Here at Everwise, we’ve learned that mentorship is never a one-size-fits-all experience. Every person has a unique set of professional challenges, goals, and needs. Some protégés may need help identifying their next career move. Others, guidance on navigating a political situation. Yet others, advice on assuming a leadership role. The list goes on and on.
We’ve also learned that, despite these unique protégé needs, a mentor’s goals often remain the same: to provide protégés a safe space to discuss their goals and to equip them with the necessary tools to continue developing down the road.
We revisited the experiences of four former Everwise protégés to follow up on the latter — specifically, to ask: What tools did your Everwise mentors equip you with to continue developing after your program was finished?
Tameka Davis: Changing Directions Professionally
After nine years in finance, Tameka was ready to move into a role at a mission-driven, nonprofit company. “I was at a standstill. I wanted to learn more. I wanted additional responsibility.” The challenge? She didn’t know where to start.
A friend recommended Everwise to help Tameka navigate the job search. Over the course of the program, Tameka and her mentor, Sylvia, worked together to:
- Nailed down the specifics of Tameka’s ideal role
- Set small, baby-step goals. For example, Tameka aimed to apply to a certain number of jobs each week.
- Grew those baby-step goals into big-picture ones. For example, Tameka identified her five-year plan with help from Sylvia.
“My mentor gave me the guidance and resources I needed to land a job in the nonprofit sector,” Tameka says. “She also stated to have a map of where you want to go in your career and make sure the current position can guide you to that position. These processes have stuck with Tameka ever since. She feels confident tackling new things and mastering challenging situations, because she has the tools to do so successfully.
Tameka now works at North Carolina Conservation Network, a nonprofit in Raleigh, NC. She’s currently pursuing a non-profit management certificate with Duke University and has become a QuickBooks Pro Advisor. You can read more about Tameka’s mentorship experience here.
Kendra Ott: Identifying Her Next Career Move
Everwise was Kendra’s first experience with mentorship. She’s spent over four years in the same role and, while she was ready to grow, she didn’t know what she wanted her next role to look like. Colin Schiller, Everwise co-founder and CEO, asked Kendra outright if she’d like to try Everwise. Otherwise, she may never have turned to mentorship to advance her career. “The Everwise mentorship was a big part of my process of moving beyond that in-between phase.”
Kendra was ultimately matched with Chris, an experienced entrepreneur, founder, and CEO. Over the course of the program, Kendra learned to view the future as more than wishful thinking. ‘I can do that. I should do that. I will do that.’ became a mantra of sorts. She tackled the unknown — her next career move — by networking openly and thinking critically about each and every option.
More than a year out of the program, Kenda has now found herself sharing her learnings with others. “I’ve had conversations with other people going through the same thing. I’ve found myself deferring to Chris’s advice more than once.” You can read more about Kendra’s protege experience here.
Scott Musch: Fine-Tuning His Leadership Style
Scott had switched industries from investment banking to corporate development, and needed to shift his leadership style accordingly. He’d always had mentors in finance, but had trouble connecting with one after the move — so Scott turned to Everwise. Twice.
Scott wanted to do more than manage as a leader. So he worked with his mentor to develop as a thought leader and mentor to others. Scott’s mentor taught him three things:
- Don’t be afraid to ask yourself difficult questions like, ‘Am I in the right position for my skillset’ or even simply ‘Why?’
- Don’t just lead by driving results. Lead by supporting others.
- Be open to the advice of others.
Scott checks in on these three pieces of advice continually. In doing so, he’s been able to further develop his leadership skills — Scott has also become an Everwise mentor himself. Read more about Scott’s mentorship experience here.
Bruce McKay: Securing an Internal Promotion
Bruce was 20 years into a career in software development before turning to Everwise through Jive, his employer. “I wanted to shift gears and move upward. I wanted to create an impact at a more senior level and move away from the weeds.”
Bruce knew he wanted a mentor’s help moving upwards — he’d had plenty of helpful informal mentors towards the beginning of his career. He was paired with Dinesh, a business development executive at Coventor.
Bruce had one high-level goal: To create more of an impact at his company. Through his work with Dinesh, Bruce learned how to distill and crystallize high-level goals into specific objectives. Specifically, Bruce and Dinesh came up with the following three objectives to move into a bigger leadership position:
- Increase personal visibility within the company
- Become a better motivator for Bruce’s team
- More successfully focus Bruce’s team on high-impact work
This guidance was so helpful that Bruce and Dinesh ultimately extended their partnership another six months. You can read more about Bruce’s mentorship experience here.
Whether these protégés were looking to advance their career, switch directions, or strengthen their leadership skills — they all turned to Everwise mentoring programs for guidance achieving their professional goals.
Andrew Owens, another former Everwise protégé, sums it up: “Everwise has had an immense impact on my professional career. My mentor provided an excellent environment to ask questions on how to grow my career, what to focus on, and how to deal with tough situations.”