Whether you are a college student, have just landed your first job, or have more extensive experience in the workforce, a mentor can help guide you down the path toward a successful career. Choosing the perfect mentor is an important decision. It requires finding someone that has the experience that closely correlates with your future goals.

Most companies have amazing perks for their employees, and one of the most overlooked of these is a corporate mentorship program, in which more experienced and more knowledgeable employees provide advice and guidance to less experienced and less knowledgeable employees.

71%

The percentage of Fortune 500 companies that have a corporate mentorship program, according to an American Society for Training and Development study.

The study also found that 75% of executives credit their mentors with helping them reach their current positions.

Below are a few of the top Fortune 500 companies offering mentorship programs.

General Electric

New graduates who are hired into one of General Electric’s (GE) nine business units are placed into their Experienced Commercial Leadership Program. All program participants will complete eight-month rotations within the sales or marketing areas of their particular business.

The training is designed to help participants advance and further develop their knowledge of different sales and marketing skills. They also work to enhance their leadership abilities.

Those who excel within the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program are well-positioned for growth in their businesses within General Electric.

Key Takeaways

  • An amazing benefit available to employees of many companies is a corporate mentorship program, in which mentors provide guidance and advice to participants.
  • Recent graduates employed by General Electric business units are enrolled in the company's eight-month rotational mentorship program, the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program.
  • Microchip giant Intel offers a mentorship program whereby mentees are paired with mentors who possess desired skills and competencies.
  • Tech leader Google hosts a summer-long global program, donned the Summer of Code, in which future leaders write codes for projects and earn stipends.

Intel

One of the world’s largest chipmakers takes a different stance on mentorship programs. Instead of matching up fresh talent with seasoned veterans, Intel (INTC) has reinvented the process a bit by matching people based on the skills that are in demand at any given time.

Intel searches far and wide for matches in their mentorship program. They run the program through the intranet and email allowing mentorship pairs to be located across state lines.

Each person that enters the mentorship program fills out a questionnaire, which helps eliminate guesswork. Participants are then paired based on the specific skills they possess.

One of the greatest things about the mentorship program at Intel is that they are not concerned about moving a few select people up the chain of command. Instead, they are interested in passing information and talent from one generation to another. Overall, company growth is a priority.

Caterpillar

One of the world’s leaders in mining and construction equipment, Caterpillar (CAT) aims to mold their recent college graduates into the future of the company. Their professional development program lasts two or three years, depending on the department.

During the rotation program, participants create the basic building blocks for technical competence, develop, and refine their leadership skills, gain exposure to senior management, and develop long-lasting relationships with all of the program mentors.

Google

Google (GOOG) is one of the world's leading technology companies; therefore, attracting some of the brightest talent is crucial to the company's continued growth. Each year, Google hosts Summer of Code, a global program offering student developers stipends to write code for various open-source software projects. Since its inception in 2005 to 2019, Google has had over 14,000 successful student participants from more than 109 countries. There have also been over 24,000 mentors.

Throughout the summer, the students are paired with different mentors giving them real-world software development experience, along with the chance to earn employment within their areas of interest.

Time Warner Cable

At Time Warner Cable (TWC), the goal for the mentorship program is to build employees' skill sets, increase their knowledge of the industry, and achieve their development goals. The program is beneficial to everyone because it also helps the mentor further strengthen their skills as a leader.

Time Warner Cable feels that a mentorship program helps enhance loyalty and retention by improving employee satisfaction. The program gives top talent a stage on which to shine and enables them to move throughout the company.

The Bottom Line

Mentorship programs are one of the best ways to groom recent college graduates to be successful during their careers. By teaching a newly-graduated employee about the successes and failures that they have experienced, mentors can play a vital role in the making of future leaders.