Do you need a mentor to help align your budding professional career? “It’s a pretty easy question to answer,” said Justin Franz, USGIF’s volunteer engagement manager.
Members of USGIF’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) gathered Wednesday morning at GEOINT 2017 for an overview and brief workshop introducing USGIF’s new mentoring program, called Intelligence Mentoring for Professional Advancement and Career Training (IMPACT). Experienced professionals will help workforce newcomers overcome typical challenges including networking and setting career goals. The pilot round for the program is set to kick off this fall.
Each IMPACT participant will be paired with a mentor based on similar professional goals and hobbies or interests. According to YPG member and NGA employee Heather FitzGerald, “It’s essential to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be.”
The mentorship will formally last a year, though the hope is for mentors and mentees to continue their professional relationships long after the program ends.
Mentor-mentee pairs will establish objectives and meet face-to-face (or via video or phone calls for those not living in the same area) a minimum of once per month to discuss progress, anxieties, and thoughts on career-based topics—transitioning between government and industry, for instance.
The mentorship will formally last a year, though the hope is for mentors and mentees to continue their professional relationships long after the program ends. YPG member Bill Pilotte of ISPA Technology also noted the value of reverse mentoring, in which experienced leaders learn from the fresh perspectives of those they advise.
IMPACT will be about preparing the Intelligence Community for future success, using lessons learned to develop the next generation of geospatial intelligence professionals.