The EMENTOR LEADERSHIP PROGRAM is a cutting-edge, award-winning online mentoring program for U.S. military personnel, veterans and military spouses located in all 50 states and over 50 foreign countries. eMentor connects individuals for dynamic mentoring experiences that powerfully move them forward in their personal and professional lives. AcademyWomen has created four distinct programs that serve various populations: 1) the Veteran eMentor Program for all veterans--men and women/officers and enlisted; 2) the Military Spouse eMentor Program for all military spouses; 3) the OfficerWomen eMentor Program for all women officers, women officer veterans and officers-in-training commissioned through all sources; 4) The CadetMidnWomen eMentor Program for women officers-in-training (currently operating at the US Coast Guard Academy only).
HOW IT WORKS: eMentor protégés and mentors start by completing an online profile. From there, protégés can search for and select a mentor. When the mentor accepts the protégé’s invitation, the relationship begins. The mentoring pair works together to establish goals, develop an action plan, and measure progress. The pair are guided in the conduct of their relationship by a series of brief training emails received throughout their relationship and an online engagement planning tool. Both of these features together provide them with a set of best practices and relevant resources for creating a successful online relationship. Mentor and protégé communicate primarily online, but may decide to talk on the phone or even meet in person. The default mentoring relationship length is six months but pairs can shorten or extend their relationships depending on the protégé’s needs.
IMPACT: In these times of military cutbacks and a slow-recovering economy, hundreds of thousands of military spouses and transitioning veterans are looking for meaningful employment in especially challenging economic times. Meanwhile, companies are investing millions of dollars to find talent, often not realizing the potential the veterans and military spouses have to offer as employees. The eMentor program is bridging these gaps by arming veterans and military spouses with the tools and skills to find meaningful jobs and connecting them to talent-hungry companies.
Over the past years the eMentor Program has impacted the lives of over 5,000 American military families. The program has brought gainful employment to military spouses and veterans, ensuring that these families, who have contributed to the defense of our nation, are now contributing to the economic growth of our country.
The OfficerWomen, Veteran and Military Spouse eMentor programs have saved corporate America millions of dollars in recruitment and transition assistance costs along with thousands of man-hours. Behind the economic impact of the program, we are changing the lives of protégés and mentors who summarize the value of the program best.
A protégé in Military Spouse eMentor who was seeking a federal Civil Service job said,
"I consider my engagement in the eMentor Program an incredible success. Receiving encouragement from my mentor during my time of unemployment provided me motivation to continue on in my search. Now as I transition into the work space to…a federal position, she has been assisting me in making informed and beneficial career decisions. I feel like we have not only achieved the goals we set but have also become great friends...”
One young post-9/11 veteran in our program had been out of the Army for 5 years and was deeply frustrated at not being able to find more than entry-level jobs. He knew he had to do something different and decided to make a change. After joining Veteran eMentor, his mentor suggested he try project management. He agreed to give it a try and was rewarded with a very special opportunity:
“I deliberately picked a mentor who was in my local area, but I had no idea things would turn out the way they did. My mentor helped me find a temporary position in my new career field as a project manager. Now I'm getting the experience I need to be competitive for a permanent project manager job."
Another young veteran in a part-time job was trying unsuccessfully to find full time employment while also trying to break into the IT industry. His mentor immediately helped him find a full time job and began to guide him to get the necessary certifications to get his IT career launched:
"My mentor and I have become very good friends. He has been a very big influence on my life and a big help in getting me where I need to be with finding jobs and making connections. My mentor helped me find a new full time job by sending me lots of job listings he found based on the kind of jobs I told him I was interested in. He also helped me re-write my resume which looks a 1000 times better than it did. Now he's helping me with getting the certifications I need for the IT career that is my goal. I couldn't do it without him."
A young Coast Guard veteran who was trying to find employment in Montana was discouraged when none of her applications were yielding interviews. When a mentor reached out to her in Veteran eMentor and suggested she seek a job with the State of Montana, she agreed. Together they re-wrote her resume for several open positions and she began to get interviews. Next they conducted mock interviews in preparation and soon she landed a job!
“My mentor made herself so immediately available to me. It was amazing to me that she was a complete stranger and was able to talk to me and see where I was coming from and she understood exactly what I needed. It was incredible and humbling to have that much support from someone I didn’t know before. When I was offered my job she was the first person I called with the news and she celebrated with me.”
Our mentors’ testimonials prove that they are passionate about using their experience to assist their protégés and that they also receive powerful benefits from their mentoring relationships. A mentor in the Veteran eMentor Program explains,
"My protégé and I are at different stages in our lives and I’ve already experienced what she is going through, I can help her see things are going to change where she can’t see it yet. There’s a real grieving process when you take off the uniform, but helping other veterans in eMentor allows you to stay connected; it gives me a way to keep helping my fellow veterans. I can’t wait to meet my protégé in person one day. I feel like I’ve found a true friend in addition to a protégé.”
Another mentor in Veteran eMentor shares,
“I get great satisfaction from knowing I've helped people who served. My dad and brother served [in the military], so I know veterans have the skill sets and discipline already; they just need to figure out how to make it work in the civilian world. The Veteran eMentor program gives them access to talk to people who can tell them what it's really like in the civilian world and that's usually nothing like what they would learn in a classroom.”
A mentor in Military Spouse eMentor tells us that,
"[From personal experience] I know the barriers of being a military wife. Career portability is a huge issue for us. [To help my protégé] I did background reading and networking on my own to learn more about her career area of interest. Then, we talked about trends in the field and looked up professional associations and certifications. We had to dig deep enough to find positions that were portable and didn't require testing [or relicensing] with each relocation."
Research shows that it takes an average of seven years for veterans to fully transition. This program accelerates the transition time by matching people who understand the challenges unique to service members and their families, by mentoring people to find jobs that fit, making past experience relevant, and helping people to gain confidence in new workplace cultures. The eMentor Program is dramatically changing lives and positively impacting our nation for the future.