Pradeep Mathur migrated to Canada in 2008 from India having worked in the Middle East for many years.
Despite significant international banking experience, it took him 13 months to find a job in Canada. Briefly a mentee with The Mentoring Partnership through ACCES Employment, Mathur is now Senior Director, Enterprise Risk Management, at CIBC and a committed serial mentor. Here he shares his story and his motivation.
“Within two years of commencing my career at CIBC, I decided that it was time to start giving back to the community. So in 2011, I returned to The Mentoring Partnership as a mentor. Having experienced the challenges of finding a job in Canada, I understood what newcomers faced, and I wanted to use that knowledge to give back and support new immigrants.
“I call myself a serial mentor – in just over three years I mentored ten mentees, and I am currently with my twelfth match. Mentoring and helping others gives me a sense of satisfaction. I truly feel the pain of the other side. My personal experience as an immigrant is really what has made me so passionate about being a mentor.
“Now that I have completed over ten partnerships, I am a little more organized and able to better support my mentees. I also have developed a lot more connections that I can draw upon to help my new mentees. Particularly within CIBC, I am now comfortable reaching out to an HR contact for a mock behavioral interview, and I know which of my colleagues within the bank would be happy to meet with and guide my mentees. In fact, I have also reached out to my first few mentees, who are all well settled in their jobs, to help my new mentee in building more connections.
“For me, being a mentor is a passion but it is also something that I benefit and learn from. While many of my mentees are South Asian like me, as a mentor I now have a better appreciation of different cultures and have broadened my perspective. Despite now being busier at work, it’s not something I plan on stopping.
Pradeep’s passion for mentoring has extended beyond newcomers. Two years ago, he found himself curious about local Canadians and started mentoring aboriginal students looking for career guidance under Rivers to Success: Mentoring Indigenous Youth, one of Indspire’s program offerings.
His networking tip for mentees:
• Have a networking plan and attend networking events.
• Be sure to ask every connection you make if they are able to connect you to someone else in their network.
Tip for mentors on helping them network their mentees:
• Reach out to colleagues in your organization you know are supportive.
• Help your mentee develop their networking skills and plan.