By Rosanne Fohn
|Mentorships with American Corporate Partners typically last a year, with mentors providing advice and insight into possible careers of interest to a protégé. |
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Years ago, when Cervando Martinez, M.D.
, was finishing his military service with the U.S. Navy, he appreciated having a mentor help him choose his career path. “(Professor Emeritus) Robert Leon (M.D.) was one of my professors at UT Southwestern when I was in medical school, and then he came down to the UT Health Science Center,” said Dr. Martinez, a professor of psychiatry, and family and community medicine.
“Dr. Leon helped me decide where I should go and which way to go in starting my medical and academic career,” said Dr. Martinez, who recently celebrated his 40th service anniversary here.
Having good advice at a pivotal point in his life helped Dr. Martinez decide to mentor other military veterans through American Corporate Partners (ACP)
, a national, nonprofit program that pairs veterans who have served on active duty since 2001 with experienced business and academic leaders. Many leading companies and a number of academic institutions
, including Harvard and The University of Texas System, participate in the program.
Spouses of service members who were severely wounded or killed in action also are eligible for mentorship.Mentors offer advice and insight into possible careers
Through the program, mentors provide career counseling and networking to military members who are transitioning to civilian careers. Mentorships typically last for one year. Mentors and protégés can meet in person, or by phone, e-mail or videoconference online. Mentors are not expected to offer jobs to their mentors, but to provide advice and insight into possible careers of interest.
Dr. Martinez has mentored two Army veterans who served in Iraq. “I enjoy helping others and felt I had something to contribute,” he said.
“One young man was interested in nursing. He had been a medical corpsman, so this seemed like a logical step,” he said. After visiting with the corpsman, Dr. Martinez referred the veteran to some of his contacts in the nursing profession for more information about the career.
The other military member was interested in how the civilian health care system works. “He wanted to go into hospital administration. I’m very familiar with the University Hospital System and the VA, so I was able to help him with that,” Dr. Martinez said.
“It was a good experience,” he said. “I got a lot of personal satisfaction from helping them. In fact, I have just been assigned a new protégé.”How mentors can help
Here is more information about the ACP program:
Sign up soon
- The ideal mentor is at least 35 years old with six to eight years of experience in their profession.
- Mentors do not have to be veterans.
- Mentors and protégés are paired according to career interests and mentoring preferences.
- ACP staff will be in contact regularly to support the progress of the relationship.
- The ACP encourages mentors and protégés to have a total of 12 “significant discussions” during the year. These discussions can also take place between the protégé
and the mentor’s colleagues.
Mentors and protégés are being paired throughout the fall, so please consider volunteering soon. To learn more about becoming a mentor or applying to be protégé, please visit www.acp-usa.org