Mentoring: A Two-Way Street To Success

Before being a Community Lead at Playy World, a start-up for trading card games and collectible toys, Daston, a SIM-University at Buffalo, SUNY Sociology student found himself at the crossroads before graduation.

6 Feb 2020

5 mins read


Daston and Nina at the Project Protégé certificate presentation ceremony.

Before being a Community Lead at Playy World, a start-up for trading card games and collectible toys, Daston, a SIM-University at Buffalo, SUNY Sociology student found himself at the crossroads before graduation.

Stuck between two career paths, he signed up for Project Protégé, a four-month mentorship programme for SIM GE students, hoping to solidify his career choice. This is where he met his mentor Nina Sanusi, a certified International Coaching Federation transformative coach at Klavis Advisory.

As they progressed, Daston gained clarity while Nina picked up some humbling life lessons.  They tell us about their valuable experiences:

Why did you decide to sign-up for Project Protégé?
Daston
: I wanted guidance before embarking on my next stage of life, as I felt the guidance would be integral in landing my first job. My main goal was to find a career path that is parallel to my life goals. I was undecided between Human Resources and Marketing and was hoping to solidify my career choice through the programme.

What does being a mentor mean to you?
Nina
: It's a means for me to give back to the society. I understand an undergraduate's eagerness to enter the working world while also feeling nervous and uncertain about the unknown. My objective is clear: I want to help them grow.


Nina (centre) providing advice to Daston (far left) and other SIM GE mentees.

What happens during Project Protégé sessions?
Nina:
During the first session, I give complimentary coaching aimed at helping them establish their career goals and personal strengths. This is to help them move forward in their chosen direction while also amplifying their strengths.

Subsequently, we would work on their resumes before sending them out to prospective employers. I would also share my career journey with them during these sessions - the good, the bad and the different types of people they could encounter in order to balance their workplace expectations.

Daston: Project Protégé was exactly how I imagined it to be. I learned the systematic approach to career mapping along with useful interview skills and resume building.

How has the Project Protégé experience change you?
Daston:
Being mentored by Nina has given me confidence during job interviews and I was able to land a job as a Community Lead. I am better at dealing with pressurising situations while maintaining a calm demeanour. Project Protégé has changed me for the better, allowing me to put my best foot forward each time the occasion arises. I am able to think several steps ahead for decision-making while building great rapport with everyone.

Nina: It has brought me humility. My mentees come from all walks of life and they remind me of how I was struggling and unsure how to make it. It has been a humbling experience and it makes me want to go the extra mile to help more individuals attain success despite their personal struggles. It has also taught me patience. I am known for my eagerness and drive to reach my goal but being a certified coach and mentor has slowed me down in a positive way. I listen with the intention to understand instead of responding I also stay up-to-date with industry practices in order to pass down relevant information.

Could you list three ways to make the most of the experience?
Daston:
Always stay open-minded and self-reflect after each session. It helps to keep a diary to journal your reflections. Lastly, stay the course and be sure to attend each mentorship session.

Nina: Readiness, respect and responsibility. Both mentee and mentor must be ready and willing to start the mentorship journey in order to achieve a successful outcome. They are to respect each other's commitment. The mentee is to be responsible in following up on the agreed action plan while the mentor is to be responsible for imparting truthful sharing with the mentee.

Ready to start mapping your own career path? Click here to find out more about Project Protégé.