THE FIRST CYCLE OF THE SERBIAN GAMES ASSOCIATION’S MENTORING PROGRAM FINISHED SUCCESSFULLY
The first cycle of the mentoring program organized by the Serbian Games Association (SGA) was successfully completed in mid-June. During three months, we had the pleasure to share our knowledge in the field of mentoring in a completely new context.
Although companies in the gaming industry apply mentoring very often in order to ease the processes of onboarding and learning for new or younger team members, in this pilot program, participants had the opportunity to connect differently. Through the mutual exchange of knowledge, they had the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of other individuals and teams that make up the otherwise small gaming community in Serbia.
Kristina Janković, SGA Executive Manager, explained why they opted to create such a program in cooperation with the “Creative Mentorship” team: “Such things accelerate the growth of the gaming ecosystem, and – most importantly – all its benefits do not end once the program is over; the results are long-term and they only multiply over time.” She also underlined that mentoring is very important for all creatives, and especially challenging for those who create within a specific industry such as gaming.
Participants also testified about the benefit of the mentoring program for their personal development. Vladimir Janković from the company Nordeus, who on this occasion found himself in the role of a mentor, pointed out that mentoring work was important for several reasons: “I went beyond the familiar framework of the people I work with and gained new valuable acquaintances in the industry. In the end, it is crucial to put my abilities and knowledge to the test and in a different context, so I could examine how much I know and how much of that knowledge I have systematically transferred to someone else. “
When it comes to mentees’ impressions, Nikola Josifović, from the company Webelinx, drew attention to how much the knowledge he gained thanks to the mentoring relationship boosted his self-confidence: “I gained great confidence in myself, my knowledge and experience. I also learned some specific things that interested me about my job and new approaches to solving some challenges.” On the other hand, Aleksandar Paunović, from Nordeus, underlined the importance of mentoring support in this process: “Everything was clear to me after the redefinition of focus of my work following the first 30 minutes of our conversation. The mentor drew my attention to some flaws in my thinking, and that meant a lot for all my future work.”
Dragana Jevtić pointed out that as a facilitator, she also learned a lot in this process: “Every time we step into a new sphere, we have an opportunity to learn. Gaming is an area that, in addition to being very creative, is also largely technical. The gaming industry is changing rapidly and uses many tools that we can adapt and apply in our work.” A unique challenge and novelty for the “Creative Mentorship” team was the three months-long timeframe, since it required adjusting the work within the mentoring relationship while responding to the needs of the participants and implement the program without compromising its quality. Still, the participants managed to discover the advantages of this kind of relationship, and how valuable is the mentor’s support both for the mentee and the team they work with. “It turned out that the mentoring program is very important for such professions because, in addition to mentoring support, which is key to empowering individuals, participants have the opportunity to develop soft skills, which usually are not in the focus of their work.”
The next cycle of the SGA mentorship program will be organized in the fall of 2021, and we look forward to the opportunity to collaborate again and empower another organization on the path to adopt mentoring as a permanent working principle.