January + February 2022 Issue | ACP Staff
How Can You Benefit from Mentorship?
MENTORSHIP is a tradition rooted in ancient history. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, the soldier Odysseus entrusts his kingdom and family to the character, Mentor, when Odysseus goes to war. Today, mentors have adapted to assist military service members and their families in a different way: by acting as a touchstone in the search for meaningful career opportunities.
For many transitioning service members and military spouses, mentorship can seem like an ambiguous concept with little structure or direction. You may have heard that having a mentor can help your career, but how do you get started? Enter: American Corporate Partners (ACP).
The ACP Mentoring Program
Founded in 2008, ACP brought the promise of structure, opportunity, and support to transitioning veterans nationally. At the time, it was clear that the 4.8 percent veteran unemployment rate was not telling the full employment story; veterans were employed because they were taking whatever jobs would make ends meet, even if they were overqualified for their roles. ACP entered the Veteran Service Organization (VSO) arena because they identified the issue of veteran underemployment and brought forth a unique solution. ACP’s mission is to provide veterans and spouses of active duty service members with guidance from mentors in corporate America.
ACP offers a free, year-long mentorship between a protégé (a veteran or spouse of an active duty service member) and an ACP mentor. Pairs are expected to dedicate roughly an hour each month to their mentorship, which might be spent editing a resume, researching internship or career opportunities, or preparing for an upcoming interview. Since 2008, ACP has sponsored more than 22,000 successful mentorships.
ACP participants gain an awareness of their value, their strengths, and their ability to land a position that they want to keep for over a year.
National Mentoring Month
This January, ACP is celebrating National Mentoring Month by recognizing the impact that volunteer mentors have on the lives of their protégés, and the career successes that service members and spouses experience with the guidance and support of their mentors. Every day, ACP’s team receives dozens of testimonials from protégés expressing appreciation for their mentors and the program. These are just a few:
“My mentor has been incredible as I’ve navigated starting my career over the past year. Her encouragement and positive attitude have consistently motivated me to continue working hard, even when faced with challenges.”
“I can say with complete certainty that I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without the help of my mentor.”
“It’s been an amazing year! I’m very glad that I signed up for an ACP mentor and I’ve been blessed to have been paired up with her.”
“I am so grateful for my mentor. It is invaluable to have insight on everyday challenges from someone as experienced as her.”
“My mentor continues to be an invaluable resource and is always there when I need to consult with her.”
Success in Action
The program’s success is more than anecdotal – the numbers illustrate the positive results, as well. Many protégés gain meaningful employment either during or after the year of their participation. In 2018, data showed that of the protégés
who obtained jobs during or after their ACP mentorships, 86 percent were still in the same position a year later, which is 30 percent higher than the national average. ACP participants gain an awareness of their value, their strengths, and their ability to land a position that they want to keep for over a year.
As you plan your career goals for 2022, consider how mentorship could increase your impact. ACP’s mentors work with their protégés to help them become more confident, skilled, and ready to advocate for themselves in the private sector. The mentors in ACP’s program make it easier for protégés to fulfill their potential by helping them communicate their value to civilian hiring managers. Veterans seeking mentorship can apply at www.acp-usa.org/mentoring-program/ veteran-application. Active duty military spouses can apply at www.acpusa.org/spouseapp. If you are interested in joining ACP program as a mentor, visit www.acp-usa.org/mentor to apply.
ACP By the Numbers
■ Successful Mentorships: 22,000+
■ Protégé Job Retention: 86%
■ Fortune 500 Corporate Partners: 100+
■ Protégés Who Recommend ACP: 98%