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Home : Media : News
NEWS | May 12, 2023

Leaders, employees come together for mentorship event

By Ben Hutto, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility’s Hispanic Employee Resource Organization conducted its first speed mentoring event May 3 at Naval Base Kitsap’s Olympic Lodge Training Center.

The event allowed PSNS & IMF workers an opportunity to meet with shipyard leaders and ask questions about their careers in an informal setting.

The attendees were broken into five groups and given ten minutes to ask questions and receive feedback from each of the five shipyard mentors who volunteered to share their experience and knowledge.

Before the event began, Janeen Bianco Splann, leadership training specialist, Code 1180, Command University, spoke with participants about the importance of helping workers seek out mentorship.

“Mentorship is a relationship that isn’t passive,” she said. “Change happens one interaction at a time. We all have a role to play in that relationship.”

Bianco Splann emphasized the need for workers to seek out mentorship and find ways to pass their knowledge on.

“The goal is to create an atmosphere where mentoring is a valuable driver of performance,” she said.

Krystle Edwards, the vice chair for HERO, said she got the idea for the speed mentoring event when she attended the League of United Latin American Citizens conference in Puerto Rico last year.

“I thought it would be a great idea to try here,” she explained. “Mentoring is important in your work and personal life. It can really accelerate your career by learning from others mistakes. Having someone that can help you navigate the intricacies of the organization can be critical.”

Themes of persistence, how to network, how to interview, how to be transparent with coworkers and how to apply for positions were discussed as mentors spoke with each group. Valuable best practices were also shared. For many in attendance, it was their first time hearing about these strategies.

It is information Edwards hopes attendees share with co-workers who were not able to attend the event. She explained how important knowledge sharing can be for many workers at PSNS & IMF. Sometimes people get so focused on their day-to-day work that seeking out mentorship isn’t always a top priority—despite the good it can do for their career.

Edwards also pointed out how valuable this event can be for employees who don’t always have easy access to senior leaders.

“Mentorship is important, but many workers need more access to it,” she said. “Too many don’t know what opportunities are available to them. Having someone invested in you and your career can help make you more aware and successful.”

Edwards said helping workers find help navigating their careers isn’t just an issue for her ERG. In fact, she said she hopes more organizations at PSNS & IMF will create events like this round table event.

“Giving workers access to potential mentors is something I hope more ERGs here on the shipyard do,” she said. “We are open to help anyone who reaches out.”

Mentors included: Devin Johnson, deputy carrier program manager, Code 312, Carrier Program Office; Inho Kim, deputy project superintendent, Code 312; Anthony W. Kurdy, executive director of radiological controls, Code 105, Radiological Controls Office; Rod Peeler, inactivation project superintendent, Code 392, Submarine Program Office; Anna Taylor, public affairs officer, Code 1160, Congressional and Public Affairs Office.