Having a mentor is critical to your career success in a new country. Finding a perfect mentor is like finding needles in the ocean. If you are serious about building a successful career in Canada, having a mentor who can help guide you along the way will be extremely helpful.
Who is a mentor?
A mentor is your cheerleader, someone who has your best interest. Mentors are someone who can influence, provide guidance and direction to you. Mentors are often someone who is more experienced than you in the field of your interest. Mentorship can come in many shapes and forms, you might have a really good mentor who turns to be your best friend or a good friend who turns into your mentor!
Why you need a mentor as an international student
- Expand your network
As an international student, one thing that you do not have as compared to the local candidates is a professional network. Mentors can open up their network and help you build even more connections with people in your target area of interest.
- Break into an industry
You might not know a lot of people and are lacking the “insider” information! They can provide industry insights and real experience from having worked in a similar area. A mentor who is working in your area of interest or a company of your dreams can help provide guidance on how to prepare yourself to be a successful candidate.
- Professional development
A true mentor goes beyond guiding their mentee through career development but also in personal life as well. Mentors provide feedback & guidance, point you in the right direction when you might not see it yourself.
How can international students find a mentor?
Having someone as a mentor often comes from familiarity. It is someone that you are connected with professionally and you feel comfortable being around them and learning from them. Mentorship is a two-way street where not only that you will be learning from a mentor but the mentor will also be learning from you.
The best way to find a mentor is to put yourself out there and get to know people in the industry or your area of interest. Reach out to experienced professionals whose backgrounds interest you, schedule a coffee chat with them to introduce yourself and learn more about them.
- Join a mentorship program
There are plenty of mentorship programs both free and paid out there where you can sign up and receive a structured mentorship. Look into on-campus mentorship programs that your university offers.
- Community mentors
At Isempower, we have industry mentors who used to be international students themselves. They are here to provide mentorship, guidance, and advice to every student in our community. Join Isempower today to get the help that you need, free of charge.