The changing demographics of our society supports the need for more professionals to be trained and to become passionate about working with older adults. The mentorship program at Boston Bridge is an integral part of our mission. This important component enables emerging professionals in the field of aging to interact with, and be mentored by, established leaders in the field.
The mentoring relationship is based on mutual collaboration and commitment to the professional growth of both participants. While one participant may have more skills, experience, academic knowledge, and contacts than the other, we know that personal caregiving experience, and volunteer efforts, can provide a level of experience that is relevant and significant to the aging field. Therefore, we believe a good relationship allows for mutual respect and learning from each other. Such is the case with Boston Bridge mentors who, in their volunteer capacity, have exhibited abundant passion for the field of aging, and their interest in our emerging professionals. We so appreciate their commitment to Boston Bridge.
Mentors provide assistance with career growth at many stages: helping their mentee identify their specific area of interest, assisting with entrepreneurship or existing projects, identifying resources and career opportunities, introductions to their personal contacts, support when things are not going well, and a pat-on-the-back when they do go well.
Most leaders in society have had mentors that they credit as having been pivotal in their lives and their careers. Boston Bridge hopes that you will take advantage of this opportunity.
Mentorship at Boston Bridge
March at Boston Bridge means Mentor Madness! This is how it works:
- Take a look at our 2023 Mentor List. We have many wonderful mentors across a range of disciplines.
- See someone you feel could contribute to your interests or career goals? Email Boston Bridge at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name, or list of names in descending order, of mentors with whom you might like to connect.
- Barbara Friedman will do her best to make mentor matches and will send an e-introduction to you and your mentor with suggestions and contact information. Matches are made on a first-come first-served basis.
- Follow up with your mentor to arrange a meeting. We suggest in-person, but if that’s not possible virtual works too.
- After an initial meeting, you and your mentor can decide how to proceed. Perhaps the one informational interview was helpful or maybe you want to arrange recurring meetings. Sustaining a healthy mentoring relationship does require a commitment to ongoing interaction between the mentor and mentee, but the frequency and mode of contact is up to the participants.
A Boston Bridge Mentorship Success Story
Philippe Saad, Principal at DiMella Shaffer Architects, has been a loyal mentor for Boston Bridge since its inception in 2012, and a frequent speaker at our professional development meetings. His special interest is designing housing for older adults and he recently saw come to fruition his design for an LGBTQ housing facility in Boston.
In August, 2021 Philippe and Melissa Berlin were paired in the mentoring program. Due to COVID they met virtually and discussed their mutual interest in senior and multi-generational space, and Melissa’s special interest in urban space. Philippe connected her to a friend of his at Ryerson University in Toronto, and to other studios and courses on the topic.
In January, 2022 Melissa contacted Philippe again to share the news that she had a job at Age-Friendly Boston, and to open the door for future connection with him. In a twist of fate, Melissa’s boss knew Philippe and was thrilled that Melissa had a connection with him because the organization wanted to develop greater design expertise to give stronger input to the age-friendly perspective of city planning projects.
Now Philippe and Melissa will be meeting in a professional capacity as well as in a successful mentor-mentee relationship!
Articles and Testimonials on the Value of a Mentoring Relationship
- A blog by Guider highlights the benefits of mentoring in the workplace for the mentor, mentee and the organization.
- Most academic institutions have mentoring programs. Testimonials from Yale University’s mentoring program includes advice for mentees.
- Why is a mentor valuable? Read this article by Indeed
- Linkedin shares the value of, and the do’s and don’t’s of mentoring relationships.