Pay it forward: Become a mentor


Julien enjoyed sharing his experiences and showing that there's more than one path to information security.

Julien Hivon has been an Academos mentor for 2 years now. He loves sharing his passion, and he's really proud of making a difference for young people. 

He realized what a difference he'd made after he'd given a student some practical help in finding her way, just as someone had done for him.

"Élisabeth* was interested in information security. As an information security advisor at Desjardins, I was happy to chat with her for a few months online about my experiences. I answered her questions about which schools have programs, which courses she'd need and which certifications are recognized for this line of work," he says. Julien even took the time to have coffee with her, which not all mentors do.
 
"A few months later, when she told me she'd taken the plunge and had just been accepted into an information security program, I was really happy for her!" he says with a big smile.
 
Recruiting anyone with this kind of background is challenging, let alone women, so it was really rewarding for Julien to help Élisabeth find her way. He feels good, knowing that the mentoring helped her move forward.

A win-win all around
Julien enjoyed sharing his experiences and showing that there's more than one path to information security. 

Besides helping young people, Julien says that mentoring has been a good opportunity to update his knowledge and stay current. "I know this area well, so I can tell young people about the resources available to them. They're already getting plenty of technical information, but it's good to add the human side of things to all that," he says. 

4 tips from Julien for would-be mentors

1. Talk about your passions
It creates a strong rapport with the person you're mentoring so you can get to know each other better. It's not a performance appraisal. 

2. Be curious about the person and learn more about their background

3. Don't put words in their mouth
This is their personal journey, and they should be able to express what they really want to say. 

4. Be humble
Both of you have something to learn. 

On a final note, Julien shares the most important things he's learned:
  • It takes time to build trust.
  • Don't underestimate how much influence you can have on a young person's future.  
Want to be a mentor like Julien? Academos needs mentors from all backgrounds and professions. To learn more, visit www.academos.qc.ca/devenezmentor (in French only).

*Pseudonym

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