Photo of IMI Executive Director Laura Skillen, YMI member and IMI Certified Mediator Iram, and Cecile.

YMI Interview: Cécile Maitre-Ferri

Cécile Maitre-Ferri is a member of IMI’s Young Mediators’ Initiative. She is currently undertaking a mentorship with IMI Certified Mediator Claude Amar in Paris, arranged via the Worldwide Mediation Mentorship Program, for which all YMI members are eligible. In the below interview, Cécile shares her thoughts on the value of YMI and why mediation makes for an interesting and relevant career.

Featured image, left-to-right: IMI Executive Director Laura Skillen, YMI Member and IMI Certified Mediator Iram Majid, and Cécile at the signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation.

What has been the value of YMI to you?

“Well, YMI has been very useful for me, because when I first discovered mediation, I had many questions I was asking myself—I needed to understand how to become a mediator, what it meant to be a mediator, many questions that are not easy to find answers to. YMI was very good at getting me to understand what were the options and what I could be doing, and especially was very good at allowing me to find mentors. I will be starting my mentorship soon, but I think it was very useful in getting clarification on the whole situation.”

YMI was very good at getting me to understand what were the options and what I could be doing

That’s great. And regarding the signing of the Singapore Convention, from your perspective as someone who’s at the beginning of a mediation career, how do you think this will affect you?

“Well, hopefully positively. I did study some arbitration. And as soon as you start studying arbitration the only thing you hear about—not the only thing, but one the of the main things, one you can absolutely not miss—is the New York Convention. I am hoping that the Singapore Convention will have the same impact [for mediation], and I hope it will allow people like me to actually make a living out of mediation, because I understand that this is still very difficult. So these are my hopes. And, of course, on a more general basis, I think it could be very useful in promoting mediation to have a larger impact on the world and change the approach most people have to conflicts, which unfortunately are unavoidable in human societies. So in a more idealistic view, I hope it will allow us to have a less conflictual world.

A very last question. Why mediation and what do you like about it?

Cec: I like that it gives you a purpose. It’s very rewarding to know that you’ve been able to help people. I think this is very good. I think that as a mediator you develop a lot of skills that are not only useful for you as a professional, but also for you as a human being, that it makes you—maybe that’s another idealistic point—a better person. And I also think that it is very interesting to have non-routine work, and [in mediation] each case is very unique—and I think that makes [working as a mediator] very interesting.

It’s very rewarding to know that you’ve been able to help people.

YMI is a free-of-charge membership program that helps newly-trained mediators, including IMI Qualified Mediators, network and gain access to the resources they need to get experience. Learn more about YMI here.

Laura Skillen

Posted by Laura Skillen

Laura is part-time Executive Director at IMI. She is also a full-time PhD Researcher in International Relations, investigating political blame, emotions, and polarisation.

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