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  • Inés Arias

Mentoring Millennials: We are not alone (this path has been walked before us) - welcome to the MBW P

One of the many adjectives that cross people's minds when talking about millennials is: self-obsessed. The word out there is that (we) millennials think we can achieve it all by ourselves and we have no appreciation for our senior colleague's experiences. This statement is a long way from reality!

It is obvious that we have a different way of communicating and that we are more familiarized with digital tools that are in constant renovation BUT the essence of our young generation and the previous young generations remains the same. Older generations were breaking barriers when they were younger, as we are trying to do now. Of course they wanted to be listened and have their ideas taken into account. In a way, if now (we) millennials have the freedom to express ourselves it´s, to a great extent, because these older generations paved the way for us. It’s a generational teamwork!

How can we make this partnership between young and senior professionals work? One word - mentorship. However as we are Meetings + Millennials we don’t want the mentorship the traditional way - we want a Mentorship Both Ways Programme - (The MBW Programme) a way for us to learn from our senior professionals but also for our senior professionals to learn from us! This is a partnership approach, this is the give and take approach, and this is the Meetings + Millennials approach.

The Meetings + Millennials MBW Programme only requires one main ingredient: sustained commitment (from both parts).

The MBW Programme is key to career success for young professionals. In a rapidly changing world and even more rapidly changing job market, it is becoming more and more important to strengthen human relationships and to create stronger links and partnerships between younger and senior professionals. The older generation has experiences that can only be learnt through a try-fail-try (again) process. Mentors can teach millennials how to overcome their past mistakes, allowing them to grow and create their own new mistakes without repeating others unnecessarily.

The MBW Programme is about caring and that is the basis of motivation. A motivated millennial will not see their job like a monthly paycheck but it will transform their job into their own personal project. Their success will be the success of the company.

The MBW Programme does not require money but time (and not too much). Our aim is to matchmake senior professionals with ambitious millennials. They will find their own rhythm and mechanisms to work together, but they could start by sharing a 20 minutes coffee or Skype call once or twice a month.

The MBW Programme is (us) millennials listening and learning, but it is also about us sharing our knowledge, and helping the senior professionals understand how millennials work and think.

We are extremely lucky to have Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, who has volunteered to become our first MBW mentor and as he describes

“Any great teacher will tell you they learn more from their students than their students can ever learn from them. Mentoring works exactly the same way. But we “oldies” shouldn’t volunteer to connect with a Millennial unless we have far less selfish motivations! This initiative is a wonderful opportunity to pass on the wisdom we picked up from our old bosses and clients, to be honest about past mistakes and how to avoid them, and to give a little time to help young professionals forge a successful career in our incredible industry.”

Some of us M+M folk have been fortunate enough in our careers to have had mentors who have helped guide us through this exciting world – as described by Gráinne Ní Ghiollagáin

“I started in this industry with no experience, however I was so lucky to have had one senior professional within my company who took me under her wing, and helped me understand that it was ok to make mistakes and to learn from them. Even though both of us have left that initial company, we still meet up on a regular basis to catch up on how we are both doing, and she still offers me excellent guidance”.

So, what are the next steps? How can you get involved?

If you are interested in being park of the Meetings+Millennials MBW Programme, just follow the directions below. Applications are open for both millennials and senior professionals!

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Apply to briefly stating your expertise, interests, and motivation

  2. Leave it to us to match-make (we Millennials are experts in online dating!)

  3. Connect & say “hi” to your Both-ways-Mentor

  4. Commit to a regular, mutually convenient time

  5. Learn and grow


A little can go a long way in millions of small steps: let's start by sharing!


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