By Rosemarie Hasan
January was National Mentoring Month and the Bureau of Global Talent Management held events to raise awareness about mentoring, to recognize the value of mentoring, and to thank those who mentor and give back to their colleagues. This year, Under Secretary for Management John Bass kicked off the month with a video highlighting National Mentoring Month and challenged Department of State employees to volunteer for the iMentor Program while sharing the impact a mentor made on his life.
“I landed back here in the Department for the first time, made a bunch of mistakes, but succeeded because of a great Civil Service mentor that I had in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research,” said Bass.
He also updated Department employees on the newest iMentor Program changes: Civil Service (CS) employees are now eligible to become mentors to Foreign Service (FS) employees and the locally employed staff mentoring program will be rolled out later this year.
The month’s spotlight events celebrated and showcased the importance of mentoring to employees’ professional and personal development and included two information sessions—one geared towards prospective mentors interested in mentoring CS mentees, and another geared towards prospective CS mentees interested in a mentor, whether CS or FS. Both information sessions reviewed the program’s eligibility criteria and expectations for participation. The Flash Mentoring event, Yes Year!, inspired by Shonda Rhimes’s book, “Year of Yes,” featured a panel of guests sharing stories of how they said yes to doing something difficult, and how saying yes changed the trajectory of their career and/or life for the better.
In workforce communications throughout the month, mentoring resources such as “Mentoring Guidance for Mentors” and “Roles of a Mentor” were featured prominently. These are just two among many recently published tools and resources found in the iMentor Program Toolkits (Internal link).
To close the month, an iMentor Program mentee/mentor pair was interviewed and featured in the Executive Women @ State’s January newsletter (Internal link). The interview touched on inspirations for becoming a mentor, advice for making the most out of a mentor-mentee relationship, advice for overcoming challenges, and the value of the mentor-mentee relationship. For more information about mentoring at the Department, email the CS or FS mentoring teams.
Rosemarie Hasan is a program analyst in the Bureau of Global Talent Management’s Career Development and Training Division.