The beVisioneers fellowship starts with a 12-month intensive from June 2024 – May 2025. beVisioneers offers Fellows a structured hybrid learning and community program, access to project grants, masterclasses, and project coaching, as well as input from top experts in relevant fields. During that first year, each Fellow is also supported by an individual mentor along their journey, from developing their idea to launching a project.
Mentors meet Fellows in monthly sessions to provide guidance, feedback, and support to the mentee, serving as advisor, advocate and ally, depending on the specific goals and objectives negotiated and agreed upon with the mentee.
We chatted with some of the Mentors to get their thoughts on how the bV experience has been so far.
Watching Fellows grow in real time
When we asked Mentors to pinpoint certain highlights of their experience with mentees, we were delighted to hear of so many instant connections and collaborations between kindred spirits from different generations and backgrounds with similar goals. Victoria Heindorff-Meuller, Senior Manager, Global Training Northern Europe at Mercedes Benz, hit it off instantly with her mentee;
”After an hour and a half we had had already made a big crack in the facade that is natural to have with someone you have not met and only meet digitally. It was an amazing fit and connection and our meetings keep on being true highlights every month.”
HR Business Partner at Mercedes-Benz South Africa, Nadine Kamineth, talked about how inspired she was to meet such a dynamic mentee in Phumla Makhoba;
”Being part of Phumla’s growth is a huge privilege for me and a definite highlight on this journey was witnessing the moment she discovered what she is seeking for is within her already, leading to clarity and confidence on the path ahead. This is a proud moment as I could play a part in this amazing self-discovery. Another exciting moment was meeting Phumla face-to-face when I have accompanied her to our manufacturing plant for exposure affording her another stepping stone on the road to self-discovery.”
A two-way exchange of ideas
Over the first year of the Fellowship, we have witnessed how beneficial the Mentor-mentee relationship can be for both parties. Madhu Satyanarayana was positively energized by his mentees resilience and motivation;
”Some of the aspects I observed and would like to call my learnings from my mentee is to have a steadfast belief that one need to have in their idea/concept, never give up attitude, will to succeed, despite challenges (both internal and external, having a keen awareness of the needs for making an idea successful and putting every effort to plug those gaps in all earnest.”
Nadine Kamineth raved about her mentees capacity to work as a sparring partner, helping her broaden her perspective;
‘’The beVisioneers mentorship programme is a two-way learning experience. Phumla and I had good conversations where we challenged each other’s thinking, and this culminated into broadening my mind and understanding a perspective from the youth viewpoint. Phumla also reminded me that being true to your why ensures one to focus authentically on one’s purpose irrespective of differing opinions. This for me is a reminder to set goals that are meaningful and that are aligned to one’s belief system”.
In addition, she educated me in the topic of sustainable design, and I am very proud of the impact she is making to bring dignity to the vulnerable and I’m excited for what she is still to achieve!’’
Helping mentors tap into their full leadership potential
For a lot of Mentors, they find this experience instrumental in learning about how they are as leaders and how to become better in that regard. Akshar Maharaj talked about how this experience helped him broaden his perspective;
”This journey has further honed my leadership qualities, emphasizing the significance of empathy and effective communication in mentoring. It has reinforced my belief that mentoring is not just about imparting knowledge but about fostering a space where talents are nurtured, and new perspectives are embraced.”
Could you be part of the next generation of Mentors?
Collaboration between the next and now generations is crucial to building a sustainable future and we’re excited to continue and improve this interaction in the coming Cohorts. In order to provide our talented fellows with the best support, we are looking for volunteer mentors. If you’re interested in applying yourself, find out more here.