HBA Chicago mentoring

Leverage your HBA chapter mentoring program

By Pam Van Den Bussche

Leverage the outstanding colleagues in your HBA Chicago chapter by joining the 2013 Chicago chapter mentoring program. Don’t think how you can’t fit one more activity into your schedule, but what you will miss out on if you don’t. This is a great opportunity to spend time each month from May through October to work on you, your career or other goals in a confidential setting.  This will allow you to gain insight from others, who have the experience or may offer another perspective on your goals.

Why do I need a mentor? We have several great sources to assist in answering this question. The first is from one of our own HBA members, Haley Norman, author of The Career Compass.  Haley wrote, “In the corporate world, asking for help is often a sign of weakness.” Haley believes everyone should have a variety of mentors both inside your corporation to open doors and assist in understanding the culture as well as external mentors who could provide guidance in a safe environment. In a recent survey from the American Society of Training and Development, 75% of the executives responded that mentoring played a critical role in their careers and 44% of the CEO’s responded that mentoring was one of the three most effective strategies to enhance a women’s advancement into senior management, have a clear career path with sponsors identified, and finally are very well educated.

Furthermore, prior HBA Chicago mentees have provided many testimonials of the value from this formal, mentoring program. The top three values cited from our 2012 program are career advice, future promotions, and understanding how to work up the corporate ladder. The circle of two mentors and four mentees allows everyone to learn and share their insights. Mentors often cite the reason they participated was the opportunity to give back to others, help others to quickly realize their professional goals, as well as, learn from the mentees by sharing advice and experiences. Our mentees gained valuable skills and strategies in a positive, trusting environment while mentors increased active listening and coaching skills. 

In the end, mentoring is about relationships you build. During the six-month program many of our participants have created life-long mentoring colleagues that they continue to reach out for growth and assistance in achieving goals.

I would like to add a personal testimonial as a 2012 mentor. I met a group of outstanding women in the healthcare arena who were highly engaged at every meeting and truly committed to reaching their professional goals. Each meeting we discussed what was happening, what they needed to discuss with the mentoring circle, and outlined some strategies they were committed to act on before the next meeting to achieve their final goal. Every mentee had a chance to contribute, ask for guidance, and gain insight on their professional goals. After spending six-mionths with these outstanding individuals, I know we have a strong commitment to continue to help each other. I am looking forward to seeing this year’s group of impressive women joining the 2013 HBA chapter mentoring program. 

The 2013 HBA Chicago chapter mentoring program will be offered for six months, from April-October. Online applications are being be accepted until March 23.

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