:: When I proposed launching a WIC Mentorship Program in 2014, none of us knew where it would lead. WIC has an incredibly vibrant community, with a culture of supporting one another’s success; a mentorship program seemed a natural fit for the organization.
Fast forward two years: we’ve launched six Mastermind groups and two Speed Mentoring events, with demand for more. We’ve had bumps along the way. Still, with great member suggestions – and a little patience – WIC continues to evolve the effectiveness and value of the programs.
WIC’s second annual Speed Mentoring event on November 17 was a perfect example of WIC at it’s best.
Repeated Last Year’s Successes
We retained the original format since it received strong reviews:
- – 1:1 mentoring sessions with WIC’s most successful consultants, business owners and coaches. Eleven members volunteered to mentor, many for the second year in a row!
- – Short, 8-minute discussions to maximize the number of mentors each participant could meet
- – 2:1 ratio of mentors to mentees meant minimal wait time to speak with a mentor
- – A debriefing afterwards to share the learning among both mentors and participants
- – Informal, light food and no-host bar available throughout the event
Experimented With Some Changes
- – Extended mentoring by 30 minutes to increase the number of sessions overall
- – Participants could pair up to speak with mentors at the same time
- – Mentors took a 30-minute break to switch hats and become a mentee
- – Many of the mentors gave up their break (or forgot to take it) and mentored for 90 minutes straight. They were incredibly dedicated!
Angel Rampy, Success Through Learning, sponsored the event with a jewelry show from which she donated 20% of proceeds to Second Harvest. A huge percentage of participants went ‘shopping’ while waiting for their next session. A great bonus for everyone!
Valuable Advice, New Relationships
Each mentee started the evening armed with the list of mentors they wanted to meet.
Encouraged to talk with anyone who was available, mentees were thrilled to discover mentors they didn’t know and the unexpected advice they received. Everyone shared that all the advice was hugely important; and, in some cases would change their business forever.
The energy and enthusiasm throughout the evening was palpable. For 90 minutes there was a constant roar in the room.
Following is some of the amazing feedback we received regarding this year’s event:
“This was a phenomenal experience. I had no idea what to expect and every table I sat at … I learned something I can take back to my team and use. It was one of the best evenings in a really, really long time.”
“What I enjoyed most …was having such a variety of professionals to speak with. They were all positive…about their own careers and encouraging about my own. It was however the sheer breadth of their experience that was so beneficial.”
“I just rejoined WIC and I’m so glad. This event really caught my eye. And, it’s been so great to hear from other women. And I personally want to check out the Mastermind groups.”
This event could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of a huge number of WIC volunteers, mentors, sponsors and participants. It is testament to the amazing outcomes when the WIC community comes together.
Keep an eye out for the WIC’s next round of Mastermind groups launching early next year!