Quinta Onditi has served both as an Executive Director and Lead Program Manager in African Women in Technology. She is one of the mentors in AWIT. She is a lady who wears many hats. It’s intriguing how she is able to juggle all these roles flawlessly.
This is our exclusive interview with Quinta Onditi with a keen interest on Mentorship.
Who is Quinta Onditi?
Quinta is a versatile professional who’s been fortunate enough to work in multiple sectors including Development, Technology, Venture Development and Investment. She is passionate about women empowerment specifically in STEM and venture spaces. She never misses an opportunity to contribute to and support women founders and professionals in these spaces. She was featured here in ‘Living with Ess’
What were your childhood dreams?
I always wanted to be a writer. I spent most of my time reading all sorts of books which grew a strong passion in me for storytelling.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
Anie Akpe, Founder of African Women in Technology (AWIT). She believed in me when I was still early in my career journey and pushed me to realize my full potential. I have reached great heights today all thanks to her guidance and support which I’m forever grateful for.
When did your journey into mentorship begin?
At African Women in Technology, before then I was familiar with the term but not so much the action. Being able to work and interact with such a rich community of women professionals eager to support, share and inspire was everything.
Who are you currently mentoring?
I’m currently focused mostly on peer to peer mentorship. I have a group of friends with whom we challenge and learn from one another. It’s been very rewarding in navigating through the challenges that came with the pandemic both on personal and career growth perspectives.
What have you learnt from giving mentorship?
There’s no such thing as common knowledge, there’s always opportunities to learn and grow even at the slightest bit. Mentorship was previously overly glamorized making it seem like you can only excel or succeed by being attached to professionals at a certain level. I believe we’ve all come to appreciate that mentorship is not only giving but also receiving. The capacity to pour into each other takes precedence over the size of one’s network, because the internet has proven to us that you can grow your network to whatever heights you aspire organically.
Why do you believe in mentorship?
Mentorship helps us view our life’s events from different lenses, if we’re lucky we get mentors who’ve walked similar paths to us who relate to our challenges on a personal level.
What do you consider an impact in Mentorship?
I think the greatest impact mentorship can have on an individual is increasing their propensity to have a positive outlook on life. Millennials call it manifesting, it starts with the mindset. I believe an impactful mentorship relationship is one that empowers and enables a positive mindset.
What have your struggles been in giving mentorship?
Life can sometimes get overwhelming to the point we sometimes feel we have nothing to give, I’ve found that when we continue to give even during tough times our strengths continue to be renewed. Notwithstanding, there is no reward without struggle.
Other than giving mentorship, have you received mentorship as well?
Yes I have received mentorship both in and out of the workplace. It’s important to have both in order to find an equilibrium that supports your growth trajectory in the most fruitful way.
What do you think about online mentorship platforms?
I think they are revolutionary in helping break geographic barriers. What better way to build and shape a global mindset than through online mentorship?
Traditional (physical) mentorship Vs Online mentorship, which one cuts it for you?
Online mentorship! Pandemic aside, I believe that technology is continuing to shape how we interact with one another. Look at how clubhouse completely disrupted social interaction for professionals.
What does it take to make the kind of difference that you make in mentorship?
Being intentional. You don’t make as much difference through action as you do when acting on purpose.
What are some of your best and worst moments in mentorship?
Best moments would be learning things about myself I was completely blind to and helping others tap into their best selves.
Worst moments would be losing contact with people who were once a part of your journey. It’s all part of the growth process, you only wish you could take everyone with you.
On a scale of 0-10, how fulfilling has it been for you to give mentorship?
10! It’s always exciting to get people excited about their goals and intentions.
What do you think is the future of mentorship?
I think the future of mentorship involves a lot of cross-pollination. We are starting to see huge trends in career shifts and it helps to be in touch with professionals who are in sectors you are aspiring to enter to help shake off the imposter syndrome we’ve all experienced while taking the leap.
Were you always figured out?
Not at all, it took a lot of failures and bold decisions to get to the level of self-actualization that I have currently mastered. I believe it’s an everyday process and at no point are you completely figured out, just more self-aware.
How is your schedule like on a typical week day?
I’m back in school now so when I’m not working, I’ll make time to study and do some physical exercises. Yoga time is my favorite, because it allows me to fully tap into my inner self effortlessly. Namaste!
Is there anything you would do differently in the mentorship space?
I’d encourage more openness and less reservations especially from mentors who in some cases have a criteria for who gets to be their mentee. You never know what comes out of taking a chance on someone, life is full of surprises.
Thoughts on AWIT’S Mentorship section?
I love the platform and I am excited to see how it continues to develop and grow!
There’s no such thing as common knowledge, there’s always opportunities to learn and grow even at the slightest bit. Mentorship was previously overly glamorized making it seem like you can only excel or succeed by being attached to professionals at a certain level. I believe we’ve all come to appreciate that mentorship is not only giving but also receiving – Quinta Onditi.