“I remember when I met Myra B. on the soccer field – she was determined, focused and persistent,” says Linda. “She embodied all the qualities you look for in a teammate both on the field and in the branch.”
That rapport would expand as the two teamed up off the field as part of the operating group’s Formal Mentoring Program.
Creating career opportunity
While already working with an informal mentor, Myra saw the Formal Mentoring Program as an opportunity to make new connections, get more involved and become even more aware of career opportunities.
As an Assistant Manager at the Fresno Airport at the time, she found herself struggling to land a Branch Manager promotion.
“I was heartbroken after going through several interviews and not landing the job,” she says. “Linda’s energy picked me up, and we brainstormed and conducted mock interviews which really gave me the confidence to continue to apply for Branch Manager positions. She really invested in and motivated me. Even after I secured the position, Linda was there for me helping me to transition to the new role and responsibilities.”
Thanks to Linda’s ongoing support, Myra secured a Branch Manager position about four months into the mentorship.
Linda, meanwhile, gives credit to Myra’s drive and ambition. “Myra worked really hard to get where she is today, and I’m so proud I could help her along the way.”
Beyond the professional guidance she gained, Myra turned to Linda for personal support as well.
“It was nice to have someone to turn to who has been in my shoes,” explains Myra. “Linda is also a working mom so we talked a lot about building a successful career and balancing that with a busy home life. Some of our discussions were even just about the basics – from how to get dinner on the table every night, to making time for family and yourself.”
A rewarding experience
A seasoned veteran, Linda values the goal structure and accountability the program provides mentees, and she looks forward to beginning her sixth year as a mentor.
“The experience is fantastic and every year I’m pleasantly surprised about how much more I continue to get out of the program,” says Linda. “I learn about myself, gain new perspective, or even find ways to improve things about running the business.”
Senior leaders also recognize the program’s value. The Sacramento operating group has participated in the Formal Mentoring Program for more than 10 years.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have leadership’s support of the program – starting with our General Manager Susie I. Susie is an amazing role model, especially for women – she’s a mom, a spouse and an incredibly smart, hard-working professional who we all look up to.”
Though the year-long Formal Mentor Program has concluded, Linda still stays in touch with Myra and looks forward to hearing her future success stories.