Mentorship Matters

Mentoring is an ancient concept with current relevance to the fields of Emergency Management and Business Continuity. Ever since the character Mentor educated and provided guidance for Telemachus in Homer's Odyssey, mentoring has positively influenced career development and advancement in many professions.
Think about the goals you want to achieve in your professional and personal lives. Once you have your goals figured out, consider creating a diverse mentor pool that can help support you in attaining them. With respect to EM/BC emerging professionals reading this article and looking for mentorship opportunities, OAEM is a great starting place!

A Word with OAEM Mentor Martin Gierczak & Mentee Nathan Innes  


(Left) Martin Gierczak           (Right) Nathan Innes
Founder, Genesis Resiliency             

Why Did You Volunteer to Be a Mentor For OAEM?

Martin: I thought it would be cool to see what’s happening with the next generation of forward thinkers in Business Continuity and Emergency Management. The pandemic has made it difficult for practitioners to build and maintain the professional networks we depend on to learn from each other and share best practices related to recent incidents that we have helped with either directly or indirectly supported.
The pre-pandemic conversations we participated in during conferences, events, or actual incidents were stories that could be told over a break and make you think about how to better improve as a professional and perhaps even apply what you learned to your organization. 

What are 3 Things You’ve Been Able to do Through OAEM’s Program?

Martin & Nathan:
  • Share various best practices.
  • Grow our professional networks.
  • Follow an easy mentoring program framework.

What Have You Learned from Your Mentee Nathan?

Martin: For starters, I’ve learned a lot about the Canadian Red Cross! I also learned that based on the awesome work Nathan does across Canada, I always had to ask if he was either in Vancouver, Ottawa, or Toronto whenever we began our calls. With respect to what I’ve learned from my mentee, I’ve realized the need to volunteer more to support the community, to create opportunities to share ideas or projects to improve them and to follow my passion to support climate change initiatives.  

What Was Your Experience Like as a Mentee with Martin?

Nathan: Getting to know Martin taught me so much about not only about Business Continuity Management but also tips on how to break into this career! Martin served both as the perfect sounding board for new ideas and as a teacher for novel approaches. He completely changed my mindset on BCM from the old school approach I learned in class to a more novel approach. This mentorship program experience has made me rethink my sole focus on Emergency Management and look more into Business Continuity Management.

Would You Recommend the Program to Others?

Nathan: This program is a great opportunity to learn from people who are established in emergency management. Having a mentor helped me develop professional networks that are so important in this field. It is like giving yourself a jump start into your career. I would recommend it to everyone.
Martin: I would highly recommend participation in the program if you’re looking to contribute to the Business Continuity and Emergency Management profession, improve your communication skills, learn the latest and greatest being taught in the industry, or build your network.

How You Can Get Involved

Our mentorship program aims to have two intake periods for mentors and mentees each year. The next intake launched in March 2022. Anyone interested in being a mentor or mentee with our program can find more information on the Mentorship page here or by emailing