#ThankYourMentor: Celebrating Mentorship at Bloom
What do you look for in a mentor, and how do you go about asking them to give their time and resources for your professional development?
From interns to senior executives, mentorship is woven into Bloom’s culture. Recently, our Delaware team helped mentor the University of Delaware senior design team to support their project to create a more efficient leak test tool for fuel cell columns.
On Thank Your Mentor Day, we asked Trinidad Sanchez, a human resources generalist at Bloom, and Deia Bayoumi, Vice President of Product Management and a mentor to young professionals for over 16 years, to share what they’ve learned, and thank their mentors.
Q: What does mentorship mean to you?
DB: When I first started mentoring, I thought I was teaching young professionals what to do. Then I realized I was learning as much from them as they were from me. It’s a two-way street. Mentoring is a trusting relationship that brings people together. Often, but not always, this involves a more senior colleague (the Mentor) who offers guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the skills of a more junior colleague (the Mentee).
Mentorship is about someone encouraging you to find the answers yourself. A good mentor will guide, inspire, critique–not judge–and share ideas and options with you. They will equip you with the resources to do it yourself.
Q: How did you meet your current mentor?
TS: I had the privilege to join Bloom Energy as a University Relations Intern in the summer, reporting to Andrea Rodriguez. Some of the responsibilities that my role entailed was
- Create events for interns
- Help manage the University Relations Budget
- Create an internal communications system for interns
- Promote Leadership Speaker Events
- And most importantly, help manage the Final Showcase
Early on in my internship, I had the chance to meet Grace Jones, a Senior Director of Human Resources here at Bloom Energy. Grace had worked at Bloom for over 10 years. I was interested in Human Resources, and becoming a Human Resource Business Partner was on top of my list.
I asked Grace if she would mentor me, and within a week she told me she would happily mentor me in my development as a Human Resources Professional.
Q: As someone who has been a mentor for 16 years, working with many young professionals, what advice would you give to those looking for a mentor?
DB: Mentorship is one of the best services a company can provide their employees, and it is the best learning experience for both mentor and mentee. This relationship is important.
Create a list of two or three potential mentors, and don’t be afraid to reach out. Ask yourself the following questions when creating your list:
- Do I look up to this person?
- Am I able to work well with this person?
- Can this person guide me toward my professional goals?
Then reach out by email at first, to one at a time, and you will find the right mentor.
TS: Stay curious. Try to learn about different functions and network with different people. As you expand your network, you’ll know more people and become more knowledgeable in how the business operates.
Q: Who would you like to thank on Thank Your Mentor Day?
TS: Grace empowered me as an employee and a young professional. I want to extend my thanks to Grace Jones for her mentorship as I grow as a human resource professional, and for being such a great manager. Also, thank you Bloom Energy for allowing me to grow as a professional while I finish my academic journey
DB: Among the great mentors I have had throughout my career, I would say my mentees were my best teachers. I want to thank our leaders at Bloom for giving me the chance to continue creating opportunities for mentorship at our company. If I had the choice of dedicating as much time as possible to any one thing, it would be mentorship.