May 11, 2021 / Gouhar Nayeem

Discover New Goals and Career Opportunities

For those just beginning their careers, insight from more seasoned professionals can be invaluable. Mentorship helps us broaden our horizons, avoid mistakes, pursue opportunities, make connections, and perhaps alter our career paths. It gives the younger generation a chance to learn from others’ experiences and navigate the professional waters with the tools they need to be successful.

AIHA’s CEO, Larry Sloan, MBA, CAE, knows firsthand the benefits of mentorship, which supported his transition from the for-profit world to the nonprofit sector and his advancement into an executive position.

Larry entered the nonprofit sector in 2000. This was a big shift from his previous job selling wastewater treatment equipment and traveling as many as four days a week. Fortunately, his transition from “road warrior” to team player was aptly guided by one of his first bosses in the association world—the head of the Adhesive and Sealant Council, a trade association of adhesive and sealant manufacturers.

During Larry’s initial interview, his boss intimated that if he performed well in the job, there could be an opportunity to succeed him in his role when he retired. He proceeded to mentor Larry in various ways from day one. He gave Larry guidance on how to deliver presentations to members, provided opportunities to engage in and help lead strategic discussions at board meetings, and ultimately put Larry in charge of overseeing a major industry initiative. Larry’s mentor often employed the Socratic method when coaching him on how to handle various situations.

When Larry’s boss retired, he encouraged Larry to apply for the CEO position, coached him through the interview process with the executive committee, and provided ongoing support during his first year on the job. For Larry, a young, first-time CEO, this support was invaluable. Thanks to his mentor, Larry was able to expand his opportunities at an important point in his career.

At AIHA, we hope to give our members an opportunity to participate in a mentoring relationship as successful as Larry’s. All members will soon have exclusive access to the new, easier-to-use AIHA Mentoring Program. You will receive a special invitation to join as a mentor or a mentee. The new AIHA Mentoring Program will allow you to sync your calendar, chat with your mentor or mentee, attend events and learning modules, establish goals, and more. The new AIHA Mentoring Program will also be accessible on your mobile device.

For early-career professionals, this exclusive AIHA member benefit is a unique opportunity to connect with a more seasoned professional who can offer career guidance, skills development, and networking opportunities. For more seasoned professionals, mentoring is a micro-volunteering opportunity that doesn’t require a long-term commitment and offers the opportunity to earn CM points. More information about other AIHA micro-volunteering opportunities is available on the AIHA website.

Gouhar Nayeem

Gouhar Nayeem is AIHA’s membership marketing specialist.


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