We’ve been looking into where mentorship is headed in the coming years and have identified three trends: Intergenerational Mentorship (or ‘Reverse Mentoring’), Inclusive Mentorship, and Online Mentorship.

Trend 1: Intergenerational Mentorship (or ‘Reverse Mentoring’)

Intergenerational mentorship is when a younger person mentors an older person to offer a fresh perspective,  help them enhance skills, and build new ideas. The older person benefits from being in the role of the student. These relationships are often reciprocal as the younger generation can access senior leadership and build communication and leadership skills. 

Several large companies offer intergenerational mentorship programs. Older workers say it keeps them relevant and inspires them. 

Technology, social media, and business approaches are areas where the younger generation can inspire the older generation. 

Diversity and inclusion have also boosted the trend. The younger generation becomes racial justice educators to their older peers.

Some examples we found in our research:

  • A Nigerian woman in public relations held a Reverse Mentoring Workshop for senior public relations and communications professionals. This two-day workshop brought together 40 skilled female professionals from Indonesia, Namibia, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, England, the United States, and Nigeria. Mid-level yet high-ranking young people presented professional insights on brand building, trend identification, team management, and tech solutions in business communications. Click here to find out more. 
  • In 2018, a University of Alberta Business student named Christina Luo reverse mentored an Alberta Treasury Bank executive named Lorne Rubis. Both benefited from the experience. Rubis said that Luo taught him to think outside the box and brought new ideas and approaches. You can read an article about their relationship here.

At interVivos, we believe the best mentorship relationships are when both parties gain something from it. Our programs provide space for reciprocal relationships between mentors and protégés. Check out a recent blog where a match talks about their reciprocal relationship. 

In the coming months, interVivos will look closely at creating programs focused exclusively on creating stronger reciprocal relationships.

Trend 2: Inclusive Mentorship

Many mentorship programs recognize the need and importance of amplifying diverse voices and ensuring the success of all people regardless of their race, culture, ability, religion and sexual, or gender, orientation.

Diversity allows communities to be more creative, stronger, and unified. Diverse mentorship is important because BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, and citizens with disabilities are generally underrepresented in leadership positions. 

Studies have shown that diverse and inclusive workplaces are more creative, stronger, and more profitable. Diverse teams are less biased in decision-making and can solve problems more effectively than less diverse teams. 

Being intentional about diversity, inclusion, and accessibility creates more opportunities for continued engagement and empowers a new generation of diverse leaders.

For example, Indigenous mentorship is vital in the professional development and retention of Indigenous people in health sciences and other major sectors. Gender-inclusive mentorship supports professional growth and interests and fosters success in different fields.

Some local mentorship programs include diversity and inclusion as a central aspect of their program planning:

The interVivos team is passionate about showcasing diverse mentors. Click here to read about why this is important to us.

Trend 3: Online Mentorship

interVivos, like many programs in Canada, has been embracing online or virtual mentorship programs and encouraging our matches to develop relationships this way. This move to virtual programs has brought challenges, successes, and new opportunities for mentoring. Check out this blog post about how interVivos launched a mentorship program during a pandemic.

Many mentorship programs in Edmonton, like us, have moved online. These are Ace Club (or Advertising Club) of Edmonton, Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC), MentorUp Alberta, and International Association of Business Communicators. Many plan to keep virtual components after the pandemic as this platform has many benefits.

Participants have said that using virtual platforms has allowed them to meet with their match more frequently and with greater ease. 

Virtual mentorship also has the potential to reduce barriers. For instance, you don’t have to pay for parking or travel on transit to meet up. Instead, you can do it from the safety and comfort of your own home. 

Given the nature of the pandemic, the next mentorship program we offer might be launched online. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) so you don’t miss out on your chance to register as a protégé. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please drop us an email: connect@intervivos.ca

Mentorship and sponsorship are key drivers of success, yet women can have a harder time finding mentors and sponsors, especially ones with influence. The good news is that we can mentor other women at any stage in our careers, and it pays off when we do. Women who are mentored by women feel more supported and are often more satisfied with their career.

Use our tips to be the best mentor/protégé you can be, and remember, like all good relationships, mentorship is a two-way street.

1. Consider timing

Mentors: Find a woman to mentor—it’s never too early

No matter what stage you’re at in your career, you can mentor another woman. If you’re farther along in your career, pay it forward by investing in a woman just starting. And if you’re early in your career, find a woman who’s coming up behind you or a student who’s interested in your field. Don’t underestimate the value of your input—you may have just been through what she’s experiencing.

Protégés: Don’t ask, “Will you be my mentor?”

If you have to ask a woman to be your mentor, the answer is probably no. Mentorship relationships start with a mutual connection—and mentors often select protégés based on their performance and potential.2 So shift your thinking from “If I get a mentor, I’ll excel” to “If I excel, I will get a mentor.” Find a woman whose career path aligns with your goals and work hard to get noticed. For example, share your ideas for making a project she’s leading better or volunteer for an initiative that’s important to her.

2. Respect their energy

Mentors: Invest in your protégé’s success

Commit time and energy to developing your protégé. Make yourself available and take the time to understand her questions and give her thoughtful and thorough input. Ask your protégé for regular updates. The more you understand her progress—and what’s working and what’s not, the more effective you can be as a mentor. If she’s not using your time wisely, be clear about your expectations and set guidelines for your time together. You’ll both benefit from getting into a good rhythm

Protégés: Your mentor’s time is valuable—treat it that way

Show your mentor you value her time by using it wisely. Avoid meeting just to catch up or asking questions you can find answers to yourself. Instead, come to her with thoughtful questions and be ready to discuss real challenges you’re facing. Then listen carefully to her recommendations and report back on your progress. She’s more likely to continue to invest in you if you’re acting on her input—and she sees the impact she’s having on your career.

3. Embrace feedback

Mentors: Give open, honest input—even when it’s hard

Direct, actionable feedback is a gift, but women often receive less of it. Look for opportunities to give your protégé specific input for improving her performance and learning new skills. Whenever possible, share your input in the moment, when it’s most effective. If you hold back to protect your protégé’s feelings, you’re not helping her. Remember, your honest feedback will help her advance more quickly.

Protégés: view feedback as a gift

Women don’t always get the direct input they need to be their best selves because coworkers may be nervous about eliciting an emotional response.5 Make sure you don’t fall into this trap with your mentor. Solicit her feedback whenever you can by asking specific questions like, “How can I improve?” and “What am I not doing that I should be?” The more you ask for and accept her feedback, the faster you’ll learn—and odds are she’ll respect your openness and willingness to grow.

4. Personalize mentorship

Mentors: Don’t just mentor—sponsor!

The best mentors go beyond mentorship and advocate for their protégés. Start by understanding your protégé’s career goals, then think through her best path forward and how you can help. Endorse her on social media. Recommend her for a high-profile project. Introduce her to people in your network. Find ways to open doors for her and invest in her success.

Protégés: Build trust with your mentor

Over time mentors can develop into sponsors who use their status and clout to create opportunities and make connections for you. Before your mentor will sponsor you, she needs to trust that you are reliable and a bet worth making. To build trust, always follow through on what you say you’re going to do and always do your very best work. When you’re consistent over time, you build valuable trust with your mentor—and your coworkers.


This blog post was originally published by LeanIn.Org and can be found here: https://leanin.org/tips/mentorship. 

interVivos is thrilled to highlight a roster of amazing volunteer mentors for its Fall 2021 Mentorship Program.

We asked each of them to share one thing they’ve learned from one of their own mentors. Check out what they had to say in their own words.

“It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay not to have all the answers. Try and learn something new from each interaction you have. They may not all lead somewhere, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your time.” – Chelsey Quirk

“The power of mindfulness: that no matter how challenging and seemingly impossible your current situation is, there is always something to learn from, appreciate, and find happiness in. Joy and satisfaction are available to you at any time. All it takes is a shift in perspective.” – Christina Ignacio-Deines

“The power of authenticity.” – Christine Channer Auguste

“Spend time figuring out your values and beliefs that you are not willing to sacrifice. Set your goals based on those values and work on achieving them without sacrificing your values and beliefs. Even small steps towards should be celebrated. Be ok with taking a wrong turn too as long as you reflect and learn and grow from that experience. Just keep moving, you will get there at your own timelines. Don’t compare yourself to others, just be your best self.” – Darija Slokar-Zlatarevic

“The importance of surrounding yourself with good mentors.” – François Bourdeau

“To create situations where everyone benefits.” – Kevin Taft

“The importance of clearly communicated expectations when delegating and empowering staff.”
– Matt Schuurman

“That some of my strongest skills like creative thinking and verbal communication — which people call “soft skills” — get easily written off as unimportant, when in reality they’re tremendously valuable and not everyone has them.” – Puneeta McBryan

“You can have more than one mentor or coach for various stages of your life. Always remember the root of your why and stay genuine to who you are.” – ​​Renée Chan

“The importance of dialogue and face-to-face interactions within relationship building, stakeholder relations and in establishing a healthy team environment.” – Trent Daley

“It is not how smart you are, but it is how you are smart.” – Wing Chan

In fall 2020, interVivos launched its first mentorship program featuring volunteer mentors who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (BIPOC). 

With this mentorship program, interVivos aimed to amplify minority voices, as people of colour are dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles across Canada. 

“It is important to take proactive and purposeful action to ensure that different voices are heard, included, and supported across the spectrum of roles,” says Zohreh Saher, interVivos president. “If we fail to challenge the system, we perpetuate the norm, which means that we wait for change to catch up rather than embracing and meeting it.”

Representing various industries and professional backgrounds, mentors and protégés were matched for six months. After a lively round of virtual “speed-rotations ” on Zoom at the online launch party in November 2020, mentor Abby Aiyeleye and protégé Charmaine Lowe were matched for 6 months.

Charmaine sat down to interview her mentor Abby about why she wanted to participate in the BIPOC mentorship program and her thoughts on mentorship in general. 

Abby is a seasoned project manager, strategic planner, and entrepreneur. Originally from Nigeria, Abby has been in Canada for six years, with some years in between spent in London, England, where she attended Greenwich University to study Business Administration. She got her first taste of entrepreneurship selling stuff on eBay, followed by owning and operating a specialty lingerie business with her sister. Her most recent venture is the home design app Clavis Studio, which she co-founded with her husband. The business plan for Clavis Studio won “best pitch – new business” and “best immigrant project – general” from Business Link in 2020. 

In fall 2020, Abby received a message on LinkedIn from Zohreh Saher saying she thought Abby would be a great fit as a mentor for the BIPOC mentorship program and asked if she’d be interested in participating. “I was so flattered!” Abby jokes, continuing to add that she’s had mentors in the past who have helped her grow, so having the chance to give back, in the same way, made her jump at the opportunity. Before interVivos, Abby mentored over a dozen people, both men, and women, because Abby loves helping people “reach for the stars.”

Recounting the interVivos process of matching up mentors, which involves all mentors and protégés meeting for 6 minutes at a time for the speed rotations, Abby says she was first apprehensive of the set-up but ended up loving the format. “It felt like speed-dating,” she says with a laugh. “I thought I wouldn’t have anything to talk about, and I ended up talking to everyone!”

One of the biggest worries both Abby and Charmaine had about participating in the mentorship program was fit. Both worried about not having much to talk about but ended up having so many things in common, from living in London, UK, to their passion for women’s empowerment and wishing to see more women in leadership roles. 

Abby and Charmaine both agree the narrative lens in Canada is still very much white and male, which is why Abby especially wanted to be a part of the BIPOC mentorship program.

“I hope I can provide two lenses for you: one of growth, and one where you understand the perspective I bring being black, being African, being a woman, being an immigrant,” she says. 

Abby goes on to elaborate that we all have intersections that make us who we are, and making an effort to diversify our perspectives helps us connect more with other people: “In the long run, these things impact your intersectionality as well. There are so many things that make us up as people, and that’s exciting. It’s a great way to connect with other people.”

Abby has some very clear advice for people who are interested in participating in a mentorship program. 

“Make sure you have a clear goal in mind for what you want to get out of the mentorship program,” she says. “Help your mentor understand that goal. Then, don’t be afraid to ask for help or rely on someone else’s expertise. Finally, be open to whoever you are given as a mentor. You’d be surprised at what the person has to offer and at their connections.” 

Abby encourages anyone looking for professional guidance to “participate, participate, participate! The mentors for this program were so diverse; it’s awesome! I was so impressed. I would do this again.” 

Registration for the Fall 2021 mentorship program is now open for protégés. Sign up here: https://fall2021registration.eventbrite.ca/.

Are you interested in being a volunteer mentor for a future program? Email connect@intervivos.ca to find out more. 

The Fall 2021 Mentorship Program is sold out! Join our waitlist for future programs here.

Follow us on social media (FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing listso you don’t miss out on your next chance to become a protégé. 

interVivos is launching our Fall 2021 Mentorship Program on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Ambitious professionals from the Edmonton area are invited to take part in the ever-popular interVivos mentorship program. Sign up now!

Our board of directors is still concerned about everyone’s safety, so we will be launching virtually over Zoom. The program will take place from October 2021 to March 2022. Mentors and protégés are welcome to meet in person or virtually throughout the 6-month program for their match meetings. 

Fall is a time to start fresh. After everything we’ve been through this past year, this is an opportunity for you to build new and diverse connections in Edmonton. Become a protégé and connect with Edmonton’s best and brightest. As well, you’ll work on your professional goals and “level up” in your community. Find out more about our mentorship programs by visiting our mentorship page and get the answers to your burning questions.

Here’s what some recent interVivos participants said about their experience:

  • “I loved the opportunity to work through some of the professional roadblocks and barriers I had been experiencing and having the feedback and guidance of someone who had been through similar situations and could help me to navigate them. My mentor also provided me with tangible exercises that I could do to help me gain clarity about my professional aspirations and goals and practically talk through how I can achieve them (or take the first steps). My mentor also has a wealth of knowledge about their industry since they are in a field that I am personally interested in–they had great resources to link me to and networks to connect with. ”
  • “It felt like I could fit professional advancement into my already busy schedule with the flexibility of the program requirements. My mentor was so fantastic, and her success inspires me! Our relationship is a place of mutual learning and respect, and I am looking forward to fostering this connection. We worked through some complex challenges, and I feel like I made some significant progress.”
  • “I’ve been a part of many networking opportunities in the past years, wine and cheese, speed networking, etc., in both the capacity of protégé and mentor. I’ve seen some terrible things happen out of these events because of the power dynamics that are the foundation of networking sometimes. I entered interVivos with very low expectations, but I was so pleased with this program. You all have worked very hard, and it shows! The structured approach and all the thoughts and care you put in from the training to considerations about power, to social media promotion, to the little thank-you’s – it’s all very much appreciated. Thank you for having me–I’ve enjoyed my experience!”. 

The following are the confirmed volunteer mentors for the Fall 2021 mentorship program:

Protégés choose their fee to participate in the program. The fees collected from protégés are directly invested in our programs, events, and non-profit costs. We also provide free protégé spots to local nonprofits.

A reminder that you can register to be a protégé by visiting: https://fall2021registration.eventbrite.ca. Limited spots are available!

Find out more by visiting our FAQ page and getting the answers to your burning questions.

Fall 2021 Program Sponsors

Thank you to our Co-Presenting Sponsors: RSM Canada and Park Power.

Thank you to our program sponsors:

Thank you to our Program Sponsors: InciteVSM PhotoDowntown Business AssociationRapid Fire TheatreCanaJan inc.Token NaturalsFace Ginch Handmade Masks and Doughnut Party.



Be sure to check us out on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) to stay up to date on all things interVivos and find out more about our Fall 2021 mentors.   Feel free also to drop us a line at connect@intervivos.ca with any questions that you may have.

Brian Curry was an interVivos protége in the Summer 2020 mentorship program. Brian was matched with mentor Amarjeet Sohi.  Brian shared his mentorship journey for the readers of our blog. 

A friendly reminder that interVivos is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that does not endorse municipal election candidates.  

There is emerging evidence that access to mentors directly correlates with measures of success in an individual’s personal and professional life. While that research and academic discussion are necessary, take that all away and you are left with one powerful idea: sometimes it is nice to talk to someone that has been where you want to be. I found myself in that same situation in the summer of 2020 when I matched up with my interVivos mentor,  Amarjeet Sohi.

I think most Edmontonians know Amarjeet’s story by now, so you could understand my excitement when he was announced as one of the mentors for the Summer 2020 program. He was the reason I signed up for the program. While all of the mentors were amazing, I felt Amarjeet had the specific skill set that I was looking for at the time. A few days after the Zoom launch, I found out I was matched up with Amarjeet!

Amarjeet has the qualities that make a perfect mentor: fantastic listening skills, genuine care and consideration for your feelings, and experience that he draws on when you ask for advice. Another awesome quality is his memory. Every time we spoke, he would always ask about my family and remembered everyone’s names and what was going on in our pandemic-affected lives. It showed a level of active listening and engagement that not many people have.

Amarjeet and I met every three weeks during the 6-month program via Zoom. As you could imagine, Amarjeet had many things going on: working, teaching at MacEwan, and mulling a bid for Mayor. So, you can appreciate the type of person he is that he set aside the time to meet with me regularly. We had relatively informal conversations. I would talk about what was going on in my life, including serving on the Edmonton Safety and Well-being Task Force. He offers advice in such a way that does not give answers but forces you to reflect and come up with your solutions to problems. And I can’t forget the pep talks! As a Black man, I was having a rough year with the death of George Floyd and the BLM protests. When I was feeling down, Amarjeet was there encouraging me to keep on fighting.

The mentorship program was a success for me. I met a long-term mentor and friend, someone I can genuinely rely on. Amarjeet recently asked me to speak to his MacEwan class, Compassionate, Collaborative & Inclusive Leadership: Anti-Racism Capacity-Building, about my experiences with racism.

The program was terrific. The best mentorship relationships are when both parties can get something from it. I hope I have added something of value to Amarjeet’s life as much as he has added a great deal to mine. 

My advice to future protégés would be to do your research, have an idea of what you are looking for in a mentor, and be honest with each one during the launch. All the mentors in the program will be unique, and I trust you will be matched up with someone that will bring value to your life. And finally, never underestimate the power of mentors in your life. It can be a life-changing experience, just like it was for me.

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list, so you don’t miss out on your chance to register as a protégé. 

interVivos recognizes the importance of supporting one another in creating a sense of belonging for all—which is why we strive to create programs and events that can help build this sense in the Edmonton community. 

In Fall 2020, we launched our very first mentorship program to showcase Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) volunteer mentors. There are unique challenges and opportunities associated with being a BIPOC professional in Edmonton. One of our Fall 2020 Mentors, Keenan Pascal, recently shared about his own challenges in an Edmonton Journal article, “A lot of times you’re like the only Black guy in the room in a lot of these professional circles. It’s just (the) reality. In the beginning, you’re a little shyer, you’re a little, like, ‘Nobody looks like me,’ they don’t have the same background to connect. It kind of forced me to quickly evolve in terms of having to be more outgoing. I can’t sit in the back and be the quiet Black guy. You’ve got to put your hand up and get noticed.” 

interVivos endeavours to create a safe space for our participants to share these experiences. For our BIPOC program, we recognized that some of our mentors and protégés may wish to discuss the challenges of being BIPOC or may simply want to learn more about these experiences. We welcomed this critical dialogue and even created a unique BIPOC Resources List for our program participants to help them get more informed, find additional support, or connect with other community organizations engaging in these critical conversations. 

One volunteer mentor shared about the safe space that interVivos created: “Really impressed with how this process rolled out and the thought and intention behind it. It is great to see the board, already a very diverse group of young women, driven to take diversity and inclusion training to ensure the program addresses any potential power mishap. I’ve personally been in networking and mentorship events/programs where mentors grossly abused their position given the stage and power dynamics that were intentionally set up to be highly imbalanced. Not once did I feel uncomfortable, and I did feel everyone was valued and appreciated, whether they are mentors or protéges”.

At interVivos, we desire to put the utmost care and attention into our programs and events to empower the next generation of leaders. We continue to do this by engaging with the community, participating in training, and sharing our resources with Edmontonians like you.  If you have ideas for other resources to include or have something you’d like to teach us, please send an email to mentorship@intervivos.ca. We would love to connect with you! 

Are you interested in participating in a future mentorship program? Sign up for our mailing list and never miss an update! 

The COVID-19 virus caused everyone to change how they communicate with each other. For interVivos, it changed the way we “meet” as a board and how we run our programs, like modifying our in-person mentorship program into a virtual one

At the pandemic’s onset, interVivos evaluated if we could continue our programming through a public health emergency. We wanted to dialogue with the community-at-large in a safe and engaging way.

interVivos was fortunate enough to facilitate two mentorship program launches via Zoom in 2020. We were able to connect 23 protégés with 23 mentors in our community. In early 2021, we chatted with a Fall 2020 protégé and mentor to hear their thoughts about interVivos and the program launch.

Our protégé perspective comes from Bonnie Chiu. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 2019 with a Degree in Human Ecology and is currently working in healthcare philanthropy. She first heard about interVivos through our posts on LinkedIn and eventually decided to sign up as a protégé for the Fall 2020 Program— her very first experience with interVivos. “I wanted to expand my social and professional network. I find that those opportunities, especially now [due to the pandemic], can be more difficult to come by.” 

We asked her to share more about her experience with the mentorship program launch. “It was a very positive experience for me. I felt there was great communication from interVivos leading up to the event, on event day, and afterwards. It is tough to run a virtual event, but everything was well-planned and running very smoothly.  I enjoyed connecting with everyone— it was the most social interaction I’ve had in months beyond my usual circle.”

Bonnie loved that the event showcased the unique talents and people in Edmonton. “I walked away with a lot of great advice from the 13 mentors during the speed rotations. There were so many takeaways just in that one night!  I’m looking forward to staying involved with interVivos and whatever they plan in the future when they can run more events programs.”

Renée Williams, Vice President Customer Experience at the Fort Edmonton Management Company, was a first-time mentor for our Fall 2020 Program. She heard about interVivos through her friend, Mary Bailey of The Tomato, who was a Summer 2020 mentor. Renée decided to join as a mentor for our first program focused on highlighting Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (or BIPOC) volunteer mentors because she would have loved to have had a mentor who looked like her during her career journey. 

“I have been very successful in the communications and tourism industry, but I often feel like I did it on my own. As the only Black woman in a senior leadership position in the tourism industry across the province, I am a rarity in this field. Mentorship programs like these are important. I want my son to see himself in a career because representation is an opportunity that I did not have. I want to give him every opportunity to succeed, and these programs can help make that happen for people like him.” 

We spoke to Renée about her first-time experience with interVivos. “The launch was very well thought out and thorough. Everything was organized and easy to understand. I was impressed with the mentors at interVivos. Many of my former colleagues have been involved with interVivos in the past. There were also many mentors participating in the program that I was interested in connecting with in the future!” 

Renée was also impressed with the talent she saw in the protégé pool at the event. “There were so many protégés with diverse interests like government, politics, or simply looking to make a career shift. I learned little nuggets from each person I met. The world will be set up for great success if mentors and protégés are interested in making things better by reaching out, connecting, and asking questions.” 

Thank you to all of the fantastic mentors and protégés who have been involved with interVivos for the past 15 years! We are delighted to share the many unique talents and perspectives that our community has to offer. 

interVivos is always looking for protégés and mentors from all backgrounds for our future programs. You can follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list, so you don’t miss out on your opportunity to get more involved with our organization.

Nicole Rodriguez, a University of Alberta student, has participated as a protégé with interVivos for three programs, including the recent Fall 2020 Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) mentor-focused program. We had a virtual chat with Nicole to find out why she keeps on coming back and why other post-secondary students should also take a chance and sign up for a future program. 

Nicole’s highlight of being an interVivos protégé :

When I first registered as a protégé, I had just graduated with my undergraduate degree. I didn’t know what to do next with my education. I felt terrified because I thought that I was falling behind. 

However, meeting incredible mentors, all with diverse sets of experiences and past challenges, changed how I saw progress and my career. And so, to answer your question, I would say the highlight of being a protégé was learning about the career journeys of all of my mentors. They taught me that it is okay to get stuck, to learn to be comfortable with uncertainty and to pause and ask ourselves what the next step that I can take is. I learned from my interVivos mentors that careers are not linear, and just because you decide to take a path does not mean you will be forced to stay there forever. Our values and passions evolve, which might mean that our minds and directions will change, and that’s okay!

She shared how her experience with interVivos helped her grow: 

I am so thankful for interVivos because I have met amazing mentors who listen to understand and support the stage I am in. Dr. Bonnieca Islam, my first ever interVivos mentor, taught me the importance of the decision-making process. That is, sometimes what is easy is not always what is best. My next mentor, Beata Montgomery, taught me that creativity thrives in the space of non-judgment and that vulnerability is a strength. Mike Zouhri, my current mentor, is challenging me to test my ideas and consider various perspectives to develop innovative solutions. 

I owe a lot of my growth to my interVivos mentors. And to think that these are brilliant individuals who are freely giving their time without conditions inspires me to do my best and contribute my skills to our community! I hope there is a phrase higher than “thank you” for expressing how incredibly grateful I am for them.

Why she thinks post-secondary students should sign up as interVivos protégés:

By matching protégés with mentors, the interVivos mentorship program helps students explore potential career options and learn how to apply their education, training, and experiences. The program also helps them expand their network and get to know other professionals in their field of interest. By talking to mentors,  students can increase their confidence in their chosen topics, from problem-solving, communication skills, networking, and leadership skills.

What motivates her to keep on signing up as an interVivos protégé:

There is nothing more exciting than the idea that I will meet another brilliant mentor who is excited to walk with me in exploring ideas and career-related challenges! I feel that it is an honour to have this opportunity, and I would not miss it for the world! Again, the fact that these are volunteer mentors already tells so much about how passionate they are about helping others succeed. 

I believe we are all lifelong learners and that the best way to learn is through engaging and forming community with others, and interVivos is a fantastic platform for that!

We also talked about her current involvement with our BIPOC mentor focused program:

We must celebrate our amazing BIPOC mentors in Edmonton, people who have different identities, experiences and come from diverse backgrounds. Having BIPOC mentors and celebrating their contributions to our community makes me feel a person of colour. I am so grateful to my current mentor, Mike Zouhri. My mentorship feels very collaborative, and I always learn something new every meeting! I am thankful my current mentor listens, adds to, and even challenges my ideas. I feel that I am still in an open and safe space of non-judgment. 

Nicole also shared her best tips for students to benefit from the interVivos mentorship program:

  • Take time also to get to know your mentors. 
  • Do not be afraid to share your “stuck points” and challenges you are currently facing. 
  • Be prepared during mentorship meetings, give them specific updates, and continuously show appreciation! 

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter) or join our mailing list so you don’t miss out on your chance to register as a protégé.    

At interVivos, our mission is to cultivate leadership and impact our community through dialogue, engagement, mentorship programs, and events. Community partnerships play a crucial role in making this happen. 

Last year, Park Power joined interVivos as the Presenting Sponsor for our Fall 2020 Mentorship Program. They are a friendly local business that provides electricity, natural gas, and internet services to Albertans and that also believes in building our community through community involvement.      

Before our Fall Program Launch, we spoke with the owner and founder of Park Power, Kris Kasawski, to learn more about him. 

Kris is a family man, entrepreneur, and community builder. He first got involved with interVivos as a mentor in the Spring 2016 Mentorship Program. We asked him to share more about his experience as one of our mentors. “I enjoyed the speed rotation format. It was a fun experience because it forced you to dig into it with the protégé and get a rank of each other.”

He sees the importance of mentors. “[Mentors] can help you evaluate what you’re doing. They can share their successes, mistakes, how they’ve grown, and pass the knowledge onto their protégés. Life is a long game. Protégés can get advice from those who have lived through longer.”

For our Fall 2020 Program, we chose to showcase Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (or BIPOC) mentors and share the impressive work they do right here in Edmonton. 

Kris was thrilled to help highlight these diverse leaders in the Edmonton community. He understands the importance of connecting mentors and protégés with different backgrounds. “Everyone has their own implicit biases and environments. These matches can help challenge these barriers and biases. We can build more community capacity and increase inclusiveness.”  

Kris is a loyal supporter of interVivos ever since getting involved as a mentor. He has attended many of our community engagement events and has even spoken at some of our events, including this Program Launch! 

We are so grateful that he believes in the work of interVivos. Thank you, Kris Kasawski and Park Power, for your sponsorship of our Fall 2020 Mentorship Program. We look forward to many more opportunities to partner with community leaders like you to impact the city of Edmonton! 

To find out about how you can support us, please email connect@intervivos.ca.