The online mentoring program is an important component of Canada InfoNet. There have been over 1600 matches between mentors and mentees since 2016.
Online mentors are volunteers who have at least two years of professional experience in Canada in their field and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise in areas of employment, settlement and career-related educational goals. Mentees are internationally trained professionals approved for immigration who meet the eligibility criteria, including minimal language levels (CLB 7) required for online mentoring interactions.
The program offers structure throughout the mentoring process, including orientation, which guide both mentor and mentee on JVS Toronto’s online platform where interactions occur. We recently conducted an impact assessment which included a survey and focus groups of mentors and mentees and would like to share some key findings.
The assessment concluded that accurate, pre-arrival information from current, credible, sector-specific sources saves time and helps immigrating professionals manage expectations and conduct appropriate and effective gap analysis.
“The challenge immigrating professionals face is an expectation gap…I reduce the expectation gap…prepare them and reduce the gap, so they land with the right sense of expectations.” (Active mentor)
What Mentors Said
- 87% were very satisfied or satisfied with their mentoring experience
- 83% indicated they contributed to their mentee(s) knowledge of Canadian work culture and communication (including professional jargon, common phrases)
- 85% will continue to mentor in the future
- 100% outlined multiple ways in which they contribute to the success of immigrating professionals
What Mentees Said
- 70% were very satisfied or satisfied with their mentoring experience
- 77% indicated as a result of their participation in online mentoring, they increased their understanding of Canadian work culture and communication
- 77% were likely to become online mentors in the future
- 100% indicated the program contributed positively to the immigrating professional’s integration journey
The ways that mentees identify how they benefit from the mentorship vary, from achieving employment, building a network, and intangible, but valuable ways – building confidence, preparing their minds, pushing themselves out of their comfort zone.
In the same way, mentors understand they can contribute in a variety of ways as well. They help mentees adjust their short-term goals (manage expectations and conduct gap analysis), guide concrete actions such as ensuring mentees gather and bring necessary documents for future credentialing), “preparing their minds”, or “not sugar-coating” because it doesn’t help. Mentees find this information and guidance before arriving in Canada invaluable.
Another interesting piece of information we found was that close to half of mentees indicated that participating in pre-arrival online mentoring influenced their decision about where to work in Canada. Mentorship can impact the lives not only of mentees but of mentors as well, as the data below shows us:
What Mentors Said
We asked mentors what they felt were the benefits of the online mentoring program and the top 4 answers were:
- Provides an opportunity to share my professional expertise
- Makes a difference in an immigrating professional’s life
- Helps immigrating professionals find employment
- Helps me feel like a part of the larger community
What Mentees Said
We asked mentees what they felt were the benefits of the online mentoring program and the top 4 answers were:
- Benefits all immigrating professionals
- Helps me develop labour market tools (resumes, cover letters, interview preparation)
- Helps me find employment faster
- Helps me increase my confidence to enter the labour market
We are very thankful to have such a wonderful pool of volunteer mentors who go the extra mile to help their mentees as well as committed program participants who make the most out of this valuable experience. More results from the assessment will be available on our website shortly.
Every individual experience in immigration and job seeking is different and with its own challenges, which is why, creating your personalized job search strategy is very important. If you have been approved for immigration, our Employment Specialists at Canada InfoNet can help you develop that strategy even before you come to Canada.