Discussion Thread

  • 1.  How has mentoring advanced your career?

    Posted 08-14-2019 12:09 PM
    Mentoring relationships are a way to improve yourself both personally and professionally. How has being in a mentoring relationship advanced your career?

    Tirza Austin
    Senior Coordinator, Online Community
    American Society of Civil Engineers
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive
    Reston, VA 20191

  • 2.  RE: How has mentoring advanced your career?

    Posted 08-19-2019 02:15 PM
    Hello everyone, I am a civil engineering student in Colombia. In a few days I will be receiving my degree, and I think it was the best decision to have chosen civil engineering as my profession. I had 4 months of internships, with experience in finishes and structures. The mentoring during this time by professionals with more experience was of great importance to me, because it helped me overcome my fears, learn things I did not know before and take on leadership and decision-making challenges. I am currently not working, and I wish I could have the possibility of working in the US. Greetings to all!

    Jerson Parra S.M.ASCE
    Ingeniero civil

  • 3.  RE: How has mentoring advanced your career?

    Posted 08-19-2019 05:03 PM
    I've been involved in mentoring programs both as the mentor, and mentee.  Ultimately I found that you get out of it what you put into it, but that both parties have to be equally involved.

    I work with programs at a local high school to mentor kids for a class period a month and talk about various topics in the industry, their classrooms, etc.  In addition to helping steer them into seeking programs in engineering, and civil engineering when there's interest, I try to impart wisdom and information I wish I'd known at their age in regards to looking at college.  We maintain the same group for a year so we get to know each other build upon that.  In terms of advancing my career, my dedication to growing the profession and giving back to the community has always been appreciated. But it's mostly been the personal fulfillment in giving back.

    In the relationship where I was the mentee was at my last firm where a more senior staff member and I paired up for a year.  It was great having someone outside my department to ask questions and get honest answers from someone that understand the position I'm in but isn't involved.  Things you may not be comfortable asking a superior. Should I ask for a raise?  What should I do to get a more diverse workload? How to I handle conflicts with another staff member? So on and so forth. My involvement in the program didn't directly advance my career, but it certainly helped get me through some tough spots and offer assurances.  It saved me learning a lot of lessons the hard way was a program I recommend to any firm to help with retention.

    James Smith P.E., M.ASCE
    Design Engineer
    Grand Rapids MI