Training Center Yorktown hosts inaugural Speed Mentoring event

Capt. Reed Stephenson, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, delivers opening remarks to base personnel participating in the inaugural "Speed Mentoring" professional development event hosted by the base Leadership and Diversity Advisory Counci, Feb. 12, 2013. The forum was created as an informal method to promote leadership and mentoring throughout the base. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Dodson.

Capt. Reed Stephenson, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, delivers opening remarks to base personnel participating in the inaugural “Speed Mentoring” professional development event hosted by the base Leadership and Diversity Advisory Counci, Feb. 12, 2013. The forum was created as an informal method to promote leadership and mentoring throughout the base. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Dodson.

Post written by Lt.j.g. Marquesio Robinson, Petty Officer 1st Class Brent Pearson and Lt. Andrew Vicks

Seventy servicemembers recently participated in Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown’s inaugural Speed Mentoring event held at the Port of York on the base Feb. 12, 2013.

Petty Officer 1st Class Brent Pearson (left) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Navin Ausley (middle) take part in a breakout session with Master Chief Petty Officer James Bach (right) during Training Center Yorktown's first "Speed Mentoring" event, Feb. 12, 2013. This inaugural professional development forum was organized and hosted by the base's Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council as an informal method to promote leadership and mentoring throughout the base. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Dodson.

Petty Officer 1st Class Brent Pearson (left) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Navin Ausley (middle) take part in a breakout session with Master Chief Petty Officer James Bach (right) during Training Center Yorktown’s first “Speed Mentoring” event, Feb. 12, 2013. This inaugural professional development forum was organized and hosted by the base’s Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council as an informal method to promote leadership and mentoring throughout the base. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Dodson.

Planned and hosted by the base’s Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council, the speed mentoring event was a fast-paced, informal forum designed for mentors to lend their leadership and knowledge to juniors while also providing mentees an opportunity to ask questions and receive advice about career pursuits and personal goals. Speed mentoring is not a traditional mentoring approach; however, it can bring people from all facets of an organization together quickly to build professional networks.

The ability for junior members to approach senior members for mentorship can be viewed as a bit of a paradigm shift. “This unique format allowed us a great opportunity to overcome our organizational and cultural barriers that often hinder junior and senior members from forming mentor-mentee relationships,” said Capt. Reed Stephenson, the commanding officer of TraCen Yorktown. “Our aim is that this and future LDAC events will help build and enhance leadership, personal and professional development, and esprit de corps, Training Center-wide.”

The event, which featured a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras themed lunch, benefited the participants by allowing them to gain first-hand advice they can take with them through the rest of their careers.

“I very much enjoyed the speed mentoring event and look forward to future professional development opportunities such as this,” said Lt. Larissa Noriega, an instructor at the TraCen’s Mobile Training Branch. “I feel such a process can help me as an instructor and, in general, as a junior officer while also highlighting valuable information for my future billet choices.”

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