Four Reasons We Built Mentoring Program

Posted on 26/01/2023, Teodora Stojšin

January is International Mentoring Month, and since The Kiwi-2-Kiwi Mentorship Program is one of the most successful internal educational programs run within, we decided to share more about the reasons and benefits of building it. It was launched in 2019 in our HQ in Brno, Czech Republic, and today it’s a hybrid program across all our locations. A typical mentoring cycle runs for six months, and we hold two cycles yearly. 

Helena Torres, our Senior Global Partnerships Manager and a mentor in the program,  told us previously that she met wonderful people during the program with whom she has learned a lot about different cultures, and wildly different points of view. 

“It helped me grow as a professional, and be more involved in company side-projects. Supporting someone else´s goal somehow also gives me a great sense of purpose and meaning,” said Helena.

Read below to hear from the program owner, to understand how the program works, what are the reasons for building it, and to learn about the experiences of our participants.

1. Growth and Development of Our People

The number one reason to develop a Mentoring Program was to help the development and growth of our people. More than 300 mentors and mentees have participated in Brno, Prague, Bratislava, London, Barcelona, and Belgrade. 80% of people reported they advanced in their professional development plan, and more than eight mentees became mentors in later cycles. 

The most frequent mentoring areas are:

  • Mentoring in leadership and people management
  • Technical mentoring (e.g., Python, SQL, Data Analysis, React, project and product management, business development, and more)
  • Soft skills (, problem-solving, negotiation, and more)

Elena Sheykis, our Release Manager, who was a mentee in the Mentoring Program, mentioned that within two cycles of the program, she had received accurate feedback on her desired goals, and with the constant support of her mentor. 

“I have upskilled in various soft and hard skills.I was looking forward to each session. And I can recommend this program!” said Elena.

2. In-house Platform With Experts

Our idea was also to find a way to provide the needed development internally, utilizing our own resources and expertise. At the beginning of each cycle, we always confirm with participants our matching choice. We onboard new mentoring community members, do a kick-off meeting, offer a catalog of online and offline workshops, and group gatherings, and provide support throughout the mentoring cycle. Mentees work on their SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals),  define mentoring sessions, and are responsible for preparing the agenda for each meeting and tracking progress.

“If we can’t find a suitable mentor from those who applied, we make sure to dig deep and search for experts in the whole company. We connect people either through “chemistry calls” or through HR. We also approach experts in the area ourselves and ask them if they would like to mentor someone (and they never said no!), or we discover there is another way to upskill mentees in the company, for example, through other programs in the company,” says Kristina Khlistun, our Training Specialist and the program owner.

3. Increase engagement, cooperation, and networking

Fostering relationships is a significant aspect of our Mentoring Program as well. Our Mentoring Program brings people together from various areas of the broader company. It creates a community of those who want to develop themselves, help others, and spread their knowledge and experience. 

Kristina, the program owner, said mentoring is not just about guidance, but also about building networks and connections, growth, and developing an open mindset.

“ is an active community of bright and brilliant people. It is wonderful to see how they grow together through mentorship. Mentorship is not a one-way street: mentees thrive from mentors’ experience, and mentors become better and more confident in their roles,” said Kristina.

4. New perspectives

Mentoring is beneficial for both sides, and it helps both mentees and mentors and teaches people to build trust, and creates a safe environment. If mentees are not searching for hard skills or technical skills type mentoring, we tend to connect people from different areas who might never have met. In this way, when you’re interested in improving your leadership skills as a mentee, you also learn how people in different areas approach challenges. Mentor and mentee exchange their thoughts, and experiences, and broaden their perspective on things. It helps to look at life and challenges entirely outside of the box.

Dmytro (Dima) Malytskyi, our Director of Corporate Solutions and a mentor, said that the mentorship program is probably one of the best initiatives we have as a company. 

“Nothing helps to grow personally as connecting with people from other teams and backgrounds in such a format. Thanks to all my mentees, I am confident that I am a better person and a stronger professional. I only hope I helped them all as much as they helped me,” mentioned Dima.

If professional development is essential for you and you want to be part of this program, check our open positions and don’t hesitate to apply.