Who is Mario Bourque’s mentor?

[This post is part of a series on Mentors and Heroes]


Mario Bourque is Manager of Information Architecture and Content Management for a leading technology solutions provider to the passenger transport industry. He also helped to organize the Information Architecture Institute’s IDEA2009. Follow him on Twitter @mariobourque.

Mario Bourque’s mentor is…

Juan Guillen, Technology Executive

How long have you known each other and how did you first meet?
I met Juan in 1997 while working at a project recording studio in Kanata, ON. He booked a session for his daughter and her friend. Little did I know at the time that he was the VP of a software company. He died in September 2001 in a boating accident off Kingston, ON, leaving behind a wife, two daughters, and many people who thought the world of him.

How would you describe how you relate to your mentor?
Part protege, part apprentice, he saved me during a difficult time in my life and gave me the opportunity I needed to become the person I am today. I learned a tremendous amount of knowledge about the technology industry from him and continue to use many of the things I’ve learned from him. He’s also responsible for most of my “brute force” approach to things.

How formal or structured is the mentorship? Did Juan know you consider him a mentor?
I reported to him for three years. it was a working relationship, but I had the opportunity to watch everything he did. He helped me learn about every aspect of a software engineering department, which in turn gave me a solid foundation in understanding the entire software development life cycle.

What is one piece of advice your mentor gave you that has stuck with you the most?
There is no point in going back to school to learn anything. What you have learned and continue to learn will be of much more value than any piece of paper. Don’t hold back and don’t ever be afraid.

What else do you want the world to know about your mentor?
I miss him dearly.

Thank you Mario for sharing your mentor with us!

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