National Mentoring Month
Why having a mentor could change your professional career in 2023!
If you have a desire to empower others or if you are interested in taking ownership of your professional growth, create a mentor or mentee profile. Register by Jan. 31, 2023 to be matched in February.
“Being a mentor through MentorTech has been an invaluable experience – it’s allowed me the opportunity to understand their professional goals, be a resource for developing those goals, and it’s given me time to get to know a colleague on a different level. And the experience has been mutually beneficial. My mentee has taught me so much about their work, it’s given me a new understanding and appreciation for their talents and field of expertise,” said Leigh Hopkins, senior project manager with the Center for Economic Development Research (CEDR) at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²).
It is January and with the new year, comes new resolutions! Have you thought about what you want to achieve professionally? Or better yet, who can inspire and challenge you?
Maybe you have a desire to learn new technical skills, get more certifications, strengthen your leadership skills, obtain a new job, or even facilitate a career change. Regardless of your career goals, with January being National Mentoring Month, a mentoring professional partner can be a powerful asset to inspire and challenge your professional development.
Mentors serve not only as a repertoire of industry knowledge but also a source of empowerment. Benefits of having a mentor include confidence and coaching enhancement, communication and personal skills development, and job and career reinforcement. The inclusion of these skills and experiences will make you ready for change and challenges in your professional trajectory. Conversely, by serving as a mentor, your mentees can help you grow as a leader and elevate your confidence. Benefits of having a mentee also include job and career reinforcement and the fulfillment of helping others reach their potential.
Before you start your journey to obtaining a professional partnership, it is imperative to identify your short and long-term goals. Consider writing out and visualizing the types of positions, certifications, and skillsets that you would like to obtain in the immediate and distant future. The concept of SMART goals will help your vision become more realistic and provide a more strategic and proactive approach to your mentor-mentee interactions.
“Self Reflection is the key to unlocking clarity,” says Debbie Phillips, professor at Georgia Tech. “The most important meeting you’ll ever attend is the meeting you have with yourself.” A popular mentor, Phillips tells her students to have a “keen sense of who they are as people and what they want to accomplish."
Quality Professional Partnerships
It is important to understand that a mentor does not necessarily have to be a person in a senior management position. They could be a colleague with ample experience, a faculty member with connections to your field of expertise, or even a seasoned professional in a field that you are trying to enter.
Fortunately, at Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), the MentorTech program within Workplace Learning and Professional Development (WLPD) is designed to strategically pair you with a professional partner. The program matches you with a mentor based on your set of relevant competencies and a personality assessment. The program's number one priority is ensuring the quality of each match.
“Participating in the MentorTech program has paid dividends, furthered my professional development, and given me another support structure. My mentor has become an invaluable source of information, provided a sounding board for ideas, helped me identify resources, and offered objective advice and encouragement,” said Wendy White, industry manager – food safety and quality with the Georgia Tech Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
MentorTech has existed on campus since 2018. Over the years, lots of mentoring has culminated and professional partnerships have developed that truly benefit Georgia Tech. However, even with that growth, there are additional opportunities for new communities and individuals to plug in and help the program flourish. Beginning in 2023, we look to expand the involvement and engagement of faculty overall through a new partnership with a group of research faculty.
If you would like to be involved in the program, register by January 31 to be matched in February!
Questions about the program can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.