Viewpoints: New environment brings chances for career collaboration, mentoring

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- When I started my career as a Palace Acquire intern in the Human Resources field, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My first day -- more realistically my first couple of months -- was a culture shock. I knew nothing about the federal civilian world or military protocols and procedures. My new colleagues and section chief helped tremendously with getting me acclimated to my new environment.

My fellow interns and I formed a group where we communicated daily, discussed objectives, and shared information. At our first luncheon, we were informed that all PAQs were required to have a formal mentor within 30 days of being in the program. This lunch provided me the opportunity to interact with various HR chiefs and make a connection with a mentor.

My mentor was more than happy to share her career path and career highlights with me. We meet quarterly to discuss my training, development, and progress in the program. She helped me to develop a roadmap for my personal career objectives, advised which organizations I should rotate through, and when I should take certain professional military education. My mentor genuinely listens to all of my questions and concerns, and provides me with the information I need to be successful.

I feel confident in the mentor/mentee relationship I have built. I trust my mentor to help guide me along on my career path, and know that she has my best interest at heart. The support she has given me is beyond what I could have imagined when I started on this PAQ journey.