The Benefits of Mentorship: A Win-Win for Both Mentors and Mentees

The Benefits of Mentorship: A Win-Win for Both Mentors and Mentees

Posted on May 23, 2024 0 Comments

As an intern on the Progress Sitefinity Support team, Miglena Dimitrova had the opportunity to work with and learn from Velizar Bishurov, Senior Principal Customer Application Engineer.

Mentorship is beneficial at any career stage, and especially so when someone is just starting out in their chosen field. When Miglena Dimitrova began her internship at Progress in July 2023, she worked alongside Velizar Bishurov, a member of the Sitefinity team. With Velizar as her mentor, Miglena learned the ins and outs of the IT industry, as well as the importance of communication. With Miglena as his mentee, Velizar learned to give constructive feedback and ask more thought-provoking questions. Their working relationship has proven to be a win-win, and it’s continued even after Miglena joined Progress as a full-time employee.

Learn more about Velizar, Miglena and the benefits of mentorship in the interviews below.

What motivated you to become a mentor, and what do you enjoy most about mentoring?

Velizar: Mentorship is a two-way street. You can help someone grow and develop while also learning and improving yourself – there’s no better motivation than that. A great mentor can change their mentee’s life—I want to become that kind of a mentor someday, and it will take practice to get there. Mentorship is a marvelous adventure, and it's an out-of-this-world experience when you see your mentee use the knowledge and skills you taught them in an innovative and astonishing way.

How has having a mentor contributed to your personal and professional development?

Miglena: Having a mentor was an extremely enriching experience for me. It was eye-opening not only to learn all the different aspects of the IT industry, but also to undergo so much personal growth. The ability to present complex topicsin an interesting way was an amazing skill to gain, and I hope to further refine it in my professional development. My mentor motivated me to really go in-depth with key technical concepts—a vital factor for success. As someone who always takes the time to understand the matter in detail and provide relevant guidance, my mentor was able to help me grasp the importance of soft skills in communicating with other teams and presenting my ideas in a structured manner. That is a skill that I can apply to many areas of my life. Having a role model and someone to look up to is a perfect way to start my career journey, and I will be forever thankful for the opportunity, the time and the luck to be Velizar’s mentee!

What are some unexpected rewards or insights you've gained from being a mentor? What skills did you manage to improve?

Velizar: Being a mentor has an implied responsibility to it. It inevitably makes you more accountable and requires you to master the skill of giving honest, constructive feedback. I also had to improve the way I ask questions, as I strive to guide my mentee toward the answer instead of just giving it out freely. What remains is the real joy of mentorship—the bond that forms between a mentor and mentee. You have to feel it to understand it.

What are some key takeaways or lessons learned from your mentor that you will carry forward in your career?

Miglena: Being a mentee is a unique experience, especially when you’re lucky to have a dedicated and patient mentor. My biggest takeaway was the importance of understanding the ”why” behind the ”what”—asking the right questions drives the mentor-mentee relationship forward. I also developed a sense of dedication and learned to think outside the box throughout my internship at Progress. Seeing my mentor derive satisfaction from helping others really rubbed off on me, too. Last but not least is the attention to detail that is essential in our work as support engineers.

Can you share a specific example of a mentee's growth or a success story that you've witnessed through your mentorship?

Velizar: Just one example? Talk about hard questions. The reality is that there are many success stories, some more significant than others, but the highlight for me is when you hear from a third party that your mentee is setting the bar high. That happened to me during last year's mentorship, when my mentee and I found and fixed a few bugs in a product within her first two days at the company. Miglena’s passion, ability, attention to detail and desire to do well made me so proud.

What advice do you have for other mentees on maximizing the benefits of mentorship?

Miglena: First, you must adopt a certain mindset—you need to be mentorable. This means being open-minded, curious and ready to listen actively. Proactiveness is always recognized and appreciated as well. Remember to share your ideas and get your mentor to provide their feedback on them. Don‘t be afraid to ask questions and express your opinion on what works for you and what doesn‘t, because that is the foundation of a solid mentor-mentee bond. Finally, remember that the mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street and you will begin to see how it can evolve into a lifelong friendship!

Verina Lefterova

As a recruitment marketing lead, Verina has a passion for connecting with people and sharing their stories. She is enthusiastic about helping people find meaningful work and believes that everyone deserves to be part of a company where they can grow and thrive. In her free time, Verina can often be found hiking in the mountains with her two dogs or spending some quiet time at home reading a good book.


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