Kumar, a Windmill supporter who also donates his time to mentor others
Published April 16, 2021.
Looking for other ways to support Windmill Microlending and its clients, Kumar, a Windmill line of credit guarantor, decided to sign up for Windmill's Mentorship Program.
After graduating from high school in Sri Lanka, Kumar moved to Canada to help his quasi-adopted family. Before obtaining his BSc and MBA from the University of Ottawa, he faced some of the challenges that immigrants encounter when settling in a new country. “Everyone has challenges concerning their accent, language proficiency, the local experience, not having a local education and a lack of connections within the professional community. But if you have a mentor, you get help on all those things,” indicates Kumar.
Throughout his professional career, first in IT, then in business, Kumar received support from different mentors. They offered guidance on the type of qualifications he needed to move up within an organization and advise him on making presentations and connections successfully.
For the last ten years, Kumar has been a private investor in start-ups and private companies; always, with the mentality of helping others succeed. It was this mindset that prompted him to become a Windmill line of credit guarantor. Later on, wanting to support the organization even more, he learned about the Mentorship Program and decided to sign up. Kumar knew that, as a mentor, he could empower other immigrants and help propel them on their career path by sharing his knowledge, experience and connections.
Kumar’s passion for helping others succeed has helped him impact his mentees’ lives. Aside from assisting them in navigating the Canadian labour market, he guides and asks them probing questions that empower them to make their own decisions. Since joining the Mentorship Program, Kumar has had four mentees. His current mentee has a background in finance, and he was able to connect them with people who work in the same field and have similar experiences.
Because mentoring can be incredibly impactful for a skilled immigrant’s growth, helping mentees find a job in their field is the greatest satisfaction Kumar has had as a mentor. “When you are mentoring someone, you are not only providing support for them to find a job. You’re also their sounding board. It’s important to speak with them about the challenges they’re having while looking for work. Job searching takes a toll on you, mentally and emotionally. And I have found that when I have a connection with people, I helped them with that at least to a certain extent,” says Kumar.
For his contributions to the Mentorship Program, especially to his mentee, we want to recognize Kumar as Windmill’s Mentor of the Month.