As part of my role as a Career Solutions Manager, I manage Autodesk’s mentorship program. Mentorship gives Autodeskers the space and resources they need to connect, network, learn with and learn from other employees across all organizations and geographies! The goal is to break down barriers and foster a culture of belonging, which is core to our efforts within the Culture, Diversity, and Talent team. Creating these spaces allows employees to learn, grow, and lead for continued success within their careers at Autodesk.
Our 1:1 mentorship program breaks down the barriers to meeting fellow colleagues from around the world. Participants can connect with a mentor or a mentee and open the opportunity for professional and personal development over a period of 6-12 months. Once participants sign up, they complete steps to create their profile as either a mentee or mentor (or both!). The matching algorithm then recommends match candidates based on elements of the mentee and mentor’s profiles. It’s that easy!
Mentorship is important – for everyone involved
Mentoring is a terrific opportunity to network, share knowledge and experiences, and help develop the next generation of leadership at Autodesk. We invite all employees to participate as a mentor — it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been at Autodesk for 15 years or 15 days, and it doesn’t matter what your title is. All you need is the ability to be a great listener and a willingness to offer insightful feedback.
Becoming a mentor allows you to practice leadership capabilities (such as offering feedback), increase your knowledge about other parts of the organization, ”pay it forward” as you help others develop personally and professionally, and build relationships with others in the program (especially other mentors).
Signing up to be a mentee is a simple way to expand your network and learn from others in the organization. To help you get the most out of your mentoring connection, think about what is most important to you: What are your learning goals? Which goals would you like your mentor to help you with? We encourage applicants to be as clear as possible in their profile section, as this is what mentors will see when they get a connection request.
Becoming a mentee helps you gain personal and professional development advice from colleagues across the organization, learn more about your strengths and growth opportunities, increase your knowledge of Autodesk, and learn to be proactive in managing your career.
Mentorship success stories
It’s exciting to see all the success that comes out of our mentorship program – there are so many great stories to share! One example is from mentor Dominique Schlitt, a Senior Manager of Customer Success, and mentee Matthias Stark, a Senior Technical Solutions Executive:
“Coaching and mentoring are my passion, so I have been involved in this program from the beginning,” Dominique says. “I’ve had many different types of mentoring connections over the years. Some people have a very clear and delimited issue they would like to discuss, while others are looking for a sounding board to structure their thoughts, often around career progression. When someone first reaches out, I ask what they want to get out of mentorship – any answer is valid except, ‘I don’t know.’ In these cases, I ask them to clarify this point for themselves upfront.”
“I wanted to get Dominque´s view of what ‘good management’ looks like, supporting my mindset-shift efforts from individual contributor to manager,” Matthias says. “What helped me most was to voice my ideas and get challenged by Dominique in a safe and friendly environment.”
“Matthias was always super well prepared for the coaching sessions and did reflect a lot based on our discussions,” Dominique says. “He was recently promoted to manager, and I can see how much confidence he has while entering the role. This is so rewarding for both of us!”
Another great example is from my manager, Anton Fedoseyev, Senior Manager of Career Development. Anton has benefitted from multiple mentorships over the years – the most interesting of which, he says, was when he was part of two generations of mentorship!
Bob Van der Donck, a former Autodesker and current customer, mentored Alessandro Gasso, a Customer Adoption Specialist, when he started at Autodesk 20 years ago. Then, Allesandro mentored Anton twice throughout his career journey. Bob also helped Anton quite a bit directly during his transition to the United States. (You can read more about Anton’s mentorship experience in this LinkedIn post.)
Personally, it has been through my current and past mentors where I felt like I have grown the most in my career. Having a safe space to share ideas and receive feedback has helped me see new opportunities and ways of working. I love how Autodesk’s mentorship program is employee-driven, and how it’s global – sometimes the best advice and feedback comes from someone outside of your immediate organization as they can add a new and fresh perspective.
The idea of networking has always been a little stressful to me since I am more introverted, but the mentorship platform we use at Autodesk has been amazing! It makes it easy to find and schedule meetings with potential mentors and mentees and removes a lot of unnecessary back and forth regarding scheduling, etc., so we can make the most of our time together over six months.
I love how Autodesk is a place where you can shape your own future — and help others do the same! Mentorship creates the opportunity for anyone to capitalize on a growth mindset and challenge themselves and others to achieve the new possible. The program encourages our employees to take ownership of their development and build their network as best suited for their careers.
Learn more about Autodesk’s culture here.