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2019 Canterbury Tech Winter Mentor Programme wrap up

| Canterbury Tech

This winter Canterbury Tech introduced a mentoring programme as a way to increase the knowledge and skills of tech professionals in Canterbury. The programme ran from June to September 2019 and was fully enrolled at 18 mentors and 18 proteges.

The Canterbury Tech Winter Mentor programme gave an opportunity for people with tech experience to assist others looking to step-change their careers.
Canterbury Tech is a unique organisation in NZ and we have built an excellent reputation among tech businesses in Christchurch through meeting the needs of our industry at our yearly Tech Summit and monthly meetings. Canterbury Tech continues to grow every year and we identified a key need to provide more ways to support IT professional development. Mentoring was a natural fit for this.

And not wanting to reinvent the wheel, we started working with Roger Nesbitt in Wellington who was now in the 2nd year of running his successful Winter Mentor programme wintermentor.com. With Roger’s generous support, including coming down to lead our kick-off meeting in June, we completed our first full programme this year.

The Mentor Committee consisting of Ian Wells, Chris Saunders and Kay Johnson thanks all 36 participants for being brave enough to trial this new programme here in Christchurch. The response to the programme has been overwhelmingly positive, with many pairs continuing their mentoring even after the programme finished. We are also very proud of and NPS (Net Promoter Score) of 63! Keys to the programme’s success were a simple and effective matching system of mentors and proteges, optional guidance notes and clear fixed commitments (6 face to face sessions).

At the the wrapup meeting, we heard so many positive stories and unanticipated learnings, such as seeing the job situation as an Asian immigrant, gaining confidence to become a mentor oneself, and finding out we all carry so much knowledge about navigating our tech world, but had never had an avenue to pass it on before.

Here are some comments from participants:

It was fantastic to give back to someone and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process
Wanted to continue to grow and develop, expectations were massively exceeded!
I would totally recommend it to anyone next year and would also put my hand up for it again.
Have really valued having the opportunity to have the guidance I’ve had.
It was brilliant!
I think it was incredibly worthwhile. It was challenging and I learnt a lot. The experience of the mentors was very diverse.
I feel like both mentors and proteges get a lot of insight. It’s mutually beneficial, and seeing the positive change is rewarding.
I had a fantastic mentor who was frank and honest without being brutal. My mentor challenged my thinking and allowed me to feel comfortable to fail – I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t fail – I grew instead.
An all-round wonderful experience
I found it really valuable.

My mentor has exceeded my expectations.
Lacking support in my work life – my mentor has been fantastic about talking me through things and taking different approaches to look at things

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