IABC/Calgary is launching the fifth year of its mentor program. The program is still looking for a few more mentees to round out the mentor-mentee pairs. Apply now!

Below we hear from Brianne Bartman (mentee), Diana Ward (mentor) and Kristin McVeigh (mentee) on how everyone in the program can gain valuable experiences, communications advice and even new friendships.

Brianne Bartman, Mentee

Why get involved?

I was new to IABC and thought that the program would be a great opportunity to meet not only my mentor but also other mentors and mentees.

What great experiences have you had?

I’ve learned so many valuable lessons from my mentor. Two of my favourite experiences have been attending the IABC Christmas party with my mentor and connecting with her friends and past colleagues at the event. I also went on a mentorship double date with another duo.

Both these experiences allowed me to meet and connect with other IABC members in a really relaxed environment. My mentor is highly connected and has introduced me to many great people.

Advice for people thinking about participating?

If you’re nervous just join, you won’t regret it. Everyone in the program is extremely friendly and helpful.

I enjoyed my experience so much that I applied to be matched with another mentor this year. My mentor and I also plan to continue our relationship.

Diana Ward (mentor)

Why get involved?

I became a mentor because I thought it was a great way to give back to my profession and get to know some of the newer communicators in our field.

Many of the more senior IABC practitioners were so kind to me when I was starting out that I thought it was a great way to honour that.

What great experiences have you had?

Seeing the person I am working with overcome a challenge or achieve a goal they set out.

Being at one of my mentees weddings… what an honour! Most of my mentorships have turned into long lasting friendships and that’s pretty cool.

Advice for people thinking about participating?

Do it! You will learn just as much as your mentee and remember it’s really up to the mentee to drive the relationship. It’s their agenda and you’re there as a guide, a resource and most importantly a great listener.

Kristin McVeigh (Mentee)

Why get involved?

We were discussing mentorship at work, and I realized I’d have access to really great communications professionals through my IABC membership.

I was also trying to figure out what direction wanted to go with my career.

What great experiences have you had?

I found “double dating” really enjoyable—where my mentor and I went for coffee or dinner with another pairing. It was fun because I got to know another peer, as well as participate in a conversation with my mentor and another senior communicator, discussing issues you wouldn’t likely get the opportunity to do otherwise.

Another great experience was when I was working on a communications plan for a big project and my mentor took a lot of time to go through it with me. That one on one experience was one of the most valuable for me because it directly improved my abilities and skills.

Advice for people thinking about participating?

I think if you’re considering becoming a mentee you should absolutely do it. There is really no down side to applying because you will learn something. Sometimes what you learn isn’t exactly what you anticipated.

My mentorship strengthened my connection to IABC and helped me learn all the benefits available through my membership. This was a benefit I hadn’t anticipated.

Huge thanks to Brianne, Diana and Kristin for sharing their experiences with us!

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