Discovering potential and gaining perspective: Petra & Maria's mentoring experience

Written by
Femme Palette
Published on
August 10, 2023

Mentee Petra Sebkova found out about the Mentoring program through attending a Femme Palette event and thought she would give it a try. When she got matched with her mentor Maria Loparcakova, they were able to establish a genuine connection and build a trusting mentoring relationship. Thanks to that, Petra was able to gain a new perspective and grow professionally, but Maria also benefited from the program as a mentor. Come meet this mentor-mentee duo and learn more about their mentoring journey.

What inspired you to join the Mentoring program?

Petra [mentee]: I attended a Femme Palette event after the second wave of lockdown and it was really inspirational to chat with experienced mentors or mentees. Everyone was mentioning how great this program is and somebody asked me why I don't try it out. What helped me to decide to join this program was the fact that I was considering becoming a mentor in the future. I thought it would be great to put me first in the mentee’s shoes. And last but not least, I thought that having a mentor would be beneficial at the stage where I needed to gain perspective on certain aspects of my career.

Maria [mentor]: I had been in Petra’s place multiple times. My mentors shared their experiences with me, gave me new ideas, and the confidence I needed to grow faster in my career. And it is rewarding for me to give it back. Additionally, as one of the women working in IT, I always wished to support other women in IT, help them to find their place and embrace their point of view. 

Petra, which areas have you progressed in most thanks to your mentor?

Petra [mentee]: I think that apart from knowledge, skills acquired such as soft skills and hard skills, it really helped me to see my potential and focus on things that really matter. I have received tremendous support and objective judgment from Maria on various topics. I feel now I am a more impactful leader and I gained more self awareness. We also practiced giving and receiving feedback. 

Maria, what did you learn from your mentee?

Maria [mentor]: Mentoring Petra was never just a one-way flow of information. It was really a mutual sharing. Petra is very active in visiting career events and trainings, and she always shared fresh ideas with me, which also opened the door for me to learn new things. I remember when Petra was once talking about a book called Nonviolent Communication which was highly advised by a facilitator during one of these trainings. Now I'm in the middle of reading it and it's a great book!

What did you cover in your mentoring sessions?

Petra [mentee]: We defined my smart goals around personal branding, project management, and leadership skills. And it was really great that we started with the topic of personal branding. It helped us to get to know each other very well. I gained clarity on my strengths and weaknesses. We also focused on how to be an impactful leader and discussed different styles of leadership. It was really great that apart from these main areas, when something urgent came up, I always had a chance to discuss it with Maria and gain an objective opinion. That’s what helped me proceed faster and it was really beneficial.

Maria [mentor]: I’ve just realized now that it was a great decision to start with personal branding. Through sharing each other’s experiences, we got to know each other better and our conversations were very open from the beginning.  Also, when Petra brought up some of her weekly struggles, we were able to go into detail and come up with practical advice. I could see that Petra makes progress basically every day. 

What would you recommend to other mentees and mentors?

Maria [mentor]: I'm sure that every person who is really focused on their career can grow over time. But I think that with a mentor, your direction will be clearer, and your progress will be faster. My first piece of advice is to be realistic in setting your goals and stay focused on what you want to achieve. Come with a clear agenda for every session, so mentors can prepare as well. And be open-minded and ready to learn and try new things. 

Petra [mentee]: I would say dedicate your first session to getting to know each other, learn about your professional backgrounds. Also learn about where your mentors key strengths are, what you can leverage. By introducing yourselves, you will gain trust, which will help you later in the program. I always tried to be prepared for our sessions. That's something that can make the program very effective. Reflect after each session: what are the actions that you can take towards your goals? I really liked the fact that Maria dedicated time to mid-program review where I gained objective judgment on where I am and where to put the focus. Overall, it really helped me to uncover my potential and I would highly recommend this program.

Did Petra and Maria’s mentoring journey inspire you? If you’d also like to explore your potential and work on your career goals with the support of an experienced professional, go ahead and join our Mentoring program to get matched with the perfect mentor for you!

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