January may be National Mentoring Month, but here at ACP, we celebrate fresh starts all year long. ACP Mentor Betsy Eyring and her U.S. Air Force Protege, retired SMSgt Timothy Thompson, demonstrate the exponential power of mentorship to transform a veteran’s post-military path.
After 26 years as a proud Airman, Tim signed up with ACP last year for some guidance on his next career move. In November of 2022, he started working with Betsy, a first-time ACP Mentor and founder of the HR consultancy firm How to Human.
Betsy and Tim’s monthly meetings soon became a daily exchange of ideas, advice, and yes - even the occasional meme. By expanding the scope of their mentorship beyond the professional realm, they developed a friendship that enabled Tim to pursue his career and personal goals with confidence.
While he no longer dons a daily uniform, Tim continues to serve his country as an Executive Assistant at Fort Gordon’s Central Security Service. It’s a role that calls on Tim’s greatest strengths, he says: “[I’m] working with humans, helping them and advising leadership” in a civilian capacity.
Tim raves, “I am not sure if I have expressed my happiness with Betsy enough, but I am so happy... I have a job now, and it was mainly from her encouragement and just overall belief that I was ready to get back out there.”
Betsy, a first-time ACP Mentor, endorses the mentorship program wholeheartedly. “I’ve found the experience to be rewarding both personally and professionally,” says Betsy. “It provided a great deal of perspective that is quite lacking in everyday civilian life: the real challenges that face veterans when they leave the service.”
About Tim, Betsy says, “He is such an awesome, wonderfully engaging human, and [he] is really setting himself up for the next phase of his career with the kind of thought, dedication and care that is almost certain to result in success... I can sincerely say that I feel as though I am benefitting from working with Tim as much as he is from me.”
In a fitting capstone, Tim visited Betsy in person when he visited New York City this past October. Over family dinner, they reflected on the past year and even hatched plans to start their own podcast.
The pair plan to highlight “how those leaving the service can adequately and effectively translate their years of professional service into...civilian [parallels],” says Betsy. She adds that she has learned so much from Tim about the need for employers to better understand the incredible skills and experience veterans bring to the private sector. Stay tuned for their first episode in your podcast feed!
This National Mentoring Month, apply to become an ACP Mentor and be a Veteran or Military Spouse’s key to success! Veterans and active duty Military Spouses can apply here or here to begin their mentorship journey.