Have you found a great mentor? If so, what makes him/her great? Have you developed relationships with work peers or supervisors? What type of programs/initiatives does your company host to foster staff relationships?
Background: I am currently working as a software engineer intern at General Dynamics Land Systems (a branch of General Dynamics which is a global aerospace and defense company). The branch I work at focuses on land systems – mainly Abrams and Stryker tanks.
What makes my mentor great…
I was formally assigned with two mentors. As of right now, I’m working on the same team as one of my mentors who spends up to 10 hours a week helping me learn a process. At the beginning of the internship, I was really surprised that she would invest so much time in me when she was so busy with her other work responsibilities. Also, I’ve never had a personal tutor/teacher work with me, so this was really like nothing I had ever experienced.
What makes my mentor so great is her liveliness and kindness! And she’s brilliant! She provides me all the resources I need to get my work done, and she always makes me feel valued and cared for which can sometimes be difficult in a large corporate setting. She gives me valuable advice beyond my internship; I really don’t think I could have found a better mentor to have than her at GDLS so I am really fortunate.
There is a mentorship program for all employees at GDLS. It is also voluntary, and based on my conversations with other employees, not many have a mentorship within the company, which I think is unfortunate because I think everyone can benefit from these relationships.
After having my relationships with my mentors develop for two months already, I can say that I definitely would not be as successful at my internship as I am now without my mentors. Even though formally I only have two mentors, I honestly feel like my whole department is mentoring me, which is really amazing.