Andreea Petre-Goncalves

President and Co-Founder at Flare Governance

“It felt right to help women with those specific challenges, there is a sense of doing what is right.”

Andreea Petre-Goncalves, Mentor (WIAN’s 2018/19 Programme) and President and Co-Founder of Flare was one of our mentors for WIAN’s 2018/19 Mentorship Programme. Andreea is President and Co-Founder of Flare, a new Brussels NGO moving political debate away from business-as-usual towards purposeful progress. Flare organises innovative events driven by enjoyment and shared humanity, to weave a narrative of hope for polarised times. Andreea wanted to become a mentor in order to provide the type of support she would have benefitted from early in her career. In particular, Andrea wished to impart industry-relevant knowledge and offer mentees useful tips on how influence can be deployed for the greater good.

Andreea was paired with two mentees on our early-career programme; LC and GN. One of her mentees was based in Brussels and the other in Chicago. During the scheme Andreea skyped with both of her mentees regularly.

During the scheme, Andreea relocated to Brussels, and from then on was able to meet with her Brussels-based mentee in person. Andreea was able to provide her mentees with advice on specific job applications and interview nerves, including how to frame experiences in a productive way for the purpose of any interview. When requested, Andreea reviewed her mentees’ CVs and job applications and provided feedback. As well as imparting general industry knowledge, Andreea also recommended specific resources and organisations to her mentees that might be useful for building professional skills. Within her mentorship relationship, Andreea also found it important to emphasise the enjoyment of the journey of building a career in international affairs rather than solely focusing on the destination.

Andreea found participating in the scheme enormously satisfying. She remarked that she herself could have done with this kind of support early in her career, so it made Andreea feel good to contribute in a way that she may also have appreciated at the beginning of her career. Andreea said that the mentorship scheme was an entirely positive experience.

“It is satisfying to have the opportunity to share insights, give a sense of what is out there, and encourage early-career women to find what has meaning for them. It felt right to help women with those specific challenges, there is a sense of doing what is right.”

Andreea remarked that it was an enlightening process, with fresh insight gained from her mentees.

Andreea stated that the kinds of people attracted to participating in the scheme as a mentor are already likely to be open-minded, empathetic, and well-meaning. When asked to offer up advice for future mentors, Andrea said that as she experienced no frustrations and didn’t face any barriers, offering advice would be inauthentic because she had no challenges.

She urges other prospective mentors to enroll in the scheme and offer support, because “the benefits are meaningful for both mentors and mentees”.