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How a Mentor/Protégé Relationship Can Work for You 

By: Kathy Nanowski, CPSM - Director of Marketing & BD, Fuss & O'Neill

Have you thought about finding a mentor to help you navigate through the AEC market? The five key ingredients necessary for a successful mentoring relationship are: exchange of knowledge, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connections, and shared values.

Protégés join a mentoring program for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for long-term career guidance, while others may just need support with one-time needs. Maybe you just need a connector.  Ideal protégés are enthusiastic, energetic, organized, and focused. People being mentored should be open to feedback and be active listeners. Knowing what you need is the first step; finding the right person is the second.

Good mentors are successful for a reason. They manage their time wisely, often doing multiple things at any given time in order to ensure success. They give protégés insight about setting goals and priorities. Mentors use their personal experience to help their protégés avoid mistakes and learn from good decisions. Most mentors have a network of colleagues and collaborators that could open doors for their protégés, help jump-start their careers, or just explain how the system works.

Mentoring really goes both ways.  When different perspectives come together, this combination of skills can be mutually beneficial. The Mentor Program of SMPS Connecticut is designed to offer members an opportunity to participate in a truly meaningful relationship focused on personal growth and professional development. Please email me if you’re interested in participating as either a Mentor or Protégé. I am confident that you won’t regret it.

Kathy Nanowski, CPSM is the immediate past president of the SMPS Connecticut chapter and the Leadership Committee Chairperson.  If you’re interested in participating as either a Mentor or Protégé, or have any questions abour our program, please reach out to Kathy at [email protected].


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