How interVivos launched a mentorship program during a pandemic

interVivos has connected over 600 high-calibre mentors and ambitious protégés in the Edmonton area through our mentorship program. The program is offered twice per year and typically launches with an in-person event. When COVID-19 hit in March, we knew it was impossible to launch the summer 2020 program the traditional way. We also knew there was still an appetite among Edmontonians to work on their professional goals despite the pandemic.

interVivos wants to continue to inspire and engage Edmontonians during this disconnected time. That is why the Board came together and worked quickly to modify the program. We reduced the number of participants and decided to deliver the launch over Zoom. 

The virtual launch event emulated the elements of an in-person interVivos mentorship launch experience. Mentors and protégés were prompted to get to know one another on a deeper level through group engagement activities, one-on-one rotations, and opportunities for post-event networking.  Over 100 breakout rooms were created during the event to allow mentors and protégés to meet one-on-one and determine who they want to be matched with during the program. There was even a 50/50 raffle and group trivia challenge.

Emcee Jeff Samsonow says, “the interVivos board really put something great together.” Former interVivos protégé, Soni Dasmohapatra, returned as a mentor in the summer 2020 program and was also joined by 2 repeat protégés.  

In the background, interVivos volunteers pulled out all the stops to make the event a success. This included providing support to anyone who ran into technical difficulties. Mentor Terry Tobin says, “if there were any minor apprehensions, they were blown away. We were so well supported.”  Even Peg, the interVivos mascot, supported the launch by moderating the chat box. 

A virtual mentorship launch was a first for interVivos and it was a huge success. The next mentorship program, launching in November 2020, will feature exclusively BIPOC mentors. interVivos invites protégés from all backgrounds to register. 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. If you are interested in being a mentor with interVivos for this program, please email us.