well prepared for the meetings and be efficient in all your interactions. Your mentor is likely to have high standards and you may need to deal with their feedback in a mature way. You will therefore need a certain level of self-awareness and a growth mindset.

Inner Guidance

If you want your conversation with the mentor to be effective, you need to approach the process with a clear intention in mind. In order for the mentorship is to be successful, it is crucial that the mentee demonstrates the willingness to reflect and think independently. The mentor may share their own experience and personal views, offer some practical tips and even suggest new ideas, but the responsibility for setting and achieving one’s goals lies fully at the mentee’s side.

International Mentorship Programme by PWN Netherlands

In partnership with Professional Women's Network
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The International Mentoring Programme aims to support female members of PWN, at all levels of their career, to find their ways to progress; develop their leadership and decision-making skills; and embrace their growth in an international environment. PWN offers its members the opportunity to join a community of ambitious professionals passionate about continuing their professional development journey. The programme provides an effective mentoring structure to ensure that you get the most out of your mentoring experience, by calling upon a wide range of mentors, ensuring the best possible match for you, and following up on your progress through the mentoring cycle to ensure that the experience is a positive one. The International Mentoring Programme offers its participants various occasions to leverage your mentoring experience.

Deep dive, steep growth

Grow with Mentoring

In the most common scenario, you would be meeting with your mentor in a neutral environment outside of your workplace. An effective mentorship conversation, no matter how short, would typically consist of the several parts. After introducing the topic and the initial explanation of the question at hand, the conversation is structured following an established order. The parts succeeding the introduction are: Goal, Reality, Options & Wrap-up, which gives rise to the abbreviated name of the GROW model. After the initial description of the topic, it is important to establish the actual goal of the interaction. What will the coachee find helpful during that particular conversation?

Reach Your Goals

What follows is taking a closer look at the reality. What is the current state of the affairs? It’s important to look at various aspects of the issue. How does the situation present itself when looked at objectively? After the picture of reality is clear, the mentor can coach the mentee to come up with several possible solutions. Having multiple options on how to approach the issue leads to the next, logical step of the conversation; those alternative approaches need to be evaluated and prioritised as options for action. Once the next steps are clear, it is time to summarise the key takeaways, commit to the agreed course of action and wrap up the session.

Special Student Rates

Giving back to the CEMS community
Being part of the Master’s in International Management programme at the Community of the European Management Schools has been a life-changing experience for me. It opened new horizons, broadened my perspective and helped me develop life-lasting friendships. In order to give back to my ‘alma mater’ student community I offer special career advice and mentorship sessions to the CEMS students and fellow graduates at special rates. If you are a currently a CEMS student or a recent graduate, you may be entitled to a consultation for free or at a reduced rate. Log in to your Firsthand account and book your session there.

Mentorship as an Act of Service

The Law of Reciprocity

Mentoring is an art and a way of giving back by guiding and nurturing the growth of others during various stages of their development. It takes willingness to share one’s expertise and dedicate time to facilitating personal and professional development of others. While mentorship can be seen as an act of service, it is in fact often equally rewarding for the mentors on a deeper level. Conversations with the mentee provide the mentor with an opportunity of self-reflection. By answering the mentee’s questions, the mentor gets to re-evaluate their own trajectory, gain deeper understanding and new perspective. Thank to this exchange both sides develop their self-awareness as well as interpersonal and professional skills.

Pay it forward with Reverse Mentorship

When the thought of seeking out a mentor arises in you, first take a moment to ask yourself if you could become a mentor to someone yourself. In which areas of your life do you have more expertise than others? With whom would you like to share it? Being a mentor has nothing to do with age or seniority in an ogranisation. Companies often encourage ‘reverse mentorship’ programmes to help bridge generational gaps amongst their employees. You may be a wonderful mentor to a person much older than you by for example helping an elderly person use new technologies or a recent immigrant find their way in a country that feels foreign to them. If you were ever lucky enough to have encountered a mentor in your life, remember to pay it forward and keep the virtuous circle going.
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Global Mentoring Walk in Amsterdam with Vital Voices.
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