Mentorship in Any Language
When she first moved to Canada, mentoring was a foreign concept to Mairim Neves, P.Eng.
“I remember a friend told me I needed a mentor. I didn’t know what the term meant, so she explained I would need someone to guide me through some things.”
A move to understand
In the industry for more than 20 years, Neves is a veteran consulting mechanical engineer. When she first came to Canada, she began a role as an engineering consultant—which she promptly left to work in a refinery where she could physically see the equipment she consulted on and immerse herself in a practical setting to learn English. This move, she tells, worked out well—she advanced to a new role as an intermediate instead of a junior consultant after the experience.
Neves provides mentorship for these types of career trajectories. She helps mentees choose their next steps, providing perspective from a veteran engineer who has encountered similar situations.
All ears for mentees
“The key is to be there when someone needs advice—that’s the important thing.” Neves explains she tries to be informal and gives mentees the choice to connect through multiple mediums, and she often carries on her mentoring relationships beyond the time frame it takes to meet the mentee’s formal goal. “I still have mentees who call me if they’re switching jobs or have an interview.”
Even though mentoring was a distant concept for a time, Neves benefitted from guidance throughout her personal and professional life. When she came to Canada, she joined Toastmasters. “My English was very broken. I could barely speak. My Toastmasters teammates took on the task of helping me, and even today, we still meet.” She has now earned her Distinguished Toastmaster award, the highest level of educational achievement with the group.
She says her aunt, a civil engineer, is someone she has looked up to since childhood. Neves often solicits her career and life advice—her aunt is the reason she chose to work in the profession.
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Mairim Neves, P.Eng.