By Ericka Jordan
DCMA San Diego
Since Defense Contract Management Agency launched its Mentorship Program last year, more than 350 mentors have signed up and are actively supporting emerging leaders, including Keystone employees.
The Total Force Directorate recently released a tasking memo to solicit qualified mentors. Interested employees can submit an application via the Mentorship Program website. The primary objective of the program, a supporting element of the agency’s Leadership Development Program, is to foster professional development for both mentors and mentees at all levels and grades.
“We are looking for dedicated mentors to support leader development agency wide,” said Amy Jenison, DCMA Leadership Development Program supervisor. “Mentors can benefit by becoming more effective leaders, building stronger commitments within the agency, and expanding both their personal and professional network. Mentors can also provide new or junior employees an understanding of DCMA’s culture and values, supporting a positive leadership culture.”
Selma Burris, the Mentorship Program Integrated Project Team lead, also highlighted the long-term benefits of the program.
“Participants in the Mentorship Program are experiencing the value of having a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Burris. “It’s a rewarding experience for mentors to prepare our future leaders by sharing their knowledge as they become experts in their field.”
Jason Theriault, a Mentorship and an Emerging Leaders IPT member, extols the value of mentorship. His mentor helped him improve his communication skills and connect the impact of his daily workload with organizational objectives.
“Mentors can improve employees’ confidence, provide job satisfaction and boost professional goals,” Theriault said. “My mentor makes me go beyond my comfort zone, and I truly value my time with her.”
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Adam Rising, DCMA’s senior enlisted advisor and a member of the mentorship IPT, believes strengthening critical thinking and leadership skills are vital parts of mentoring.
“The mentorship relationship itself is an exercise in thinking critically about achievable goals, establishing paths to success, and leading both self and others to that end,” he said.
The website offers information and resources for mentors and mentees, including simple guidelines on how to navigate potential challenges, the recommended meeting frequency, and the expectations for the mentor-mentee relationship. Employees who are interested in becoming a mentee can submit an application on the Total Force Mentorship Program SharePoint site (login required).
Henry Decoteau, a mentorship IPT member, has served as a mentor frequently throughout his career and attests to the career-enhancing benefits of mentoring.
“Out of all the ways I can spend my time and share my professional knowledge, mentoring has had the highest return on investment for me,” he said.
The Total Force Directorate, along with employees from around the agency who champion mentorship opportunities, will hold virtual “lunch and learn” events for interested contract management offices that feature in-depth discussions about the benefits of mentorship as well as a walk-through of the website. Employees can visit the program’s website to inquire about these events or any other aspects of the program, or email the team at email@example.com.
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