Hivda Celik is helping women.
A fourth-year student at UWindsor’s Odette School of Business, Celik is an intern at the Women of Windsor Mentorship Collaborative. She is the Jill-of-all-trades at the nascent non-profit organization, which helps women connect with mentors for career advice and inspiration.
“It’s important, especially in these times, that women support each other in their careers and encourage one another to take on leadership roles in the community,” Celik said. “The Women of Windsor Mentorship Collaborative allows women in great places in their careers to become a mentor to those who wish to one day be in the same position.”
The Mentorship Collaborative, run entirely by volunteers, has been able to hire Celik under a Mitacs Business Strategy Internship. Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by bringing together industry and academic institutions, received an additional $40 million in funding this year for internships from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to help companies and business organizations cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Celik is the only paid employee of the non-profit organization, her $10,000 stipend to go directly to her tuition. Mitacs pays half the salary, with the Odette School of Business and the Mentorship Collaborative splitting the other half.
Celik is in charge of the Mentorship Collaborative’s social media channels, she helps organize online seminars, and she is the behind-the-scenes liaison with the board of directors. She is also organizing a chapter of the group on the UWindsor campus.
“I’m coaching her on what it means to be the executive director of a non-profit,” said Kavaughn Boismier, who founded the Mentorship Collaborative in 2018.
“We’re still in our infancy, but we’re growing, in part thanks to this internship.”
The organization, funded through corporate sponsorships, has been offering seminars and a professional speaker series by female business leaders. But now with more than 30 women signed on to be mentors, the group will begin pairing mentors with young women looking for career advice.
“We exist to equip women going through career transitions, launching new careers, or the launching of a new business with the resources they need and the mentors they need,” said Boismier. “For the mentors, we give them a platform though our professional mentor speakers series.”
Boismier, who is the chief financial officer of local internet provider Wave Direct, developed a relationship with the Odette School of Business when she was in the banking industry, hosting interns from the Masters of Business Administration program.
When she learned of the Business Strategy Internships, she jumped at the opportunity it presented.
“This is extremely important to our organization,” she said. “We will rely on it going forward.”
Celik, who is from Windsor, said she hopes to pursue her MBA at Odette when she finishes her undergraduate program in the spring.
Her internship is being supervised by business professor Martha Reavley.
“This internship is a great way to network with local people, and I believe a collaboration with a faculty member of Odette will further enhance my education and knowledge through a more hands-on experience than I could get in the classroom,” said Celik.