Bob Brkovic - Michigan
Carla Sarti - Michigan
Having heard about the ACP Mentorship Program during a Transition Workshop, in preparation for re-wirement (yes, not a typo) after 20+ years of honorable military service, I availed myself of the opportunity, and entered the partnership with an open mind. After a follow-up discussion with my ACP point of contact, I was matched with Bob Brkovic, Director of Structures Engineering at Lear Corporation.
As may be expected for a first encounter, I was a bit anxious about our introduction, but my concerns were quickly assuaged by Bob’s easy and even keeled demeanor. Bob was extremely attentive to my transitioning concerns and future goals, and provided a critical perspective of the world of work and culture outside the military framework. In addition, he was instrumental in reviewing several drafts of my resume, and also leveraged his partnership with Project Managers to ensure that I received relevant and timely feedback.
Beyond Bob’s technical proficiency, my affable interactions with him has uncovered a genuine concern for my advancement and transition into the next phase of my professional ambitions. He has provided encouragement throughout this process through his consistent engagement, and on numerous occasions has edified me with relevant articles from the Harvard Business Review’s “Management Tip of the Day” articles.
By all accounts, Bob has distinguished himself as a great ambassador for Lear Corporation and the ACP Mentoring Program, making him the ideal and obvious choice for December’s Mentor of the Month award.
Bravo Zulu Bob!
- Miguel A., U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland
I would like to nominate Carla Sarti for ACP’s Mentor of the Month for December. Carla and I began working together eight months ago. At that time, I was in the final stages of my separation from the Army after 25 years of active duty service. I was extremely nervous about starting over in a new career; to the point where I would occasionally have panic attacks. After 25 years of knowing your career path and culture, starting over was daunting.
Carla was a tremendous asset in assisting with that transition. She not only helped me with my resume and LinkedIn profile, but also helped me approach my separation in a methodical manner. My two biggest concerns were translating the soft skills I had learned in the Army and developing a work-life balance. After 25 years of frequent separations, it was time to put more emphasis on my family.
To address the translation of soft skills, Carla recommended the book “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win.” The book did an excellent job of relating military leadership and experiences to the civilian business sector. This helped me translate my “soft” skills not only into my resume, but also my “brand”.
I don’t think either of us thought this mentorship program would delve into personal issues, but, as it was a concern for me, Carla took the time to discuss her techniques for balancing her work and home life. As an experienced executive, Carla had effectively managed both her career and her family life. She shared her techniques for being a participating parent and helped me set realistic expectations.
Carla’s involvement continued after I got a job offer. She was there for me during my first week of work, checking to see if I had any issues or concerns. She continues to provide suggestions for me when I have encountered issues at work. This has helped me to see things from a corporate, rather than military, viewpoint and tackle these issues accordingly.
Carla’s involvement in my transition has been a true blessing. I could not imagine having to tackle this transition without her guidance. We continue to maintain our relationship and I hope to maintain the friendship for years to come. Someday, I would like to meet her and thank her in person for being such a positive influence on me professionally and personally.
- E. Carl M., U.S. Army, Texas