A brand-new mentoring program at the School of Health Administration in the Faculty of Health brings students the opportunity to connect and learn from leaders in the field of health administration.
On January 17, the ELEMENT Mentoring Program was launched at the School of Health Administration in the Tupper Building. The program is designed to offer experiential learning, advice, and direction from key experts and professionals to prepare mentees for their careers as emerging health leaders. The program was conceived by the School of Health Administration’s Executive-in-Residence Robert Zed, president and CEO of Triangle Strategies (MHSA ’86).
“It’s really fantastic, the response we’ve had to this program,” said Zed. “Mentoring really equals networking, which really equals relationships, and it helps you tip the scale in your career.”
Students are matched with mentors based on their career goals. They meet with their mentors regularly throughout a 12-month period, continuously reviewing goal achievement, success stories, and challenges. Summits will be held during this time period to give all participants a chance to review the program and share best practices.
“Mentorship is really important because you gain a good understanding of the healthcare system from people who are extremely experienced,” said MHA student Calvin D’Souza. “It’s a huge deal, and I’m really excited that Robert brought it forward. The program provides us with a key to the healthcare system. Career advice and coaching from directors and people with so much experience will make all the difference.”
Leading the charge for change
In attendance among mentors, mentees, faculty and alumni was Nova Scotia’s Deputy Minister for the Department of Health and Wellness, Denise Perret, who spoke about the importance of emerging leadership within the Canadian health-care system.
“The need for research, innovation and leadership is truly an imperative,” said Perret. “This program allows a platform for bold discussions to take place about what it takes to lead and affect change within our system and overcome the challenges that face us.”
ELEMENT emphasizes a framework that challenges mentees to know their own strengths, values, and abilities, while learning the skills to foster the development of others and to contribute to the creation of healthy and high-quality organizations.
“You have to put in the work to actually gain something from it,” said D’Souza. “You have to be actively engaged, and be open to feedback in order to learn from these amazing healthcare administrators. A mentor may bring valuable insight to you that causes you to change the way you’re thinking about a particular issue, but at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do. The mentors aren’t leading you astray.”
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