Mentorship can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth, yet it is challenging to find the right mentor or understand how to develop an effective mentorship relationship.
To shed light on the transformative power of mentorship, the Mentorship Subcommittee at YWLC recently hosted an intimate conversation with two inspiring pairs of mentors and mentees: Yong Hsin Yue, Managing Director at Kuok Singapore Limited, and Lin Li, Senior Analyst at Capitaland Investment; and Janice Ang, Senior Executive Coach at IJ Martin & Co Ltd, and Lim Jie Ai, Strategic Projects Manager at Dole Sunshine Company.
In an engaging interview hosted at Bloomberg’s office, we explored their motivations for becoming mentors, the mindset necessary for a successful mentorship, and the myriad benefits of joining a mentorship program. Their stories and experiences offer a unique and valuable perspective on how mentorship can positively impact personal and professional growth, making it an invaluable tool in one's life.
What are some of your motivations for being a mentor?
Hsin Yue: I truly believe that I wouldn't be where I am today without the help and support of others. During the early stages of my career, I was fortunate enough to be in a nurturing environment where I had people guiding me along the way. This experience instilled in me a strong desire to pay it forward and support other women who may be facing similar challenges in their professional lives.
Janice: As an executive coach, I love helping people see themselves in a new light and bridging the gap between how others see them and how they see themselves. With mentoring, I get to offer guidance that extends beyond the business world and share some of my personal advice with my mentee. It's incredibly rewarding to see them grow and develop into their best selves.
Why did you pursue a mentorship programme as a mentee?
Jie Ai: For me, mentorship feels like you are standing on the shoulders of giants. Mentors have been there, done that, and can offer insights and knowledge that can save you a lot of time and effort. They offer a shortcut to success that you might not have discovered on your own.
Lin: As a woman in a male-dominated field, I was struggling to figure out how to achieve my goals and move forward. I was looking for someone I could look up to and draw inspiration from, and who had navigated similar circumstances to achieve success in our shared context.
What sort of mindset do you think would best facilitate the development of a mentorship relationship?
Janice: If you're looking for a quick fix, mentorship may not be the best route to take. It's important to come in with a mindset of personal growth and development, to truly benefit from the guidance and support that a mentor can offer.
Jie Ai: For me, being part of a community that offers networking opportunities and inspires me is really important. It's a great feeling to know that there are people out there who share similar experiences and aspirations, and who I can turn to for support and advice. It's also a fantastic way to expand my professional network and discover new opportunities.
Lin: In my opinion, being open, honest, and vulnerable is crucial to building trust between a mentor and mentee. In a mentor-mentee relationship, accountability can take on different forms. Some pairs may have a more formal approach to tracking progress, but regardless of the structure, as a mentee, it's important to take ownership of your own learning and take action on the feedback provided by your mentor.
As a mentor, being adaptable to your mentee's needs is key. Starting with a more structured approach can provide a solid foundation for the relationship, but as the mentee becomes more comfortable, it's important to transition towards more open-ended conversations that allow for deeper exploration and growth.
Why should you join the YWLC Mentorship Programme?
Lin: Are you feeling a bit lost on how to achieve a certain goal in a specific timeframe? Maybe you could use some support to help you along the way? Whether you're looking for the guidance of a single mentor or the collective support of a community of like-minded women, YWLC’s mentorship program is a great option. It's a space where you can feel comfortable sharing ideas, concerns, and successes.
Hsin Yue: When it comes to mentorship, the rewards are numerous and can have long-lasting effects on your professional trajectory. Of course, there's the knowledge and skills you'll pick up from your mentor, but the benefits don't stop there. Through mentorship, you'll also have the chance to build valuable relationships that could have a positive impact on your career in the years to come. In other words, the connections you make through mentorship can be just as valuable as the guidance you receive.
Jie Ai: When it comes to living a fulfilling life, there are a few key components that are important to focus on. These include finding meaningful work, building strong relationships, having diverse experiences, and continually working on personal growth. The YWLC mentorship program is designed to help you achieve all of these in one place, giving you the support and guidance you need to create a life that feels truly fulfilling.
In conclusion, mentorship can be an immensely transformative experience that benefits both mentors and mentees. Whether it is gaining valuable insights, expanding one's network, or achieving personal and professional goals, the advantages of mentorship are vast. Of course, it requires an open mindset, vulnerability, and a willingness to learn. However, the rewards are undoubtedly worth the effort.
If you're looking to experience the transformative power of mentorship for yourself, the YWLC Mentorship Programme 2023/24 is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis. Do not miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with others. Apply now at bit.ly/ywlcmentorship2023application before the deadline on May 31st.
Artwork: Chua Khai Shing
Author: Ashley Tan