Open Letter to the Forthcoming Board and the New President – by Emilia Venetsanou (mentor) and Katar

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    Dear All,

    Everyoneis enthusiastic about the new challenge and opportunity that our association has opened to its members and we are happy to see that mentoring is high on the agenda of the new candidates. We would like to take this propitious moment and move forward at a good pace.

    We have started working as a mentor (Emilia) and mentee (Katarzyna), and after a stage of ice-breaking and “brainstorming” exercises, we are ready to prepare an agreement and set-up a mentoring project, fix outcomes, outputs, monitoring and assessment mechanisms, planning, tasks, and more. We are ready to work in accordance with an appropriate scheme complying with PATER principles (Participation, Accountability, Transparency, Result-anchored service delivery). We would like to share this learning experience with our mates who are already working on this mentoring scheme or who could adhere to it in the future, hopefully, encouraged by our experience.

    First of all, we need to say we have realised that we do not want to feel isolated in this mentoring exercise. We would like to have a pro-active attitude setting-up this scheme and provide our meaningful contribution to our mates and ourselves for the benefit of our association. We feel it is important to exchange our ideas with others who go through the exercise and ask for support and advice. Secondly, we want to understand where we are with this project, who is responsible for its implementation and results; we also want to know our place in the process. We are curious about how many people are part of the exercise, which objectives they are trying to reach and what challenges they are facing. 

    Our ambition is to gradually shape a vision (why) regarding our mentoring scheme. The component of the vision we would like to push forward is:

    • to grow up a strong mentoring capacity in the field of HRs’ and governance to provide mentoring services in the context of development or humanitarian programmes/projects


    • to establish an outstanding mentoring scheme which will allow our association to become a service-provider in this field and to give space and opportunities to people willing to work.

    To keep it short, by working with the forthcoming Board, we would like to raise and address the following elements related to the mentoring scheme in the form of objectives:

    1.    To develop a lobby activity by such institutional partners as the EU for budgeting mentoring activities which address people working on development, humanitarian assistance, peace keeping, and similar.

    2.    To gradually structure and institutionalise our activity. Inter alia, address issues concerning “what” (content, mentoring curricula), “how” (methods and tools), “who is doing what” (organisational issues). We believe a monitoring systemis needed to steer the process, assessment tools and mechanisms to draw lessons and capitalise on the experience. Through these first steps and our first mentors-mentees groups, we need to create a “critical mass”.

    3.    To couple our mentoring scheme with a peer to peer (P2P) scheme. Mentors and mentees could have a space to consult each-other and develop ideas and projects.

    4.    To support Mentors. P2P schemes could be a wonderful solution to push the whole system forward. 

    5.    To open a “mentoring scheme” space within our web site. The space would mean visibility and support,  transparency and accountability. It would foster exchange of ideas. 

    6.    To create a group of facilitators / mentoring managers. People can volunteer to take part in the process. The team could have a particular composition (for example,  3-5 group members). The inclusion mechanism can be “first come first served” based on rotation, to push participation. The facilitators / managers could work openly through the mentoring space of the E.MAlumni web site.

    7.    To address the issues of “retention” and “recognition” as benefits and rewards. For instance, are mentees and mentors entitled any certificate? Would that be about a certificate of participation or reflect an assessment of performance?


    As a matter of fact, the above contribution does not pretend to be structured and exhaustive. We want to believe that several colleagues have a good deal of ideas and skills and particularly those, like Lydia, who already are working on this scheme. Yet, it is a way to say “we are willing to push this forward”. 

    We are looking forward to working with you!

    Emilia and Katarzyna


    Open Letter to the Forthcoming Board and the New President 

    by Emilia Venetsanou and Katarzyna Stanisz

    Sorry, this is the correct title, actually I had some uploading problems. I hope that is fine.



    Hi Emilia, 

    Thanks a lot for all your ideas and I'm very excited to hear that you and Katarzyna have started a very active mentoring relationship. It would be absolutely fabulous for you to get more involved in the improvement of the scheme and the suggestions you make are very valuable for the next round. 

    I have also been thinking about how we could perhaps offer some 'Coaching' training to mentors as well as offer 'co-coaching' opportunities for Alumni who are more or less on the same level which I think is similar to the peer-2-peer system you describe. Through asking the right questions alumni (and perhaps also current students) would be able to support each other in their thinking and development process – be that in relation to career decisions or achieving other goals. 

    I also particularly like the idea of creating 'drop-in' groups for mentors and mentees alike to exchange ideas they have been discussing and find even more support. 

    I look forward to exploring all these ideas futher and making them reality.





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