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Mentorship Program

Integral to achieving our objectives are our networking events and Mentorship program. Our Mentorship Program was launched in May 2014 and has facilitated over thirty mentor & mentee pairs. To express an interest in OPMMA’s Mentorship Program Contact Us or submit your request below

OPMMA has two objectives:  Improving the strength of Ottawa’s Product Management and Commercialization skills, and promoting Ottawa beyond its R&D excellence as a hub for PMs and Marketers.

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Mentorship Coordinator:
Len Fardella

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Over the years, Len has worn many hats in almost a dozen different companies, including his own. An engineer by training (Eng. Physics, we’re talking serious nerd stuff), once in the tech world, he quickly fell in love with product management and later product marketing roles and has never really looked back. It’s the mix of soft and hard skills that makes product management and marketing equalling fun and challenging. He’s discovered that the OPMMA is the perfect place to continue that journey or start it.

If you are interested in being a mentee or mentor, please complete the corresponding Application Form. We'll review applications within the next couple of weeks and get back to you. When a match is made, you'll be introduced and given further program details. Contact Len for more information.

 

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

What value does Mentorship have? 

Unlike most professions, Product Management (PM) is rarely, if ever, taught in our educational institutions. Certain elements are; marketing, project management, business, finance etc. Consequently, Product Management skills are picked up on the job and often hard-earned. What if we could accelerate this learning, helping those new to PM become successful, earlier?

Well, the OPMMA 2014 Mentorship Program aims to do just that. The mentorship program provides an opportunity to learn the craft from those who have seen it, done it, and bought the t-shirt!

Who can be a Mentee? 

To apply, applicants should already be involved in some aspect of Product Management and/or Marketing and are looking to fast-track their career.  Those that will gain the most from this program would already have around three years of (relevant) industrial experience.

Use the form above and enter a few profile details and career objectives. Upon receipt, a Program facilitator will match your needs with an available mentor. The facilitator will then arrange an introduction with your mentor. The Mentor will guide you through the process. The mentee will be allowed to accept or reject the pairing. The facilitator will be assigned to keep in touch with both the Mentee and Mentor, (they will be on hand should you need help).

What's the Mentorship Program? 

The OPMMA Mentoring Program maintains a list of registered mentors and a list of applicant mentees.  We train the Mentors, issue a code of conduct, and provide each mentor/mentee pair a Program Facilitator.  These Program Facilitators will hold regular reviews and be on hand to help facilitate the smooth running of the program.

The OPMMA Mentor program runs for 12 months.  After this period the Mentee and Mentor may (by mutual consent) continue the program.

While the benefits to the mentee are somewhat obvious the mentor also stands to gain considerably: The ability to mentor is a vital leadership skill that will help an individual’s career whether it be in a senior Product Management role or as a progression to executive management.

Who can be a Mentor?

Generally, a well-rounded professional with industry experience of more than ten years. With roughly five years of direct, hands-on, experience in Product Management. Professionals with marketing, Project Management, and C-level experience may also be suitable candidates.

To be a registered Mentee, complete the registration form above and you'll be invited to a Mentor Orientation session. These sessions will be held periodically, determined by demand. After completing Orientation and a brief interview, the mentor will be added to the Registered OPMMA Mentor list.  Program facilitators will periodically review the mentee applicants list and pair Mentors and Mentees. If the pairing is accepted the Program Facilitator will broker an initial meeting and keep in contact with both mentee and mentor throughout the program.  There will also be a formal quarterly review.

Time commitment is minimal, a 2-hour training session, a monthly 1-hour mentorship meeting (these can be increased with mutual consent), and a 30-minute quarterly review (telephone call).  Complete details will be made available at the orientation session.

Mentorship Testimonials

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"Mentorship proved to be invaluable. I got a crash course in ROI, business development, and product roadmaps. I got support on how to influence peers and managers to get results. We developed a project contract, discussed leadership, and how to make time to be proactive and strategic. My mentor had the experience of being where I was, and knew how to guide me through the typical problems of a first-time PM."

"I later provided mentorship through OPMMA to two junior product managers. The experience was very enriching. I learned by listening to their issues, being a soundboard, and thinking through some of the challenges with them"

-Jérôme Nantel

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