Landscapes - Summer 2011 - (Page 69)

INSPIR ATION | INSPIR ATION JILL ROBERTSON MENTORS MATTER … he was right there to catch me if I fell… était toujours là pour corriger mes erreurs... ENG_ THE IDEA OF professional mentorship is not a new one; in fact, it is formally integrated into the professional development of landscape architects. The classic model of mentorship, however, is static. Junior staff members work under strict supervision, drawing up details for footings with limited opportunity to interact with clients, go out on site or consider the full scope of the project. Junior staff must wait, follow established protocols and learn the practice by its component parts. The notion of paying your dues while languishing at the bottom of the corporate ladder exists not only in landscape architecture but also in many other disciplines. However, some senior practitioners question this model, looking beyond the formal requirements to take a genuine interest in those following in their footsteps I was lucky! My first mentor was not bound by the years of experience on my CV, but saw potential in an inexperienced junior. This remarkable mentor, Harry Kodors, MMM Group, handed me my first project mere months after graduation, letting me navigate the world of detailed park design, project management and contract administration. While classmates and colleagues prepared for their LARE exams by reading about specifications, I was managing my first tender; while others studied details about concrete curbing and playground surfacing, I was out on site watching them come to life. Many years later, I still recall that rush of excitement on site, watching my drawing become a reality. My mentor gave me the PETER KLYNSTRA WAS A TRUE PRACTITIONER EMERITUS 2 EARLY DAYS: JILL WITH HARRY KODORS | PETER KLYNSTRA ÉTAIT UN VRAI PRATICIEN ÉMÉRITE 2 AUX PREMIERS JOURS : JILL ET HARRY KODORS latitude to lead a project on my own, with the knowledge that he was right behind me, ready to catch me if I fell. He earned no extra credit or kudos for letting me go. Yet he believed that real life project experience was the best way to teach the practice of landscape architecture. When I moved cities and joined Ekistics Planning and Design, again I was lucky. Our office was blessed with a true practitioner emeritus, a man who loved his profession and lived to share his knowledge with others: Peter Klynstra. As our “office brain trust,” this was the person to ask if you needed a unit price, a quick and dirty detail or a contractor contact. He was happy to sit and chat with you for hours (okay, not all of them billable), speaking about his project experiences, and in the process revealing his insight and his wisdom. All too often, senior practitioners don’t have the time—or don’t make the time—to fully engage in teaching their younger staff, and that is a loss not only to both individuals but to the profession as well. This exchange of ideas and insight allowed me to settle into my new firm. There is no doubt in my mind that this was mentorship in its highest form. The prescribed guidelines for mentoring junior staff have certainly produced qualified professionals, but truly great mentors show genuine interest and engagement. While passing along the required professional competencies, they also transmit their passion, knowledge and insight to create something even more powerful: the next generation of mentors. These “juniors” will, in time, take the extra time and energy to inspire the generation that follows them, paying it forward in the most profound way. Imagine the depth of professional richness that can be achieved then. FR_ L’IMPORTANCE DU MENTORAT Une jeune professionnelle se souviens des mentors et des projets qui a marqué ses premières années dans un métier où l’échange de vues est si capital. SUMMER ÉTÉ 2011 69

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Summer 2011

Landscapes - Summer 2011
Limitless! | Illimité!
Letters | Courrier
Up Front | Prologue
Essay | Essai
Work That Defines Us | des Oeuvres qui Nous Définissent Aapc
National Honour Awards | Prix Honneur National
National Merit Awards | Prix Mérite National
National Citation Awards | Prix Citation Nationale
The Regionals | Les Prix Régionaux
Adjudication | Sélection
Opinion | Opinion
Lacf | Fapc
Site Specific | État Des Lieux
Collaborators | Collaborateurs
Inspiration | Inspiration
The Last Word | Le Mot De La Fin

Landscapes - Summer 2011