No matter your career trajectory, there is always something new to learn. To accelerate the learning process, it is often a good idea to partner with someone who has more experience than you do. These mentor/mentee relationships prove to be an invaluable resource for the education, preparation, and advancement of your career. Productive Edge champions a Mentorship Program and encourages all employees to participate. This type of educational focus is a cornerstone of who we are, as “Constant Improvement” is one of our core values and a pillar of our success.
Our program partners our employees with seasoned consultants who have been exposed to a wide spectrum of Productive Edge’s work and offerings. Mentors have the opportunity to guide and coach others and grow their leadership skills. Mentees have the opportunity to learn more about their current focus area or any other discipline. It is a mutually beneficial relationship centered around shared goals and the benefits of working together to find solutions to challenges.
In particular, we sat down with mentee/mentor pair Zoe Jacobs, UX Content Strategist, and Susanna Gevorgyan, Senior Business Analyst, to discuss their experience in the Mentorship Program at Productive Edge. Susanna, the mentor, has been with Productive Edge for a number of years now. Zoe, the mentee, at the time was new to Productive Edge but had several years of professional experience. Consulting was a new transition for her, so the program was geared toward helping Zoe adjust to her new role. Zoe and Susanna were paired together and immediately began on a plan to help transition Zoe into her new consulting role.
“Coming from a non-consulting background, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Zoe stated. “There are a number of differences between my experience and being a consultant. Susanna was amazing in helping me improve my client relations skills, presentation abilities, and time management.”
Zoe explained how Susanna was critical in helping her adjust and understand how her role fits within the broader company. Starting at a new organization is always daunting, but with the help of the program, Zoe felt connected to a friend who was invested in her success. In particular, Zoe was working with an offsite client, so there was an adjustment period in getting used to that. With Susanna’s help, she quickly adapted to building client relationships virtually through video calls and remote meetings.
“Susanna really helped me balance my virtual workload,” Zoe added. “When I had questions, she had answers. It was a real blessing to be able to have someone there to support me directly. And the best part was that Susanna knew what I was going through. She had been where I was and was able to make recommendations for me to succeed in my role.”
As a mentor, Susanna felt equally appreciative of being paired with Zoe. Having previously been a mentee herself in a similar program, Susanna knew the benefit of having a mentor. It was something she was excited to participate in and wanted to pass on her own professional knowledge.
“The Mentorship Program is a great opportunity to connect with coworkers and help them transition into their career,” said Susanna. “Zoe’s career approach matched mine, so I knew I would be able to assist her. I was able to share the challenges I faced early in my career and was able to challenge Zoe and help her overcome similar ones.”
In the consultancy world, you have to be able to quickly overcome unique problems while being pulled in different directions. This is something that Susanna had experienced many times, and a lesson that Zoe was ready to learn. Time management, being deadline-oriented, and displaying confidence were all skills that would be critical. But Susanna also learned a lot herself during the process.
“Being a mentor is interesting as it provides an opportunity to learn and grow for myself,” Susanna stated. “Zoe is great and I learned a lot from working together. Her outlook on projects was different than mine, so it provided a unique opportunity for interpersonal relationships and for me to learn outside of my own individual skills. Beyond that, working with Zoe allowed me to discover a lot about what she does with content and helped me apply a new lens to data analytics.”
The two still work closely together and encourage one another to work on their individual and shared interests. Zoe knows that she can go to Susanna with questions at any time to receive the support and feedback she desires outside of the traditional team setting. Susanna is continuing to advance the mentorship relationship and is currently searching for an opportunity to bring Zoe into a project that will further advance Productive Edge’s offerings.
As for Zoe, she is excited to pay it forward and become a mentor to any new employees at Productive Edge. Her advice to anyone joining the company is to be a part of this program, especially if this is your first consulting job. To learn more about Productive Edge, our culture, or our careers, visit productiveedge.com/about.