An architect designs a better future for his mentee
Published October 22, 2021.
As is the case of many immigrants, Mehdi was an accomplished professional before moving to Canada from Iran. He studied philosophy and architecture and worked as an architect for five years in his home country. Mehdi received his Master of Architecture degree in Canada, and he works at a global architecture firm in Toronto, where he’s an associate working towards his Ph. D. from a graduate school in Switzerland.
“I’ve always had mentors in my life – even now. Architecture is a fast industry, and there are always areas that are new to you. I see mentorship as a very productive way to understand and get introduced to new topics, typologies and challenges. I’m fortunate to work in a company where this is understood, and there is a huge support group to provide opportunities to learn.”
Professors and colleagues have been instrumental in helping Mehdi gain new perspectives and understand the importance of having a mentor to advance in one’s career. He also knows it can be challenging to move to another country as an internationally-trained professional with many credentials and skills. This is why Mehdi accepted Windmill’s invitation to become a mentor.
“As someone who has gone through the process of moving to a new country, I thought that it would be good for me to share my knowledge and experience with other newcomers. There’s so much talent coming to Canada, and sometimes those talents get wasted because they don’t have the opportunity to get back into their field. Windmill is helping mitigate that through the Mentorship Program.”
Mehdi’s mentee, Emmanuel, wants to work in the architectural and construction industry, but first, he needs a license to be legally entitled to practice in Alberta. Presently, he’s going through the process of getting his internationally-earned degree recognized.
In the meantime, Mehdi is supporting Emmanuel to achieve his goal of working in his field. During their weekly meetings, they reviewed his resume and portfolio and discussed industry standards and definitions. Once that was covered, Mehdi focused on helping his mentee expand his professional network. Every other week, he introduced him to others in the industry – architects and HR managers.
“Mehdi is a kind-hearted and generous mentor who always made himself available. Being his mentee has been a beautiful experience. I will liken the experience to a kid held by the hand and led to school daily. He took his time showing me all that I needed to know, do, understand and assimilate in my pursuit of a new career life in Canada. And he crowned it all by introducing me to a lot of resources and networks that have been very helpful to me. He is a kind of mentor that one should have,” indicates Emmanuel.
Mentors like Mehdi support mentees by sharing knowledge, resources and career advice and also enjoy benefits from the experience. “Mentorship is a two-way street. Just knowing a person from another country and the way they think about architecture, it’s a quite interesting outcome.”
For his contributions to the Mentorship Program, especially to his mentee, we want to recognize Mehdi as Windmill’s Mentor of the Month.