Insights into the e-Mentoring Pilot
In October 2020 we launched our newly developed Aiducation e-Mentoring Program with 12 motivated Mentees from Kenya and the Philippines and 12 international Mentors. The Program is a fun, 1 on 1, learning experience, where ambitious Aiducation students connect – digitally – with experienced professionals to have an intellectual dialogue on regular basis. The semi-structured program lasts for 12 months. To ensure a successful collaboration, each pair are expected to have a minimum of 16 meetings; with a duration of 60-90 minutes per session. One of the pairs who are joining the Program is Salim from Kenya and Marc-Philippe from Switzerland. Read below about their e-Mentoring experience.
Salim’s Reflections on the e-Mentoring Program (Mentee)
Ever heard of the Mahatma-Mandela duo? Here’s what, this wasn’t an ordinary duo. It’s among the most famous mentor-protégé relationships. Yeah, I know, the two never met, blah blah blah. But my fellow historians know well how Gandhi influenced Mandela in his political life and peaceful lifestyle. Mandela was greatly influenced by Gandhi’s writings and all, so, mentorship stands.
I wasn’t a great fan of mentorship programs to begin with, but now, as we say, people change, stuff changes. Time’s the best influencer, they say. Am not giving time any credit for today. The only one befitted for the credit is my guy, MARC PHILIPPE FREY. My one and only mentor. Am really honored to be his protégé and would proudly talk about him no matter where I am.
I would like to say that the liking I developed for him is mainly because of belonging to the same age bracket but no, that’s not the case. The guy’s just cool and an easy-to-go-to kind of a man. I mean, he just makes my experience in mentorship program a walk in the park.
As I mentioned earlier, I was never into mentoring and all. The first time I heard of the program I was kind of pissed and all-drained. I mean, why should I do something I hate with my guts? But then, trying never killed a man. So, bring it on.
Guess what, I realized what a fool I’d been all along. That too on my first interaction with my mentor. I couldn’t bring myself to have a decent conversation with the guy. I was like, totally frozen, nothing to say, brain on vacation. In short, all my ‘confidence’ down the gutter. I wasn’t accustomed to face-to-face conversations with strangers and I never knew that. Anyway, am now the guy, no matter who my audience is going to be, I won’t shun anymore, I will address them, with all due respect. I could be the next Barack.
I get to learn a lot while in the program, with an understanding mentor as my brother Marc, its gains all the way. #GAINWITHMARC. From trivials like personal etiquettes to major life changing attributes life time management and proper scheduling, am learning and always will. Having a mentor who puts your schedule into consideration is just wow. Happy go lucky.
For the phenomenal advantage of the decade, in a country where Whatsapp is the most common way to video call, when was I ever going to start having Skype conversations? E-mentoring is just something else. This is not something am taking lightly. My friends even wonder what Skype is doing in my laptop, but I know, don’t I? Am the goat among the sheep, no pun intended.
If I ever grow up to achieve Khulu Mandela’s feats, now you all know who Mahatma of our time is going to be.
Salim Khamis, AiduTalent-Kenya & Mentee
Marc Philippe’s Reflections on the e-Mentoring Program (Mentor)
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it countless difficulties, it has forced many organizations to embrace and leverage the strengths of technology. A great example of this is Aiducation’s e-Mentorship program. In a time where in-person workshops and meetings are not possible, the e-Mentorship program offers a great solution that enables both the mentees, and mentors, to take advantage of technology. Despite the circumstances, the online sessions allow the mentors to pass on invaluable information and knowledge to their mentees, thereby hopefully shaping the mentees personal and professional development.
The team at Aiducation (Maya, Mohamed and Patricia) has done a great job in setting up the curriculum, finding well-fitting mentor/mentee pairs and providing a library of information that the mentors can rely upon. More importantly, through feedback sessions, they are adamant on continuously improving the experience for everyone involved. The program is a great blueprint for a scalable solution that enables mentors to share their experience and knowledge with intelligent and eager individuals who are willing to learn. I strongly hope that Aiducation will be able to extend the scope and size of the project in the future, benefiting a greater number of mentees, and mentors, alike.
Much like Salim, I was initially also hesitant to join the mentorship program. Given that I am still in the process of finishing my own education, I was not entirely sure how much value I would have as a mentor. However, conducting the sessions and reading the feedback has showed me that the initial concerns were unfounded. The fact that Salim and I are relatively close age-wise has allowed us to communicate effectively and openly. As I have recently gone through some of the topics that we discuss in our meetings, I can rely on my own personal experiences to help guide Salim through the material that he wants to cover and towards achieving his goals.
It is also great to see the personal growth on his part, from a quiet, reserved and short first session to the engaging and productive meetings we have now. He is a dedicated and intelligent individual that takes the material we discuss seriously, proactively looks to schedule sessions and take advantage of the program to continue to develop as an individual and professional.
Although the program is first and foremost aimed at the mentees, it is also a great experience and learning opportunity for the mentors themselves. As a mentor, you have the chance to use your previous experiences and knowledge in a very impactful way, passing it on to individuals who might not have access to such information. By preparing the sessions, and reading the information provided by Aiducation, I have been able to reflect about my own development, while implementing some of these changes to my life. As such, it is beneficial to everyone involved. Most importantly, however, it is fantastic to see the impact that I can have on a young, talented and driven individual like Salim, and would recommend it to anybody that has the opportunity.
Marc-Philippe Frey, Mentor