April 2, 2013 --
By Monique Randolph, MCSC Corporate Communications
Marine Corps Systems Command kicked off a new mentoring program with orientation training for mentors, mentees and supervisors March 28 in Dumfries, Va. The mentoring program uses web-based tools to connect mentors and mentees based on criteria and information provided by employees who applied in February.
“MCSC has had a mentoring program since 2005, but this particular program is a prototype for sessions to come,” said Pam Null, mentor and leadership coordinator for MCSC. “This kick-off [event] will start a 10-month session for those who are matched with mentors. The program will help strengthen the connection between employees and organizational effectiveness.”
The orientation training included explanations of the program, roles and responsibilities for mentors and mentorees, and how to use the various online tools, as well as a “speed mentoring” session that allowed the group to mingle and meet with potential matches.
“The training answers three questions,” said Kathy Wentworth Drahosz, facilitator for the mentoring program and president of Training Connection. “What is mentoring, why it’s important and how to find a mentor or mentee?”
Participants “have a voice in the matching process,” Drahosz said. Over the coming days, mentors and mentorees will be able to review profiles, conduct interviews and recommend five potential matches. A combined team of experts from MCSC will then suggest appropriate matches based on the mentor’s ability to support the mentoree’s needs.
Once the pairs are matched, they are encouraged to attend another formal training session. They will also complete a mentoring action plan and a mentoring agreement that clarifies the expectations of the partnerships over the next 10 months.
“My role throughout the 10 months is consulting—helping the partnerships stay on track,” Drahosz said. “We will meet again at the midpoint to reenergize everyone and make sure they’re doing what they said they were going to do, and then we close it out with kind of the same spirit and enthusiasm at the end.
“In a lot of the mentoring partnerships, the [mentors and mentorees] gel and feel good about the partnership, so they stay connected on a more informal or situational basis,” she said. “What’s really nice is that most of the mentorees come back and they become mentors for another class.”
The mentoring program is open to all MCSC employees on an annual basis. Once available, information about the next session will be posted on VIPER. Employees may mentor or be mentored by individuals in separate geographic locations, so employees at all MCSC locations are encouraged to apply.
“For those of you who have reached out and said you want a mentor, I’m proud of you and I’m inspired by you,” said Brig. Gen. Frank Kelley, MCSC commander. “This is a relationship you should have for a very long time, and I hope that’s what you are all able to get out of this.”
For more information about MCSC’s mentoring program, contact Null at (703) 432-4488, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.