Growth & Opportunities: What Mentorship Means to Us

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Growth & Opportunities: What Mentorship Means to Us

We began our formal Mentorship Program in 2021 and it has been a strong addition to the culture of our company ever since. We believe that mentorship can be useful throughout one’s career journey, whether the goal is to evolve your knowledge of your current role or gain new skills to shift across technologies and domains. Both mentor and mentee learn a lot and benefit from working together. Learn more here about the ins and outs of the program and hear from some of the participants themselves!

🎓 How It Works: Newfire’s Global Mentorship Program

Our mentorship program is typically a three to six month formal mentor/mentee relationship, with the ultimate goals of learning new career skills and ultimately realizing new career potential. The steps for joining the Mentorship Program are as follows:

➡️ A team member seeking to become a mentee must have one full year of work experience at Newfire to apply for the program. 

➡️ The resource or delivery manager becomes the point of contact for all mentee applicants.

➡️ The Chapter Lead will appoint a mentor based on the mentee’s goals for the program. 

➡️ HR managers will help support the creation of development plans for each mentee and will consult as needed along the way. 

➡️ The assigned mentor provides a training plan for their individual mentee.

➡️ Ultimately, the mentee gains new skills to be applied on their current project or may seek opportunities to move around within the company.

One of the most unique aspects of our Mentorship Program is the global approach. A mentor/mentee pair could be located in different offices across the globe from one another, which offers a multicultural layer to the relationship.

💭 Mentorship vs. Coaching: What’s the Difference?

Sometimes our mentees are curious about the difference between Mentorship and Coaching. While coaching is designed to improve on-the-job performance, mentoring is directed more towards professional and personal development. The focus isn’t simply on current job function, so participants ultimately have the opportunity to take a more holistic approach to career development.

👋 Meet Our Mentees

Ana, Svitlana, Pavlo, and Halyna are recent participants in the Mentorship Program and have agreed to share more about their experiences. Check out more about what they had to say:

👩‍🎓 Ana, Mid 1 Python | Zagreb, Croatia

We asked Ana to tell us more about the collaboration with her mentor:
“My mentor assigned a series of articles weekly, which covered both theoretical and technical practices. We then met twice per week to discuss the articles and review proposed solutions for the technical tasks. For me, it was really useful to be mentored by a lead from my same team. Given his strong understanding of the system and ability to transfer knowledge effectively, I really couldn’t have dreamed of a better mentor match.”

We asked Ana about her #1 personal goal for completing the Mentorship Program:
“For me, the main purpose for doing the program was to speed up my onboarding and upgrade my knowledge. My biggest goal was to work on building more engineering skills. While I’d already used Python in the past as a data scientist, I was hoping to expand my skills on it to be able to use it for different purposes.”

👩‍🎓 Svitlana, DevOps Mid 1 | Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine

We asked Svitlana to share the biggest insight she gained while participating in the program:
“New knowledge and professional suggestions I could apply in practice. I believe that there are no mistakes – every experience leads to skills that contribute to your future.”

We asked Svitlana about the goals she came up with for herself in the program:
✔️ “Gaining new knowledge needed for my project in order to gain a better understanding of what was going on.”
✔️ “Increasing my qualifications.”
✔️ “Improving my confidence as a professional.”

Svitlana 1000px

Svitlana, Ivano-Frankivsk Office

👨‍🎓 Pavlo, MQA | Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine

We asked Pavlo for recommendations for new mentees:
“Be patient, ask questions, and be prepared to learn a lot of new information.”

We asked Pavlo more about his own experience and what he learned:
“During the program, I deepened my theoretical knowledge in testing and learned to apply it in practice. I also performed practical cases that bring value to the business. Currently, I’m waiting for my first project and look forward to the opportunity to apply my newly acquired skills.”

👩‍🎓 Halyna, Python | Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine

We asked Halyna how she and her mentor set up communications during the program:
“For the most part, my Mentor and I called each other 2-3 times a week. I also texted him outside of those calls if I was interested in something or had questions. My mentor had worked on a similar project for a different team, which allowed me to apply good examples and better discuss the architecture if I didn’t understand something.”

We asked Halyna to tell us her favorite thing about the Mentorship Program:
“I finally realized that I had the right to make a mistake. My mentor was clear that making mistakes is what’s needed to improve and that took the stress out of learning something new. It was easy to accept constructive feedback because of our open relationship and friendly communication.”

🎙️ A Word from our Mentors

Oleg and Bohdan served as mentors to our mentees, teaching new technologies and helping resolve project issues. Let’s see how the Mentorship Program feels from their side.

👨‍🏫 Oleg, MQA | Lviv, Ukraine

We asked Oleg what being a mentor at Newfire means to him:
“I love that the mentorship relationship not only benefits the mentee, but the mentor themselves. First, you get to refresh your own knowledge. Second, you develop great, effective communications skills. Having the opportunity to teach others what you know and then seeing them apply that information to their own work is simply priceless.”

We asked Oleg about the most effective way to teach a new technology:
“This depends purely on your personal communication styles and how you agree to work together and collaborate. For me and my mentee, our training model consisted of weekly calls where we discussed the material. When my mentee had any questions, we discussed them as quickly as possible without waiting for the next formal meeting. Homework was also crucial – it’s key for the mentee to learn the material and not just read dry theory.”

👨‍🏫 Bohdan, Python | Lviv, Ukraine

We asked Bohdan to share 4 reasons for becoming a mentor at Newfire:
1️⃣ “Technical proficiency improvement. Re-learning old knowledge while also gaining new skills.”
2️⃣ “Developing soft skills. Teaching someone else can be difficult.”
3️⃣ “Bonus money – Newfire appreciates its mentors with a cash bonus.”
4️⃣ “New opportunities and challenges.”

Finally, we asked Bohdan to share his personal impressions about his experience as a mentor:
“It was something new for me – new opportunities and new challenges. You’re not only improving hard skills but soft skills too, which are very important in software development.”

Looking to Grow Your Own Career?

Newfire’s Mentorship Program is offered across all our global locations and is encouraged amongst all levels of team members, from junior to mid to senior. All you need is a willingness to connect, explore, and learn!

If you want to learn more about Newfire’s Mentorship Program, we encourage you to explore Halia and Petro’s story. Halia is a QA engineer and she and Petro were one of the first mentor/mentee pairs to participate in the program.

Check out our career opportunities now to find the right next step for you and your career. We look forward to working with you!

NF team

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