Laila Al Qadi, an expert in mentoring, will teach the course online on Saturdays, June 10 and 17
By Beba ARLANZON
Throughout our lives, we all find ourselves at crossroads. When the decision concerns our personal life, we usually consult family and friends, but when it is of a professional nature, it is important to have people who know our sector well and help us analyze the strengths and weaknesses of our project. These people are the mentors: experts with a professional profile similar to ours, who have extensive work experience and who, therefore, can advise and guide us. The objective of this workshop is to train future mentors by providing them with the necessary skills to effectively accompany their mentees and maximize the chances that they will achieve the goals they have set. The first edition of the workshop was given in January and six CENL members obtained their diploma. To learn more about this initiative, we interviewed Lucía Peralta, head of the Training Commission.
Question: CENL offers two different accompaniment programs: buddy and mentoring. What is the mentoring program and how is it different from the buddy program?
Answer: The buddy program is intended for regular or associate members who have recently moved to the Netherlands for any reason: work, studies, gap year… They are put in contact with other partners who They can help with practical issues, eg. how to register at the town hall, how the health system works, how to open a bank account… On the other hand, the mentoring program focuses on the professional career: analyzing what steps can be taken in the research itself, weighing the next step from the academic world to the company, consider other jobs or work areas… It is a personalized program in which we study each case and look for the most suitable mentor. It consists of three phases:
- Form pairs, that is, put a mentee in contact with a mentor. This relationship will have a duration of six months that can be extended, if both agree.
- Follow up. Two will be carried out: one after two months and another after six, when the “contract” ends.
- Conclusion. After six months, they will talk to both to see if they want to extend the relationship or prefer to end it.
At any time both the mentor and the mentee can contact the commission of the mentoring program. In addition, it is important to point out that the mentors are members of CENL and that they receive specific training to be able to carry out this task. The first promotion finished their training in January and their teacher has been Laila Al Qadi, a real luxury.
What kind of support will mentees find and what will they not?
We hope to provide guidance that enables professional development. On the one hand, we have the partners who have recently arrived in the Netherlands and who need information on the labor market. On the other hand, there are the partners who are considering a professional change and who want to know what options and opportunities exist. For example, PhD students often have questions in their final year and experienced scientists (in academia or industry) can be of great help by sharing their experiences. Regarding what they are not going to find, the mentors are guides, but they do not assume responsibilities that do not correspond to them.
How did you get the idea of contacting Laila al Qadi to train CENL members as mentors?
CENL and Laila met during the REBECA program, a mentoring program organized by FECYT.
What results were obtained in the first training course?
Very satisfactory. Ten partners participated and they are all very happy. Six have already obtained their certificate and the other four, who could not finish for various reasons, are re-enrolled in the June workshops. In addition to these mentors, we have others in our database and those who finish the training in June will join them.
What does a CENL member have to do to get in touch with a mentor? Can you choose a mentor or is one assigned to you?
Our website has a specific page for the mentoring program. There is a form on it. In the first box you choose if you are looking for a mentor or if you want to be a mentor. The entire form is filled out and in the last section the reasons for the request are explained (eg I need guidance regarding X or I would like to be a mentor and I think I can contribute Y). This information allows us to form pairs taking into account the interests of each one, but if you already have a mentor in mind, you can also indicate it.
Is the program free?
Yes, both the mentoring program and the training. As they are designed for CENL members, just register and be up to date with the annual fee (€10).
The workshop will be held on Saturdays 10 and 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., by videoconference.
It is completely free for CENL members .
You still have time to participate. If you are interested, sign up athttps://forms.gle/CSvFkekHRXTKSjnVAor send an email to Lucía Peralta (firstname.lastname@example.org) and check that you have paid the CENL annual fee (10 euros).
Es licenciada en Filología y doctora en Traducción por la Universidad del País Vasco. Actualmente se encuentra en periodo de transición profesional orientada a la comunicación.