With the recent wrap-up of the Ag Women’s Network Pilot Mentorship Program, it’s time to share the blog posts created by the mentees. By following along with this series of posts you will get to know these women and find out about their mentorship experience. There are several common themes expressed from individual perspectives and lots of inspiring comments on mentorship. Many thanks to the mentees for accepting the challenge of writing a blog post and sharing their experiences.
I always knew where I wanted to go in life. I had it planned, calculated. But as life goes I have to admit I never took the shortest route. Post-secondary education was a 6 year process, filled with co-ops and leadership opportunities so when I hit the workforce it was time to focus on career ambitions. Going through life I have always treated my superiors as mentors, following in their footsteps, learning from their experiences. But as professional careers go there are some things you just can’t discuss with your boss.
This mentorship gave me the opportunity to discuss my career goals with someone outside of my work circle who would understand the challenges and the rewards of my career. Your career is a story book and each chapter develops you both professionally and personally. But it’s about balance and priorities. My mentor appreciated my busy schedule but encouraged me to take time to reflect and relax.
The benefits of a mentor is having an unbiased option of whatever comes to mind. Possible career change, continued education, personal interest and development. Find someone who you have a few commonalities with for small talk but even more differences so you can learn about experiences and challenges they have faced. Distance may also separate you from a mentor that best fits you so communication is key. Find a few ways which work best for you both and keep tabs on events each of you are planning on attending.
Professionally, our monthly calls were a time for me to reflect on the month prior; conference calls I had hosted for work or events I had attended. We discussed leadership skills and managing a group over teleconference (not easy some days!) but it was about how I perceived the situation and reflection of how I could improve.
Personally, I started an Aggies Women Meet and Greet in the city. This was an opportunity for me as a young female professional to network with likeminded ladies in our industry. Women are a growing demographic in agriculture but we are such a large sector. I look forward to hosting this event regularly for the ladies to come and unwind over a drink with female colleagues in Ottawa.
I think 3 take-aways from my mentorship would be: