Confucius once said, "If three people are walking together, one of them is bound to be good enough to be my teacher." It’s a motto I have been living by since my early childhood. As a result, my decision to engage in the CPHR Alberta Mentorship Program came naturally. That was where my mentorship story started.
I had seven years of HR experience as a learning and development specialist in Asia before moving to Canada. As I was planning to launch my career in Alberta, I recognized the importance of joining a professional association to ground myself in the local workforce. I became an Associate Member of CPHR Alberta in 2022 and signed up for the mentorship program once it became available. Having worked in the learning and development field for years, I was acutely aware of the great benefits a good mentorship program could bring the participants in individual development.
Overall, it was a fun-filled learning experience. I had the pleasure of being paired with Melissa as my mentor. Melissa is not only a seasoned HR professional but also a genuinely wonderful person. Both of us were venturing into this mentorship program for the first time, so there was this shared excitement about the journey ahead. In the kick-off meeting, we decided to meet virtually for an hour every other week and narrowed our focus of discussion to diving into HR knowledge, honing skills, and studying HR cases. Occasionally, we would include emerging topics, such as brushing up interview skills, as I started looking for jobs. The combination of flexibility and strong commitment from both parties helped make the whole experience dynamic and enjoyable.
One valuable insight from the CPHR Alberta Mentorship support sessions is that protégés should take the lead driving the mentorship process. This advice really resonated with me. I took it to heart and put it into practice throughout the program. On the one hand, I prioritized giving our mentoring sessions a clear structure by sharing discussion topics in advance and following up with meeting summaries. On the other hand, Melissa consistently amazed me with her approach to tackling HR challenges – always combining reasoning and empathy. By the end of the program, I found that my understanding of the Canadian workplace's HR landscape had expanded, and my interview skills had significantly improved. Yet, beyond all the learning, one of the greatest joys was developing a connection with my mentor, Melissa.
Building upon the foundation of my initial success with the mentorship program, I’ve enrolled in the second half-year with a new mentor named Tracy, who is also an exceptional HR professional. In addition, I am pleased to see many positive changes implemented by the mentorship committee during this intake. I’m grateful for the hard work of the mentorship committee, mentors and fellow protégés. There is a great energy flow here. If you are looking to give, take or both in terms of career advancement, dive into the next mentorship in-take. In the words of Master Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
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