The Power of Mentoring

Posted on March 06, 2014

It’s been said by business author Mark W. Boyer, “The best help we can offer the youth of today is to prepare them for tomorrow.” Mentoring is just one of the ways to help prepare young people for their futures, and SMBH has been a longtime believer in its importance.

For years, SMBH has been involved in the Structural Engineers Association of Ohio (SEAoO), which coordinates regular opportunities for its student and professional chapters to network. Stephen Metz and Bob Baumann recently attended a meeting of the SEAoO and the Ohio State Student Chapter, informally called an “evening of mentoring.” Recent graduates presented their experiences on projects, jobs and the work atmosphere. Students had a chance to hear presenters discuss what they wished they had known before graduating – a popular topic for all in attendance.

“We stay involved with student chapters,” said Metz. “When we have opportunities like this recent meeting, we share about our firm, what we look for when we’re hiring someone out of college, and some helpful things to know that you don’t necessarily learn in college.”

SMBH’s commitment to mentoring is found inside the firm as well. A formal mentoring process at SMBH pairs all newly hired engineers with an experienced mentor in the firm. Even if an experienced engineer is hired, they’re still new to the company and benefit from the mentoring relationship as much as a recent college graduate.

“We believe in the mentoring process,” said Metz. “It’s a great way to learn. It’s good for the mentors, too. When our engineers are in a position to teach someone else, we find they develop leadership skills and learn from the process, too.

What SMBH has learned is that the mentoring relationship benefits all involved. Mentoring is a two-way learning process, and firms that are actively involved in mentoring stand apart as leaders in the industry.