Skill-based peer-to-peer mentorship

Back to Blogs By Nanette van Doorn and Denisa Orlandea Posted: June 22, 2018

We have just wrapped up our inaugural skills-based mentorship program for the IABC/BC Chapter. The program was designed based on the notion that mentorship ( ) is always a two-way street. We all have things to learn, whether we are brand new to the industry or have decades of experience under our belt. We all bring something to the table – and what better way to foster new connections within our community than sharing our knowledge with one another.

The program

We received 13 applicants, and they were each paired up with a partner for mentorship, as well as being partnered with a mentor to provide them with mentorship. This way, each participant had the opportunity to share their expertise as well as gain new insights and knowledge from a fellow professional.

Sheldon McRae

We caught up with one of our participants Sheldon McRae, who is an Indigenous communicator, corporate content specialist and creative and digital content developer, to share his experience with the program. Here is what he had to say:


What value did this skills-based mentorship program bring you?

Earlier this year, an influential business person and thought-leader inspired me with the motto: Information wants to be free. I see the value of this IABC skills-based mentorship as a way of carrying that motto forward in my career development.


How did you find the format (receiving mentorship for one skill or area of work while providing mentorship in another)?

In my mind, the program was delivered in an excellent format for knowledge to be shared organically through creating personal connections. I believe that when people connect it empowers each person in the program because they are driving their own learning outcomes and are inspired to succeed.

Providing mentorship on cultural sensitivity to another participant was an outstanding way for both of us to contribute to reconciliation in action! And knowing the benefits will affect others is something to always reflect upon.

Receiving mentorship on digital strategy from an expert has become invaluable to me. My mentor identified my needs and focused me in areas where I could gain a birds-eye view, which helped me see new areas of interest. I now plan to create my first digital piece, and hope to connect with a potential mentor to continue my learning in digital!


Would you recommend participation in this program to other communications professionals? Why? 

A solid yes!  IABC delivered above and beyond and has inspired me to be involved with the association as much as possible. I became a new IABC/BC member in hopes of being accepted into this program; it sure paid off and I believe it will continue to do just that!

Next year

We’ve received lots of great feedback on this pilot format and we look forward to bringing the Mentorship program back for you again next year – this time even bigger and better.

Keep your eyes on our social channels and don’t miss your opportunity to get involved!

Nanette van Doorn, Program Manager – Mentorship, Career Development
Denisa Orlandea, Director, Career Development

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