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Season 2 | Episode 1

Why Mentors Matter

An Interview With

Jonathan Hood

Founder, Ahead of the Game

This week’s guest is former defensive back for both the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Toronto Argonauts, Jonathan Hood. He is a professional speaker, a personal and corporate coach, as well as a PhD candidate in Kinesiology at the University of Toronto.


Jonathan is the founder of the Ahead of the Game youth mentorship program which over the past 10 years has helped more than 2000 diverse young people achieve their goals. He hopes to help “sharpen” today’s youth so that they may become better leaders in the future.


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Welcome to Season 2 of the Job Talks Podcast!

Have you ever wondered what mentorship means? Or whether you have the necessary qualities to become a mentor? Maybe you are one already and just don’t realize it.


In this week’s episode, Jon and Jonathan discuss things like the intrinsic value of the mentor-mentee relationship, feeling satisfied outside of the workplace and how post-secondary students have access to one of the “richest learning environments” around. 


If you are currently mentoring and are feeling indifferent or burnt out by the experience, this podcast will give you a fresh take on the value of these kinds of relationships. Jonathan’s advice is to “have faith that what you’re doing matters and just keep on giving.”

Topics Discussed in this Episode:


[01:04]  What does it mean to be a mentor?

[02:29]  What can someone gain from being a mentor?

[05:22]  How do you see mentorship? Is it something that is free of form or is it more of a formal process? Or is a combination of both?

[09:38]  What advice do you have for someone who was unsuccessful as a mentor in the past and would like to get back into it?

[12:24]  What are some of the qualities you try and build up in someone who wants to be a good mentor? Can anyone be a mentor?

[15:43]  Do you have any advice for someone who is looking for the right mentor?

[19:09]  Jonathan talks about his mentorship program, Ahead of the Game, its three important pillars or phases of understanding and accountability, and why programs like this are crucial.


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