A win-win situation, reverse mentoring can help empower today’s leaders to make a meaningful impact while providing future leaders with valuable insights into navigating their own paths to success. Throughout 2023, Interac welcomed its largest cohort of interns to the organization, spanning from technology to communications, facilities to strategy.
Throughout each internship term, thought-provoking conversations unfolded as the interns took the opportunity to offer advice to the rest of the Interac team in addition to learning themselves. Having interns with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences helps enrich the work and bring fresh perspectives to each team. Zamir Rahemtulla, Senior Engagement Manager, Ecosystem Engagement says, “The active involvement of future changemakers is key in shaping the products of tomorrow. By embracing and amplifying their voices, we unlock a world of untapped potential, propelling us toward a future fueled by creativity and diversity.”
By redefining the dynamics of mentorship, interns and team members can better collaborate and harness each other’s strengths. Throughout the 2023 summer term, interns were asked, “What advice would you give to current/future changemakers?” Below are some of the key takeaways and answers we got from our interns.
Learn, Grow, and Expand Your Network
Leaders leverage the flow of knowledge, innovation, and insights from all directions to identify tomorrow’s opportunities. The diverse and interconnected sourcing of knowledge can establish a network that amplifies impact and fosters collaboration.
“Strive for relentless improvement and embrace best practices from diverse sources within your network. To lead is to learn and incorporate winning standards within one’s transformative journey, setting a precedent for growth and success,” says Matthew Sgromo, Commercial Partnerships & Client Solutions Intern.
Drive Meaningful Impact
Driving meaningful impact is a constant journey that involves guided efforts towards positive change. It involves the continuous learning and adaption of change-makers to understand the impacts and implications of decisions and the collective change that can arise.
“Meaningful impact is not a destination but rather a journey of continuous improvement and guided efforts towards positive transformation,” says Priya Patel, HR Assistant Intern.
Embrace New Technologies
Advancing technologies, including generative AI tools, have recently become more approachable and powerful. Leveraging these tools in a safe and ethical manner allows individuals to become more accurate, efficient, and creative.
“Although some emerging technologies may be coupled with risks, they will ultimately help us foster creativity, and innovation to enhance problem-solving capabilities. Avoiding them altogether will only leave us behind,” says Ziana Nathoo, Innovation & Ecosystem Engagement Analyst.
The Importance of Diverse Mindsets and Embracing Change
Demonstrated through Interac’s formal and informal gatherings, the value of bringing together diverse mindsets is evident. While each intern possesses their own unique background and skillset, they all share the common goal to learn from their surroundings, embrace their creativity and hone an innovation mindset. By welcoming and creating a space where those starting their careers are comfortable and motivated, innovative ideas can flourish and grow.
As an organization shaping the future of Canada’s digital economy, it is important to actively listen, engage with others and embrace change so we can create a transformative, advanced, and equitable future for Canada. For this reason, Interac has launched its very own Youth Council which will feature youth aged 16-24 from across the country, serving as advocates and advisors, participants will consult, advise and inform on strategic initiatives for futureproofing Interac and the Canadian financial sector. At Interac, we believe that we need to create spaces to highlight diverse mindsets that are emerging today, in order to build for the changes that Canadians want to see in the future.