Monday, 4 May 2015

MENTORING is now a Reality!

Mr. Raza Abbas, Director Student Affairs, Ziauddin University and Pioneer of Professional Career Counseling and Mentoring in Pakistan presented his new research paper on: "The Institutionalized Career Mentoring Model of a Private University in Pakistan” at The University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand at the Inaugural Transforming Together: Coaching and Mentoring Conference April 8-10, 2015. 


What do the world greatest leaders have in common? "They all had mentors". Virtually everyone who has become successful, achieved distinction in their field, or made a significant contribution to society can recall someone who helped them along the way. That's one reason why mentoring has becoming so popular in the business world, in educational settings: schools, colleges and universities. 

As Rey Carr - CEO of Peer Resources, an organization globally known for Mentoring shares:

“Mentoring is an inexpensive, yet powerful influence process where one person typically provides support, encouragement, and wisdom to another. Most people can recall someone in their life that was there for them at the right moment and provided the boost and juice to make a transition, deal with a difficult situation, solve a problem, or think through a plan for the future. And it's not unusual for a person going through or dealing with a life issue or challenge to seek out someone who has had a similar experience to act as a guide and coach. Either way the value of these informal relationships along with research on their impact has prompted thousands of organizations to implement more formalized mentoring programs or services.

In the only study of its kind in North America, over 70 percent of the most productive businesses in Canada reported some type of deliberate mentoring activities as part of their strategic planning. Many of these businesses have implemented formal mentoring programs to improve retention of employees, aid employees in career development, attend to leadership succession planning, and contribute positively to diversity and equity issues.”

Distinguished Scholars and Practitioners from across the globe recently congregated at The University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand at the Inaugural Transforming Together Coaching and Mentoring Conference. 

Mr. Raza Abbas Pioneer of Professional Career Counseling and Mentoring in Pakistan presented his new research on “The Institutionalized Career Mentoring Model of a Private University in Pakistan." His paper was peer reviewed and unanimously approved by the Scientific Committee. He shared the conceptualization of a pioneering mentoring model for university students at a private university in Pakistan. 

An Excerpt from his paper:
A pioneering institutionalized career mentoring model of a private university in Pakistan has been strategically and contextually developed keeping in view the socio-economic challenges of our youth. The institutionalized career mentoring model is an initiative which has been established with an aim of creating high quality mentoring programs for teachers and youth based on carefully researched needs of youth in the service sector.
Institutionalized career mentoring model highlights the key competencies of mentoring: initiate and foster relationships, establish a climate of peer support, model reflective teaching practices, apply and share effective classroom management strategies, encourage and nurture an appreciation of diversity, maintaining effective communication, fostering independence, promoting professional development and instilling hope all integrated in its mentoring programs.According to research studies on career mentoring in public and private education institutions in Pakistan, mentoring is taught at a very introductory level to faculty. It does not impart the requisite skill set to become an effective and trained career mentor.Moreover, there are hardly any educational institutions in Pakistan where career mentoring is practiced as part of policy. However, it is worthy to note that career mentoring is evolving slowly in developing countries (UNESCO). 
Qualitative case study method has been adopted in this paper. Individual and focus group interviews with the research participants were conducted as well. Difficulties were found with the lack of career mentoring knowledge to direct youth. Furthermore, teachers and career mentors are facing increasing demands; they need to identify the hidden competencies of the youth in order to consistently provide a support system of mentoring. 
By offering a holistic model and by educating and developing competent career mentors we are instilling and creating hope amongst the teacher and youth community. The institutionalized model caters to keen stakeholders in universities and has a sustainable impact on the educational institutions to instill hope amongst the youth. Career mentoring is providing the youth with the competitive edge in the Asian region.

He stated that mentoring is no longer a myth for students in Pakistan it has now become a necessity for them to thrive in the global economy. By having an institutionalized mentoring model it will bridge the gap between industry and academia and employers will receive skilled human resource which is currently a gap. Some of the key finding of the research was as follows: To strengthen the supply side of mentoring and employability practices by facilitating institutionalized career counseling and mentoring training for teachers at educational institutions. To improve the demand side by supporting students at all levels in making educated and informed career decisions. He further said that the corporate sector organizations should come forward and establish endowment chairs and allocate budgets for corporate social responsibility for institutionalized mentoring programs at educational institutions and initiate employee advising learning programs for their employees at their respective organizations. 
“I started off the mentoring session with a very demoralized mindset; currently my mindset is really very different and positive” reported one of several highly enthusiastic mentees in the study.
Another mentee reported: “I feel happy now I can save my career; I got a job in a Multi-National Organization!”
Like the car sticker that was popular a few years ago: "If you can read this, thank a teacher" the same sentiment is true for many of our accomplishments in life that came about as a result of mentoring. Find time to celebrate your current or past mentor, consider how you can or do mentor others, and make it possible for others to benefit from professional mentoring.

Mr. Raza may be reached at