Mentorship Makes a Difference (Search & Employ Magazine)

May 17, 2022 10:00 AM ET
Article

From a strong work ethic, resiliency, and patience to the ability to perform in high-pressure situations and effectively communicate with people from different backgrounds, veterans bring a unique skillset to the civilian workforce.

Learning how to demonstrate these marketable skills to potential employers alone can be difficult. A mentor can provide invaluable guidance.

No one knows this better than the mentors who volunteer with American Corporate Partners, a nonprofit organization that partners Fortune 500 corporate professionals with veteran proteges for a year-long, customized mentorship.

Powerful Mentorships

Headquartered in New Orleans, Entergy employs more than 12,000 workers that generate and deliver electricity to 3 million customers across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Since first partnering with ACP in 2018, Entergy volunteers have mentored 200 veterans and active-duty military spouses.

Volunteer mentors like Scott Barrios and Dillon Allen enjoy helping their veteran proteges grow. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran with ten deployments, Barrios is the Manager of Sales and Partnerships for Entergy’s innovation lab and is currently mentoring his second ACP protege.

“Sharing the lessons we learned in the military with proteges is a valuable experience,” he said. “There are some things I would have done differently in my transition, so it’s great to share those too,” he says.

Barrios’ first ACP mentorship with U.S. Army veteran Robert Riley resulted in several achievements. Over the course of their year-long mentorship, the pair focused on leveraging LinkedIn, resume preparation, and job search techniques. Eventually, Riley secured a fellowship at Silicon Ranch Corporation.

Barrios believes mentors are valuable assets in every stage of the career journey. Whether proteges are searching for entry-level jobs or are aiming to earn a management role and climb their company ranks, mentors can assist at any career point.

Mentorship and skills improvement

Participants in the ACP mentoring program find value in a variety of professional areas, including:

  • 68% Improve resume and interview skills.
  • 61% Translating military background into civilian terms.
  • 58% Refining civilian career goals and professional ambitions.
  • 58% Building a network of professionals.

Service & Growth

Dillon Allen, senior manager for nuclear operations at Entergy, served in the U.S. Navy for 12 years. After transitioning out of the military, he found mentoring a fulfilling way to continue serving his community. “The mentoring program was aligned with my desire to do good things for the veterans community in a meaningful way,” said Allen.

With several mentorships completed, Allen finds the moments that stand out the most are when he can help a protege adapt a growth mindset, allowing them to see the potential in their career journey. “The most meaningful moments I’ve had with my proteges were when our conversations shifted their perspective on the world,” he said.

Allen has also discovered that growth is unique to each situation and protégé. For Allen’s latest mentee, Army veteran George Gudgeon, the mentorship resulted in an improved resume and a fellowship opportunity with Deloitte. In another mentorship with Army veteran Sally Gorham, Allen offered guidance on succeeding in a male-dominated industry, which helped Gorham to begin her career journey with confidence. While their circumstances all differed, mentorship had a positive result each time.

ACP offers a nationwide mentoring program that has helped over 23,000 post- 9/11 veterans and active-duty spouses. Interested applicants can apply at www.acp-usa.org/mentoring-program/veteran-application.

Article originally published in the May-June 2022 issue of RecruityMilitary's Search & Employ magazine.