Success Story of e-Mentoring on employment-related issues

Mentoring took place during the European project e-Mentoring, in the European Partnership, which was one of the project partners.

This success story is about Mentee Loreta Gikaraitė and her Mentor Soneta Ivanovė. e-Mentoring Manager was Deimante Unikaite.

Loreta participated in the blended mentoring process: face–to-face and e-mentoring.  The duration of mentoring process was ten months. This was the group mentoring of adult learners. There have participated 4 women, searching for a job, in the group. All the group members had something in common – they were long term unemployed and all of them wanted to get employed. Mentor Soneta shared her knowledge in the field of employment in order to help women to successfully find a job.


Questions for Mentee Loreta Gikaraite

Mentee Loreta Gikaraite

Why were you so interested in mentoring?

Before starting participating in the project, I've been a long-unemployed for approximately 3 years, you could say I was dropped out of the labour market: I had a lack of knowledge on how to present myself better to employers. It was difficult for me even to understand that what I thought was normal, this was my best qualities, which I could use in the job search. I expected to get the advice about this from the mentor.

Did you attend pair or group mentoring?

I have participated in group mentoring. There were 4 mentees in our group. It was great to participate in group mentoring, where all the mentees were in the same situation – unemployed persons looking for a job, but also each of us had different life experience. We had an experienced mentor. We mentees also helped each other by giving advices how to behave in different situations as well as by sharing our personal experiences.

How often did you meet?

We started working in August, 2012 and we completed - in May, 2013. We were meeting about once a month.

What did you do during your monthly mentoring sessions?

Our group shared a common goal – to gain the skills needed for successful employment. Our mentor organized teamwork. We have worked in the face-to face sessions as well as in the e-learning platform, performing the exercises and discussing the result with each other.  As well in the face to face meeting we have discussed the employment opportunities in the group, imitated the interview situations with the potential employer, then discussed each other's mistakes and gave the positive feedback to each other. We shared experiences on how to present yourself better to a potential employer, learned how to write CV and cover letter.

As the result we became more self-confident, learned public speaking, as well as to perform tasks in a creative way.

 Are you employed today?

At the moment I work as an administrator in the restaurant at Kaunas old-town. I work with people and my involvement in the project helped me at my current job because during the project I have improved my communication skills. Also I have improved my computer literacy skills, which also helps me at work.

Would you like to become a mentor in the future?

Yes, of course. In some sense I already act as a mentor - I share my experiences with other people, who are looking for a job or who want to change their current job, or who are simply curious and who want to get new knowledge and make career advancement.

Questions for Mentor Soneta Ivanove

Mentor Soneta Ivanove

How did you decide to start as a mentor for four adults at European Partnership?

I always felt a great duty and a willingness to help other people. To become a mentor was a new experience in my personal life. It was a great opportunity to try myself in a new field, giving the opportunity to the other person to express their ideas and views, and to help other person to develop herself, by focusing on the expressed hers concerns and thoughts. Before the participating in the e-Mentoring project, I have tried the group mentoring already. The opportunity to try blended mentoring, combined from face to face sessions as well as mentoring in the e-learning platform, seemed to me challenging and interesting.  

What did you get for yourself as a Mentor?

Being a mentor I have learned a lot, I realized that mentoring is an on-going creative process that has nothing to do with the monotony. During the mentoring process I have realized that it is very important to create a positive, supportive atmosphere in the group, which would be useful for each mentee, as each person is different, has different goals, interests and different life stories. It was interesting for me to encourage mentees to think independently, to reflect on their beliefs and, if there is a need, to change them in a consistent and rational way, as well as to encourage mentees to make decisions by themselves during the mentoring process.

For me, as a mentor, to work in the e-Mentoring platform was a new experience.  I have tried the new learning method which I might be able to use in the future. Working as the mentor in the e-Mentoring platform was helpful experience for me, as I have improved my knowledge of information technology. Also it was helpful, as by using the e-Mentoring platform I was able to save my personal time, as I could to reach the platform in a convenient place and convenient time for me. In conclusion I could say that possibility to interact with the mentees in the virtual space demanded fewer resources.

Were there any challenges in the mentoring process?

Usually, when we face the challenge, the experience and help of others enable us to reveal our personal potential. In an e-mentoring process, I realized the need for very high skills to notice those whose motivation for development is not so high. It is very important for the mentor to be positive, as it can affect others then and as well positivity helps mentor to remain firm in difficult situations and to find a way out of such situations.

The main challenge for me that I have faced during the e-Mentoring process was the e-mentoring platform, which I have used for the first time in my life. I could say that the challenge was also that most of the time with the mentees I have communicated in the virtual space and this was new for me, as I have never tried that before.

Do you still follow the development of your mentees/keep a contact with your mentees?

Yes I still have the communication with my mentees. I think that this is important for the mentor to observe how changes his/her mentees and to evaluate their development even after the e-mentoring process.

Is there something else you´d like to mention?

I think that in blended mentoring process both are important: virtual learning brings innovation and have a lot of benefits for the participants (convenient to use because of place and time flexibility, programmed and prepared tasks), but also it is very important to have face to face communication with your mentees, as we are social beings. In my opinion, mentoring is a complex task that requires self-awareness, and on-going training/development and a variety of knowledge about this work. A mentor should remain curious to innovation and continuously improve his/her performance.

e-Mentoring Manager

Deimante Unikaite