Young engineers have been advised to take the issue of mentorship & sponsorship seriously.
Engr. Joan Nweke, who spoke as a guest speaker at the technical session of The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Victoria Island Branch, Lagos on Thursday, with the theme: “Paving The Way: For Mentorship and Sponsorship” stated that the young engineers needed someone that would guide them through their career, life, and everything they wanted to do in life.
Engr. Nweke said that there is quite a distinction between, mentorship and sponsorship, and she described a mentor as ” someone who must have an influence on the person seeking mentorship, while a sponsor is a someone who could speak, whose influence opens doors for you, someone who could move you up in your chosen career”.
She said that sometimes, sponsorship might seem hard to get, but that because they only speak about the people they know, it is better for someone engages in a mentorship relationship which could eventually lead to sponsorship.
“But if you do not have sponsorship, then you rely solely on your good work, which someone could see and say, this guy is doing well, let me help him.
“They will promote him or her; basically, sponsors promote people they know, but in the absence of such opportunity, present yourself well, make sure you sell yourself.
“Whatever task you are given to do, do it well, always try to impress, through that, someone may pick interest in you, and you never know who could be watching or listening. But, at all times, ensure you put in the best in marketing yourself.
“A sponsor puts mentee in a position of responsibility because he believes he/she is trustworthy. Furthermore, he invests in him, having the confidence that the mentee will not disappoint him.
“Sometimes it is about relationship, not money because when dealing with a certain set of people, changes would drastically take place in your life. At the same time, you must build a relationship,” she said.
The guest speaker added that as a young person, who seeks mentorship and sponsorship, one must task himself or herself by ensuring he or she is busy at all times, saying that “if you are not busy, nobody sees you, even in the absence of task, create one task for yourself. At the end of the day, it is expected of the mentor to ensure that the mentee is doing the right thing.”
Also, sharing his opinion, the Chairman of FHI Oil & Gas, who is also a Fellow of the Society, Engr. Stan Athekame said that as young ones seeking mentorship or sponsorship, they must evaluate themselves and that the next thing is to seek out a role model or coach in their lives, a role model that must have passion, someone who they could look up to, that would be able to give him or her the best of time and advice to enable that person to have a road map to his or her career path in the future.
“A lot has to be done by the mentee. Remember that the mentor is already established. my advice for them (Mentees) is to maintain a low lifestyle profile, be humble, respectful, God-fearing, and remain focused with a vision that would take you to wherever you may wish to go. But if a mentee is deficient in any of these attributes, their future in their stated profession is very uncertain.
“We all had it in our undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate days. At that time, when you do your research methodology, you either do a questionnaire or hypothesis experiment, so, you could know the profile of the person” he said.
According to Athekame, football will bring out the best in some people, they could tell anything about the game but when it comes to the issue of turning 10 kobo to 10 naira, it becomes a problem for them.
“Therefore, the ability to mirror yourself is very important, those are the things that are lacking in the lives of many younger ones nowadays.
“Funny enough, many of them are graduates, they don’t see themselves beyond where they are presently.
“They don’t project themselves into the future and if they don’t have that projection, the vision will die, the brain will die with you and the world will never wait for you because the train of projection has since left you.
“In life, there’s no limit to what you could achieve, children of nowadays want to be millionaires, but they don’t have what it takes, the capability, and the capacity to manage what you have.
“As it is today, many of them get ruined by phones because someone chats or pings you up, you have to respond, even when your brain is saturated. Therefore, we need moderation in all we do as old and younger ones,” he said.