Scripps Networks Interactive employees have many opportunities throughout the year to learn and grow within the company. Of the many development programs that are offered, the most popular is the Mentoring Experience (ME). This program is a six-month journey that allows a mentee to gain insight and knowledge from a mentor within the company. Generally, the mentor is from a different business area and is chosen specifically based on input from the mentee’s application. Because it is such a unique opportunity to soak up information and gain insights from a colleague they may not have met otherwise, many mentors and mentees return to the program year after year.
Jerilyn Bliss has participated as a mentor from the program’s beginning. The 2017-2018 class is her ninth go-around. “It takes an investment of time, but you get back so much that it is a terrific ROI,” says Bliss. “My mentoring partnerships have widened my perspective, provided a depth of knowledge about our business and brought me a lot of understanding. Plus, each has been a lot of fun!”
Each year, the company kicks off the connection between mentees and mentors with a day-long event. During this time, the pairs are given guidance on how to direct the relationship and ensure that both parties come away from the experience having grown not only professionally, but also personally.
One mentee, Karli Sanders, states she “could not have been more pleased” with her experience in the program. “My mentor, Alaka, has been much more than a professional mentor to me,” notes Sanders. “We were matched during a particularly rough season of my life and her advice, encouragement and perspective were invaluable.”
These are just two of the 180+ amazing relationships that developed during the 2016-2017 ME class. Others at Scripps Networks feel the same and take the time to note that the Human Resources team, which oversees the program and matches mentees with mentors, does a fantastic job. Mentee Kathy Watters specifically called out the application and matching process, stating, “I was very impressed with the effort that went into matching me with my mentor. The match was spot-on to help me achieve my goals.”
While the personal bond created during this time is of great importance, the professional career advice given can be vital for a mentee, especially one who is new to Scripps Networks. Stephanie Mulato, who was accepted into ME after being an employee for only a few months, comments that the program helped her navigate the waters in her new position. “The program came at the perfect time, as I was trying to figure out both my place within my team and also my place within the organization,” observes Mulato. “I was truly lucky to be paired with a mentor who is a strong leader and successful manager. She helped me navigate my new role throughout the year and gave me constant advice to further my own management and leadership skills.”