As we closed our office and enforced social distancing, we reimagined how we would mentor from home.

Every year we welcome a new class of interns, most travel thousands of miles to get a real-life working experience. Due to COVID-19, two of our interns had to rush back to their home countries, Belgium and Mexico.

Jetmira “Mira” Kaloshi studies Communications in Belgium and joined our team at the end of January. A short time after, we welcomed Karen Lucero Gil Barrera, a Digital Communications student from Mexico. Mira and Karen were awarded scholarships for the internship through The Washington Center, a nonprofit providing immersive internships to students from hundreds of colleges and universities globally. While the students looked forward to continuing doing work at the office, their plans were interrupted by COVID-19.

We knew that in order to continue mentoring effectively, we needed to keep our mentees engaged and motivated, while still providing empowering work experiences and have optimized our virtual mentoring:

Collaborate virtually

Connect daily through check-in calls and weekly one-on-one sessions to provide a platform for them to voice any concerns about their new reality. In addition, make sure that the mentor and mentee have access to virtual platforms and/or chats that they are comfortable communicating with.

Reimagine daily tasks

The mentee may be dealing with stress and anxiety surrounding Covid-19, consequently, request tasks that allow him/her to work with confidence and make use of their unique skills.

Strengthen Relationships

Once everyone is adjusted to the new routine, include the mentee on virtual social activities such as coffee breaks and happy hours and share motivational resources and activities to do after business hours.

The way we mentor has changed dramatically and will continue to develop based on the world’s new reality. However, with the right technology and collaboration plans in place, teams can thrive in the modern workplace, continue developing skills, and feel connected regardless of where they are in the world.

Gloria Rodriguez, President and CEO, Comunicad, LLC