New mentorship program for supply chain professionals

by MM&D staff
FROM THE MM&D MAY/JUNE 2012 PRINT EDITION:

CITT is playing matchmaker.

The organization is pairing experienced supply chain professionals with others in the industry who could benefit from some guidance and wisdom in a new mentorship program.

Catherine Viglas

“Both sides will gain from it,” says CITT president Catherine Viglas.

“The mentors will gain by practising their leadership abilities. The mentees will gain by speaking with somebody who is more knowledgeable and more advanced in their career and can give them really good one-on-one coaching to get them through some areas of concern or areas where they are stagnating or stumbling or areas where they just need to bounce an idea off somebody. Often you don’t have that in your organization.”

Potential mentors or mentees looking to join the program need to submit an application expressing their interest, listing their work history, stating what they hope to gain from the program, and detailing preferences such as language of communication, geographical location in relationship to the mentorship partner, and the degree of importance of being paired with somebody working in the same industry.

“It’s kind of like dating,” says Viglas.

The program will be an ongoing effort with no cut-off date for applicants, although each pairing will have a time limit of one year, so the formal relationship will have a clear start and finish. It will also earn participants credits to be counted towards CITT’s continuing education membership requirements.

CITT board chair and Sun Rype Products Ltd vice-president of supply chain, Warren Sarafinchan, is one of the more experienced members who has signed on as a mentor. He personally knows how valuable a good mentor can be.

“For me the opportunity to provide some perspective, some context, some support to people who are at different stages of their careers—whether they are in the early stages of their careers or transitioning—is always valuable. I’ve had people do it for me, and it’s an opportunity to give back.”

For those looking to join the program to gain some guidance, Sarafinchan has some advice to offer.
“If you go into it with an open mind and open attitude, by and large you’ll get lots out of it. If you go into it thinking, ‘I know everything’, you potentially won’t get everything you want to get out of it.”

Also people need to keep in mind the program’s purpose.

“This is not intended to be a networking, try-to-find-me-a-new-job program,” he said.