Roxana is a wonderful example of what an impact mentoring for employees can have not only on the team, but on the company as a whole. As a part of the mentoring program, Maja Seggerman, an international Business Consultant and Coach, helped her mentee Roxana Nica, a content manager at GLAMI, get a promotion, boost her confidence, develop new leadership skills, and fight her inner critic. Thanks to Roxana’s manager, also other GLAMI employees had the opportunity to broaden their perspectives and bring in new valuable insights to improve not only their individual performance, but also the overall output of the team and the business.
- What inspired you to join the mentoring program?
Roxana: There were several reasons why I joined the mentoring program. First, I was interested in developing my leadership skills, as I find the topic very relevant and it is currently connected to my work. I found out about the Femme Palette mentoring program through my team lead, who recommended it to me. Also, I had previously participated in a few FP events and I relate to FP’s mission and aim of the organisation.
Maja: I have mentored many people throughout my life, really enjoyed it and found it so rewarding. Especially due to the overall Covid situation it was even more important for me to give back and have an impact on somebody’s career. I was setting up my own Consultancy & Coaching business at the same time and suddenly I went from a team of over 30 people to be by myself, so I was looking forward to meeting Roxana because she was, in some shape or form, my team.
- What were your expectations prior to the program and how have they changed since you have been matched with your mentor?
R: My expectations were quite high and broad at the beginning, so we had to work together with Maja on narrowing them down. I would say that my main expectation was gaining more confidence in my abilities as a leader, but otherwise I was simply excited about the experience and open to whatever it would bring me. And, I have to say, my expectations were more than met in the end. I am very grateful for having been ‘matched’ with my mentor Maja, I feel that I’ve learnt a lot and I am definitely more confident as a leader, mainly thanks to her being such an inspiration.
- What surprised you the most about your mentee?
M: I loved the way how open and eager Roxana was. My mentee was always curious, eager to learn and to develop, soaking up everything I said. She was always pushing to get the most out of it, which I really enjoyed! I could see a lot of myself in Roxana because I can relate to how I felt when I was in a similar situation. When you are changing positions and having more responsibility it can be intimidating if you don’t get the right support or tools to find your own voice and confidence to fulfil the role to your best ability. And this is where mentoring comes in to make a difference.
Mentoring is a two-way street. It is not just sharing the knowledge but also learning about the mentee’s workplace, how she experiences things from her end. Those little nuances make the mentoring experience very valuable to me, alongside getting to know someone who is just amazing.
- What topics do you cover in your mentoring sessions?
R: We have covered a lot of topics related not only to leadership but also to motivation and how to support team members to be more positive, focused, feedback, empathy, idea pitching or decision-making in a team. I would always suggest a topic prior to the session and was happy that my mentor was very open to my suggestions. The sessions that had the biggest impact on me were the ones in which we explored the concepts of ‘inner critic’ and ‘cheerleader’, bringing value to both my professional and personal life.
M: Knowing in advance what we would be discussing gave me space to think about the relevant articles or TED talks to share with Roxana and bring the best value for her as well.
- What was your favorite mentoring moment?
M: There is not one particular moment or highlight for me. It was great to see how Roxana took suggestions on board and updated me on successful outcomes a few weeks later. I am super proud that she has tackled some of the issues head on, which really impressed me. And even if something doesn’t go according to plan, that is alright because it is all part of trying it out.
In addition, Roxana was very open and trusting to explore coaching as well, since both are very different. Coaching is a questioning approach and mentoring is a sharing experience approach.
R: I also had multiple favourite moments but, in particular, I can think about the session on finding my inner saboteur. From the beginning of the program, I felt that Maja and I clicked, but during that particular session I felt a great connection and the kind of support I needed in that moment. Perhaps, because we explored some coaching techniques and I was more comfortable with being vulnerable and discussing my emotions during this session with Maja.
M: It was great that you were super open to coaching, as it was probably a step away from the pure mentoring, and you handled it wonderfully. Thank you for putting your trust in me.
Sometimes, you need a voice to tell you ‘c’mon, you can do this,’ but there are circumstances where you are alone and it is nice to fall back to your inner creative resources to give you the extra vavavoom to make things happen.
- What has been the biggest contribution to your career so far?
R: During the mentoring program, I got promoted in my job and I can see a connection between this and the goals set for myself.
- Is there something you would recommend to mentors & mentees?
R: I think the match between the mentee and the mentor is very important, so I’d recommend paying attention to that. Also, I think it’s always best to have an open and honest communication from both sides.
M: I can only recommend it from both sides.
A). I still have mentors in my life as it is good to talk things over and help me clarify thoughts rather than getting stuck in my own head.
B) From a mentee’s perspective, it is rewarding to become at one point a mentor yourself. Especially as you become a team leader or gain more responsibility with people, you automatically become a mentor. You suddenly have to explain to others your learned knowledge.Through this experience you get a new perspective which grounds you. As a mentor, you grow on a personal level and on a knowledge level, too.
You learn as much as you give when you mentor somebody. It is really rewarding, and I can only recommend it to anybody who wants to grow themselves as well as a team leader.
- Anything else you would like to add?
R: I would just like to give thanks, once again, to FP and Maja for this great experience and to my team leader for supporting my development. I definitely recommend the program to anyone who might see it as an opportunity to grow and feel empowered.
M: A very big thanks to Roxana and all the trust she has put in me. Without knowing her, I would like to thank Roxana’s team lead as well, who enabled her and some of her colleagues to join the Femme Palette program. It is good to acknowledge that mentoring doesn’t always have to be facilitated internally, and that you can engage in external programs, so they can bring valuable insights back into the business, which is a great initiative for their personal development!
It wouldn’t be a great program without the fantastic contribution of our mentors and mentees, so a big thanks not only to Roxana and Maja, but to all of our members for creating a one-of-a-kind mentoring program. We couldn’t have done it without you, thank you!