Joining the IT industry as a Chemistry graduate, I had no view of the opportunities available and no assessment of the scale of my own potential. In my personal experience of mentoring, it has been a vital development tool for gaining perspective of my potential.

 

Shaping careers through mentoring

In CGI, there are two types of mentoring: buddying and formal mentoring. Formal mentoring enables CGI to maximise potential of their members; showing their professionals how they can shape their careers, and by using internal role models, support them on that journey.

For me, the business has carefully looked at the things I would like to do with my career: what I enjoy in the workplace, what motivates me and what I am good at, and has matched me with a mentor with experience of a similar path and assigned me a formal mentor.

My mentor, Deborah, is someone that I can aspire to; she has shared her experiences and career journey, from a technical background into a leadership role. The visibility of Deborah’s career journey has given me a direction and highlighted tangible examples of the things I need to focus on to reach my long term goals. Her support and advice has been vital in shaping my career path. As a result of mentoring, I have now chosen my career path and I am now working towards a leadership role myself.

 

The benefits of a buddy system

In addition to formal mentoring, I am an active a member of our “Connections” Network. Connections is our member led, business focussed network, with support of executive sponsors and senior leaders of our business. Through Connections, I have found a fantastic buddy, Gemma.

She helps me with the day to day issues and I can relate to her, as she has recently navigated some of the same career crossroads I am facing. This style of mentoring is an optional addition to formal mentoring. It has allowed me to discuss and take advice on the actions and decisions I make in the immediate term, enabling me to work on the short term goals that will ultimately help me to model my future as well.

Without the combination of my career development plan, my mentors and my network at this early stage in my career, I would not have realised what I can achieve – for me as an individual and for CGI.

I believe mentoring is crucial both to individuals and to the company in developing the aspirations of its young professionals.

It both supports the individual in their aspirations, and supporting the ability for the organisation to fill the roles in the future. Without the combination of my career development plan, my mentors and my network at this early stage in my career, I would not have realised what I can achieve – for me as an individual and for CGI.

The experience I have had of mentoring has helped me to see the possibilities and the support will enable me to make the right choices to achieve my goal of leading my own Business Unit and mentoring others in the future.