Jami Burdine, Gregory & Appel: A Testimonial

Mentoring has played a role in my life by allowing me to grow and learn from others who I feel may have been more experienced, have more wisdom in whatever the situation I was getting mentored on and being able to learn from someone that could give me candid feedback. It’s great to have someone on the outside and to have a different set of eyes on whatever topic it is, and I feel like they’ve just allowed me to learn and grow from them and their experiences and their knowledge. It’s almost like an outlet for me to go and see a different perspective, learn something new, or even just to validate how I’m thinking at the moment like, “Am I on the right path,” and so it’s been such a learning experience with the several mentors that I’ve had over the years.

When Gregory and Appel decided to partner with Engage Mentoring, it was actually one of our employees who brought them to our attention. That employee is a really involved Engage Mentoring board member. So when we looked at the partnership, we felt like it was a no-brainer. We already had an internal mentoring program at Gregory & Appel, but the external mentoring program through Engage Mentoring allowed for a much larger database of people, of experiences, of wisdom for individuals to go and feel confident that they could have a mentor outside of the organization and a vast array of different topics to dip into.

So, for instance, if someone wanted to learn better negotiation or improvement in public speaking, they could go in and hand-pick the person that they wanted to have that mentor-mentee relationship with. I felt like not only that, but you could also learn how to be a coach or be a mentor or a mentee. There were so many training opportunities with the program which was part of why I felt like it was a good fit for us.

I can speak for my own success story in both capacities of being a mentor as well as a mentee. As a mentor, I considered it a huge success when a mentee told me, “It was really great to learn from a different industry and from someone that was also in human resources. This has been really a great opportunity for me to be able to see what’s out there and how other people operate.” This individual had been in their role and in their industry for a really long time and they just wanted to know what it was like somewhere else in a different industry. So I thought that was a success in that I was able to give her that information and provide her with that experience.

One other success story, (I would call it a success, anyway!) is that one of our own employees was voted Mentee of the Year through the Engage Mentoring program. I thought it was a success that this person was just so engaged in being a mentee and learning from others and was really so involved in the program and utilizing it to its fullest.

One last thing I will say is that the Engage Mentoring team is really involved, they do checkups with the individuals in the program to make sure that they’re staying engaged and actively participating in the program. So nothing is out of sight, out of mind for them. And I really think that follow-up and follow-through are necessary sometimes because we all get busy in our everyday lives. The Engage Mentoring training is such a unique program, giving you that opportunity to utilize their training within the program and the platform to learn how to be a better mentor and even on the mentee side. So I think that it’s a really great organization and they’re just really great people at Engage Mentoring and I really love working with them.

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