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Building connections across Avanade through the Adelante Mentorship Program

  • Posted on May 16, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

In summer 2021, Adelante, Avanade’s Latinx employee network, launched the Adelante Mentorship Program, designed to help members form mentor/mentee relationships. Hear from two Adelante Mentorship Program participants, mentor Marco Cortez in Infrastructure and mentee Viviana Gonzalez in Human Resources, on their experience.

Why did you join the Adelante Mentorship Program?

Marco: I come from the Infrastructure Talent Community, and I knew the membership for the Adelante Mentorship Program would be very broad and give me an opportunity to branch out of my TC. It also would allow me to share some of the things I’ve learned throughout my own career that are applicable regardless of TC

Viviana: I wanted to meet someone that is not a part of my immediate network or talent community. Being able to lean into somebody that was not a part of Human Resources was very helpful. For example, Marco was able to share a fresh perspective, advice and his own experiences throughout the latest promotion process, helping the way I thought about my promotions case and how to approach difficult conversations

What do you feel each of you got out of the program?

Marco: It was great to be able to have a safe place to speak freely. On calls, you usually have to be a bit cautious of what you say or about having certain conversations, but with my mentee, it was great to just have someone to discuss your problems with without worrying about how my frustrations come across. And it worked both ways. Sometimes Vivi just wanted to have someone to listen to her about things that are going on with her work, and the Adelante Mentorship Program creates space for conversations like that to happen.

Viviana: Having a safe and open space was important to have discussions on topics that would have been difficult to have with someone I worked with. Additionally, as somebody that is internal-facing, having a client-facing mentor helped me to understand the day in the life of someone working with clients.

Would you recommend this program to other Adelante members?

Marco: I definitely would. I know that there are a lot of other mentorship programs out there, but I feel that Adelante, the Hispanic and Latinx community within Avanade, is not big as it is. This gives us the opportunity to network with other people within our community. This program allows us to get to know each other a little better and share our own experiences that we had, or challenges that we have come across. It’s a great way to stick together and help each other out. I have not participated in any mentorship programs before, but I am a Career Adviser. I have gained experience and knowledge from my own Career Adviser within the last 5 years. I use him as my inspiration and template because that is the kind of Career Adviser/Mentor that I want to be. So, I have tried to apply a lot of the same tactics that he has to my own mentees and advisees that I have.

Viviana: I would recommend the mentorship program to other Adelante members. It was a great opportunity to connect with someone else in the Latinx/Hispanic community within Avanade. Since we have not been able to go into the office as often in the past, joining the program allowed me to meet someone I could connect with and have fun.

Any final words?

Viviana: I would just like to add that I really appreciate all the hard work and open-mindedness that Adelante leadership has put into the mentorship program pilot. It’s amazing to see Adelante’s growth over the past three years, from a dormant ERG when I first joined Avanade to a Network that has provided so many with a sense of community at Avanade!

Marco: I would like to second that. I have been with Avanade for almost 5 years and saw a lot of Employee Resource Groups for different groups and interests, but I hadn’t yet found a sense of community for myself. So, to see Adelante making a comeback, scheduling events, and creating this mentorship program, I said, "This is great! This is what we need, and this is what I have been looking for!” I really think it is all headed in the right direction.

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