You are here

Learn about how mentoring unlocks the potential and influences the professional growth of mentees, encourages long-term thinking and makes mentors more open to the world. 

In the summer of 2021, the Centre for CSR Development together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Ukraine and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine launched Mentorplace, a pilot programme under the Pact for Youth 2025.

The project brought together successful professionals in communications, sales, marketing, HR, project management, accounting, event management, psychology and HoReCa (hotel, restaurant, catering) with young people who sought to get inspired with success stories, get advice and motivation. 

All participants were able to talk to mentors about finding a job and building a career in a particular field, get tips on books, courses, internship programmes and even present their own projects and discuss them in detail with the mentor. 

We spoke with mentors and mentees of the pilot programme about their needs, how mentoring influenced their professional growth and unleashed their potential, what were the biggest challenges for participants and why this format of corporate volunteering is important. 

Mentee Maryan Vovk / Mentor Tetiana Laduba

Maryan Vovk, marketing manager of, an APP development company, alumnus of AIESEC International Youth Organisation

“I did not receive direct tips but rather ideas that could be implemented in my projects.” 

I work in a company whose apps are used by every third Ukrainian. Prior to that, he was involved in public activities with AIESEC, an international youth organisation, moving up from participant to Head of Digital Marketing. 

The mentorship format was familiar to me, because for 4 years in the youth organisation, I had several mentors, but they were all from AIESEC. I wanted to talk to an expert from outside. 

When I saw the ad for openings at the mentoring programme at, I was interested in marketing, and Tetiana had vast expertise. I understood that I would not receive specific information about the cases under the NDAs, but I would be able to go through my inquiry in detail to understand the direction I need to move in. At that time, I had been doing digital marketing for about 2 years, but I didn’t know if I wanted to continue. So it was important to hear from a seasoned expert about her path and motivation. 

Tetiana never told me what I should do. She asked questions that prompted me to find solutions on my own. We also talked about how I saw my ideal career, made a list of the next steps. 

Mentoring has become a valuable experience at work, because marketing works the same everywhere, and I better understood the basic set of tools and their work. I did not receive direct tips but rather ideas that could be implemented in my projects. 

Tetiana Laduba, Head of Employer Brand Development at Ciklum

“It was important for me to encourage the mentee to ‘make a fishing rod’ instead of giving him ‘fish’. 

For me, the opportunity to join the mentoring programme was a personal challenge and an opportunity to support an important social project. I was lucky with my mentors who shared their experiences, gave feedback, responded to my initiatives. That’s why it was nice to be useful to my mentee.

The biggest challenge is to find time for quality preparation for meetings. It was also important to refrain from specific recommendations, instead encouraging the mentee to think, reflect and analyse. As a person who makes dozens of work decisions a day, it was important for me to encourage the mentee to ‘make a fishing rod’ instead of giving him ‘fish’.”

I was impressed by the mentee’s conscious choice to work in the business for a few years as an employee and then set up his own business to avoid a number of mistakes of beginners who have their heads in the clouds. This is encouraging because such motivated professionals will strengthen the country’s economy in 5-10 years.

Mentoring is hard intellectual work; at least communication with my mentee was very interesting and informative. Each meeting was a source of reflection and inspiration. I felt that it was an exchange; I did not get the impression that it was one-sided.

This is an opportunity to motivate young professionals, provide them with the necessary support, help them navigate the variety of opportunities, work on skills that are essential for future success. For mentors, it can be a way of self-realisation, a source of inspiration and positivity, a new exciting experience.

Mentoring is about leadership, the ability to ask the right questions, respect for other opinions and cooperation. Mentorplace 1.0 required at least two meetings with the mentee, so in a limited time, I needed to establish emotional contact, build an atmosphere of trust. For soft skills, mentoring is a challenge and a real test. Therefore, I recommend those who are constantly working with the team, have the experience that they are ready to share and sincerely want to do so, to try themselves as a mentor.