Blueprint Mentee: Natalie Chu

Another mentee's reflection from our Blueprint Mentorship Program should inspire you to apply for your own mentor in our January 2016 intake -- but quick! Applications close October 15, 2015.  

Natalie Chu

Development Coordinator

Citimark Development Corp.


What were your main objectives for the Blueprint program?

My main objective of the program was to learn both valuable business and life skills from not only my mentor, but other like-minded individuals. I wanted to get involved in a community that empowers women and encourages both professional and social long-term relationships. As this was my first formal mentorship program, I did not want to set expectations per se. I wanted the relationship with my mentor to develop naturally.


How was your mentor, Carlee Groves, a good fit for you?

Carlee is a charismatic, passionate, and driven individual. We met for the first time prior to the formal launch of the program in January. Within minutes of meeting each other, it felt like we had known one another for years. At that initial meeting, we asked one another what we hoped to achieve throughout this program. We agreed to be open […] with one another and vowed to hold each other accountable. She was the perfect fit for me, and I am grateful to have shared this experience with her.


How did you and Carlee connect and work together throughout the program?

Carlee and I made it a priority to meet at least once a month. We went to a few industry events together, and met before each of our workshops. At these meetings, we'd discuss the progress we both made with respect to our personal and professional goals. In addition, we would talk about some of the challenges that we were facing at work, how we overcame them, and how each of the experiences we faced was a growing and learning opportunity.


What was something Carlee said or did that really stuck with you?

I can be a perfectionist, which can be my demise sometimes. Carlee had a very similar journey through the early stages in her career; she taught me that not all questions can be answered right away, but to embrace the unknown and let fate be my destiny (to a degree, of course). I consider myself to have risk-adverse tendencies. Carlee encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone because risks are not necessarily always bad. Taking risks can result is great outcomes, but without trying, we'll never know what those outcomes are.


What were the most impactful lessons, conversations, or development that came out of your discussions with Carlee?

She emphasized that there are no wrong choices per se, but highlighted that there is something to learn from every experience. It is important to put yourself out there, get involved with the community and be open to new experiences. So long as you are constantly learning and doing, you are moving in the right direction. Personally, I have struggled with what the next steps of my career are. Whether it's pursing a masters degree, continuing with my current career path, travelling, or doing something completely different, the unknown scares me. I have learnt to embrace this journey with open arms.


Did you apply any of your development from this experience to your career?

This experience has taught me about the balance between my career, lifestyle, and relationships. As important as it is to execute tasks, it is equally important to develop one's growth, lifestyle and relationships. I have made it a standard practice to revisit my goals, and constantly develop them. By breaking my goals down into three categories, I have been able to focus on each of them independently and to determine how best achieve them. I have found this to be an extremely rewarding process, and has helped me challenge and push myself.


What was your favourite aspect of the YWiB Blueprint program?

Sharing this experience with others, and seeing the progress of other mentors and mentees was inspiring. I usually attend industry-related events, so it was great to meet women in other industries, and learn the ins and outs of different lines of work.


How has YWiB Blueprint helped develop your career?

This mentorship program has helped me celebrate my achievements to date, and has helped me envision what I want to get out of the next year, five years and ten years of my career. Though I cannot guarantee any given set path to achieve my goals, Carlee and I discussed all different ways to achieve them, and I am excited to see what my future entails. I have made it a goal of mine to take some courses to acquire new skills. I am now inspired to constantly challenge myself with things that I am hesitant of. […]I look forward in pushing myself to new boundaries.


Apply before October 15, 2015 for the January 2016 intake!