Connecting and growing through mentorship

Whether you’re looking for that elusive first job or trying to get to the next stage of your career, you tend to look to others for guidance. Once you’re well established, though, you may be in a position to help. The bridge between them? A mentoring program.

Meet Arnold Kintu and his mentors, Tamara Marshall and Vivian Eng.

While working on the production line at our Atlanta-area Cleaning plant, Arnold always had an eye toward advancement, especially as he pursued his bachelor’s degree in marketing. He had taken note of the work ethic of his colleague Tamara, who had previously worked on the line, earning promotions that led to her current role as a fulfillment specialist, based in our Alpharetta, Georgia, office.

Signing up for the Global Mentoring Program, Arnold hoped to be paired with Tamara, whom he viewed as a role model. But she wasn’t so sure, telling him, “I don’t feel qualified.” Yet he was insistent: “No, I heard all about you. Please don’t drop me.”

Tamara ended up contacting her own mentor for advice. “She said, ‘What did I always tell you? Pay it forward.’”

So that’s exactly what Tamara did. She applied the same lessons she learned from her own mentor about starting with a career pyramid and then creating a “board of directors” to help in areas where she didn’t have the expertise.

Enter Vivian, a brand manager based in our Durham, North Carolina, hub, who’s had great mentors who have helped shape her own career path. “I wanted to offer the same type of support that I found to be incredibly helpful,” she said.

Their mentoring relationship flourished, with Arnold soaking up all the marketing knowledge he could from Vivian, even though their connection was entirely virtual.

Arnold’s dedication paid off recently with his promotion to quality lab tech. “The process can be intimidating, but you’ve got to have the audacity to believe in yourself and the humility to ask for help when you need it,” he said. “No one has ever done it by themselves.”

His mentors, who couldn’t be prouder of his accomplishments, count themselves among his biggest cheerleaders.

Said Tamara: “I didn’t expect to experience this side of mentoring. When he told me he got the promotion, I was so excited for him. I’m grateful we work in a place where you can build connections, and everyone wants to play a part.”