The success of Hispanotech’s Mentorship Program really is fostered by the effort and teamwork of both mentors and mentees. We had the opportunity to interview a pair who has already had successful results during the 2017 Mentorship program.
Mentee: Jonathan Loza Ruiz
Q: What did you think of the program so far?
JL: My overall experience has been good, from the pre-start program to the presentation / start-up and the meetings I’ve had with Angie, my mentor. As you know I am enrolled in the category of Entrepreneurship and, although I know it is a new branch that is being explored this year and which may not yet have accumulated knowledge or best practices, it has helped me today in very specific points.
Q: Could you tell us more about these points of support?
JL: Of course! I have four very specific points to describe:
1. Set clear goals and steps to follow. Even before my first meeting with my mentor, I had only a set of ideas in my head, as well as some (disorderly) advances of what my project should be. However, it was at this meeting that we defined and set out on paper clear goals and steps to take. The goal now is to have a business plan and product / service attractive and ready to present to investors and potential customers towards the end of the program.
2. Understand that the Canadian market have some differences with the Latin American market. In my case, the project that I am looking to develop considers the expansion of a Mexican company to Toronto. My mentor’s Canadian experience helps me to better understand the Canadian market and therefore adapt the few or many features of my offer to the local consumer. The same applies to the way of doing business because of my short experience in the country (less than 3 years).
3. Possibility of connecting with professionals of interest, potential clients and other entrepreneurs. This is perhaps one of the most valuable benefits I can find myself and any other mentees of the program. Having the possibility, upon invitation or introduction of your mentor, to get up and be part of her network of contacts, I think it is most beneficial for one who as an immigrant in Canada is just beginning to develop. In my particular case, and although I may not always introduce myself to people from the sector that I will attack, it helps me a lot to connect and publicize my project, to perceive first-hand the reactions and to work on the feedback of what I can or I must improve before going on the market.
4. Motivation (Stay on track). As a common employee of 9-5pm, looking to develop a ¨side hustle¨, our meetings are of vital importance, to be able to count on the support of someone as positive and ¨forward looking¨ as my mentor. It is very easy to throw the towel from time to time when everyday life is complicated. Being in this program, has motivated and forced me to continue working on my project step by step towards the objectives defined at the beginning, and although sometimes I do not advance at the ideal speed, it keeps me on the road.
Mentor: Angelica Tellez
Q: What has been your experience in this mentoring round?
AT: This is my third year as a mentor and every year and every mentee is different. This year I have been mentoring an entrepreneur! In contrast to my previous experiences, this occasion has elevated the level of connection and complexity and commitment to my mentee.
Q: What have you learned from this mentoring experience?
AT: As I said, it is different and being an entrepreneur’s mentor always requires more attention and confidence in oneself. Curiously, you think you do not have the experience to support someone with this type of life project, however you realize that you actually know more than you imagine. All of our life lessons and past work are transferable and this has been my biggest lesson during this program.
Q: Do you think you teach more than you learn?
AT: Absolutely not! When there is a real commitment between mentor and mentee, learning and development is mutual. I have learned so much from myself as a person, as a professional and from our teamwork. I realize that when I give, I receive more and the satisfaction is much greater. I see that many of the things that I am learning as a mentor, I end up using with my professional team and that you really cannot afford not to take advantage of it. I have confirmed my ability to negotiate (time, visions), to show my empathy, to handle my stress, and my optimism.
Q: What would your advice be for new mentors and mentees?
AT: Do not waste this opportunity! The growth is enormous and the satisfaction of learning while helping, is priceless! And for the mentees, also do not miss this opportunity to be helped. Practice humility, altruism and tolerance; traits that are essential in any part of our life.