The Ninth Generation of Mentees on the Pogram “Share your knowledge ” on Saturday, January 26 started with a preparatory meeting their ten months works. The aim of the meeting was to present the activities of the program and to make opportuinity for participants to get familiar with the concept of mentoring. The meeting was an opportunity for mentees to get to know each other, and to solve study cases based on mentorship relations and hear the impressions and experiences from the program alumnas.
On behalf of partner organizations that are organizing the program, a new generation of mentees welcomed Dina Rakin, Program Manager of the European Movement in Serbia, Tijana Jugović, US Embassy in Serbia, Jelena Vasilev, from Erste Bank and Dragana Ivetić Radić from the OSCE Mission in Serbia. Special honor and satisfaction with her presence and advices for successful participation on Program, gave Svetlana Stefanović, former program manager and one of the project’s initiators.
On behalf of all organizers, Dina Rakin addressed the new generation of mentees. In her welcoming speech, Dina emphasized that the „Share Your Knowledge Program“ gathered over 350 mentors and mentees and thus built an impressive network of successful women from different professional areas. The idea of the program is to pay attention to the annual level and support a small group of women in order to influence integration of micro level changes into systemic changes when it comes to the position of women in our society. Dina stressed that discrimination against women continues to exist, and that the European Movement in Serbia, with partners on the program, has integrated the gender perspective, as well as the values of social inclusion. Of great importance for our society is to provide an opportunity for marginalized groups of women to exploit the infrastructure, dynamics and goals of the Program in order to make development on a personal and professional level and thus to overcome various social barriers, that unfortunately, still exists in our society. In this way, the Program is aimed at building mutual support of women, through sharing knowledge, experiences, strengthening solidarity, promoting good practices, networking and empowering women.
During the first part of the meeting it was discussed what mentoring is and what is not, and how a good mentoring relationship looks like. It was pointed out that the mentorship program focused entirely on developing and improvement of the mentee, but also that it is a two-way process that affects mentor as well. Mentoring program is not only designed for professional improvement, but also for personal growth. It is designed on three levels: 1. Work with a mentor; 2. Joint events on the program; 3. Cooperation and networking between mentees. Participants were advised to show more initiative then their mentors and to work together on the dynamics of cooperation and communication.
In the second part of the meeting, mentees was encouraged to work on case studies form mentoring relationships, in order to gain the impression of the dynamics and methods of work in the mentoring realtionship and get ready to take a mentees’s role. Through the Knowledge and Skills Fair, mentees have tried creatively to recognize and perceive the potentials already existing in the group. The aim of this activity was to make mentees to creatively presented their knowledge and skills, as well as the knowledge and skills that they would like someone to help them to develope. The overall goal was to make mentees to realize how much they already have to offer, what they could learn from each other and how much they could help in each other in development of every individual.
The important part of the meeting was dedicated to the Program Alumna. They got a chance to transfer their experiences and give advice to the new generation. The girls were talking to Aleksandra Nikolić, Katarina Ejdus and Svetlana Brkić. Presentations of the alumni work are motivating because alumni pointed out that in addition to achieving its initial goals, the program is gave them a chance to gain new friends, new skills, and after completing all, become part of the Alumni Club.
The main message that stood out after the discussion with alumni was that mentees need to exploit the program in order to get the most from it as well as the most from their selves, not only professionally but in the private area of their lifes by deepening knowledge, experience, support, contacts and network.
From February to November 2019, mentoring couples will be in touch, will share experiences and will occasionally meet in accordance with the agenda they define themselves on the basis of the obligations they both have in this period, but they will also gather every last Saturday on common events , share knowledge and support.
Project “Share your knowledge” is organized by The European Movement in Serbia for the ninth year in a row, implemented in cooperation and collaboration in and with the support of the Embassy of the United States, Erste Bank and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The program aims to bring together professional women leaders from different professions to share their knowledge and experience with young women starting their careers with similar interests and a desire to be successful in their fields. This will contribute to creating an opportunity for these women to improve their career path with the intention to achieve a positive shift in professional and personal terms, as well as to set a sound basis for future long-term cooperation.