After a successful launch in the fall, the Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program will continue this spring with the goal of helping more employees connect and learn from each other.
The mentorship program is among the recommendations resulting from the Future of Work initiative, with support from the University Staff Advisory Council and the Staff Women’s Advancement and Equity Council.
Applications to serve as a mentor and/or mentee are available on the VSMP website and due on Feb. 22. There will be an informational session for interested participants on Feb. 20 from noon to 1 p.m. The event will be recorded and sent to all who register for the session and will be later posted on the VSMP website.
Mentoring programs provide numerous benefits for mentors, mentees and organizations, said Krystal Clark, co-chair of the mentorship program and director of Employee Learning and Engagement, Human Resources.
“The benefits include increased employee engagement and retention; positive contributions toward equity, diversity and inclusion efforts; and support for personal and professional development,” Clark said. “In addition, mentoring programs can improve workplace culture, career growth and succession planning, and promotion of collaboration and teamwork.”
The goals of the Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program are to:
- foster the professional and career growth of employees
- spark connections and offer access to potential mentors while also fostering a sense of connectedness, community and belonging
- create an opportunity for mentoring relationships to grow organically
- foster a culture of ongoing mentorship throughout the university
The Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program is designed to foster organic mentoring relationships with a focus on connecting mentors and mentees. Longer-term mentoring relationships may evolve but are not guaranteed. The continuation of the relationship will be determined by the mentee and mentor.
Many participants of last semester’s Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program found the experience worthwhile.
“I was really excited for the Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program,” said Jana Blick, senior director of research finance at Vanderbilt, who became a mentor in the fall. “As a mentor, it was nice to connect with individuals to share how Vanderbilt is structured and discuss how to navigate growing a career here at Vanderbilt. I look forward to participating not only as a mentor but also a mentee in the future.”
Allie Saxon Noote, an associate program manager at Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing, said the mentorship program connected her to valuable career advice from Vanderbilt leaders.
“The Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program was such a meaningful experience as someone who loves to network with individuals from across campus. My mentors, G.L. Black and Anna Thomas, were both phenomenal to meet and learn from,” Noote said. “They gave me amazing professional advice that is helping me grow in my career. I appreciated their feedback, suggestions and contacts they suggested I reach out to so I could continue networking.”
During last semester’s Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program, 119 Vanderbilt employees participated as mentees and 122 participants served as mentors. There is opportunity for more people across Vanderbilt to join in the program as it continues to grow.
“We are calling on all eligible staff members to serve as a mentor, mentee or both,” said Krista Vaught, the program’s Human Resources partner and assistant director of Employee Learning and Engagement. “We will provide educational opportunities for mentors and mentees to ensure that both parties feel prepared, knowledgeable and confident in taking on these roles.”
Those who apply to participate in the program this spring will be notified of their acceptance status by March 2.
Appointments between mentors and mentees are encouraged to take place April 3–May 12.
How to Apply to the Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program
Returning Mentors: Vanderbilt Staff Mentorship Program Returning Mentor Application
Returning mentees will be notified by email with information on how to continue their involvement with VSMP.