CHW Toronto Mentee:
Jodi Schechter What are the most important skills you learned as a mentee?
In Conversation How did you become involved with CHW? Both my grandmother and mother were involved with CHW, so it was an organization I was always familiar with. When I moved to Toronto it was a great way to meet people and become involved with CHW and the local community. It was about knowing about the organization, and wanting to support it.
What motivated you to become a part of the Mentorship Program? Someone at my chapter recommended that I look into it. I viewed it as an opportunity to learn more about the organization at large, to get the 30,000 foot view of the organization, and explore the notion of doing more beyond the chapter level. I had already held a lot of roles at the chapter level, so this was an opportunity to do more.
[ 39 ] Summer 2015 ORAH Magazine
I think scale would be the best way to describe it. I’m a big ideas person, and was paired with a wonderful mentor; she was a perfect counterbalance to the kind of things I wanted to do. The program involves setting goals for the year, and this creates a framework for your experience, I had some bigger ideas that were aimed outside the chapter level. I learned how to take a big idea, and break it down into achievable chunks. My mentor helped me understand who we go to when trying accomplish these things, which leaders to target, and which committees we need buy in from.
Who has influenced you the most? My mentor, Beverly Kahn, who also happens to have created the mentorship program. We had a great working relationship, and have developed a friendship as well. She was knowledgeable, patient, and such a good counterbalance to my big ideas. There were so many other accomplished, devoted, and dedicated women that were also very influential. It was inspiring to be around so many women who have been around the organization for so long and continue to be extremely devoted to CHW.
What have you gained from the Mentorship Program? I’ve gained an education in terms of the inner workings of the organization; things like governance, budgeting, what percentage of every nickel goes towards marketing expenses, as to what goes to the projects. Then being exposed to other leaders in the organization, it arms you with the confidence to try new things, and gives you all kinds of interesting people to call. So, you get this network of individuals that you can call on, and every one of them has been supportive, helpful, and amazing.
What was one of your goals? One of my goals had to do with the Mentorship Program. So far we haven’t really been keeping tabs on the mentees after they graduate the program, so my personal goal was to create an alumni organization. Every year there are about four to five ladies in the program, and it’s been going on for six years now, so there is a long list of people we should be able to reach out to for future leadership opportunities. The investment has already been made by both sides. We got the list together, got all their contact information, and we hosted the first ever alumni event. We don’t want to lose all the good people that have gone through the program, and this is a perfect way to that.