Meet Craig Osten – VP & CFO at Sandoz North America and a participating mentor for WeMentor – The Sandoz Mentoring Program. We caught up with Craig at different points of his mentoring journey and he shared with us his hopes for when he started, the value he gets from mentoring and having been mentored in the past, and his advice for mentors and mentees alike.
Going into the program, what did you hope to get out of it?
I wanted to be a resource for other associates to help them navigate career development questions.
What do you think the ‘secret’ is to a good mentoring relationship?!
I think it is a willingness to listen and really hear and understand the other party’s thinking and point of view. It’s also really great when both people are clear on what they want from the pairing. Preparation for the discussions is also very helpful to maximise the benefit of the time together. An understanding of the need to be flexible (is also important) if the course of the relationship, discussion, or topics changes over time.
It’s important that the mentee has clear goals coming into the mentoring relationship. But equally, the mentor must be approachable. It is important that transparent conversations are happening.
What is one way that mentoring has changed your professional or personal life?
As a mentee I have appreciated the counsel I have been given over the entire length of my career. Now I am trying to pay it forward.
When I have been mentored, the big change was my mentor’s ability to make me believe that I could do something that I was not necessarily confident I could achieve.
As a mentor myself, I get no greater sense of accomplishment than watching a mentee achieve their aspirations and grow professionally and personally. If I even play a small part in that, it is very gratifying.
What tips or advice would you like to share with those new to mentoring?
For those mentoring, listen as much, if not more, than you speak. Make suggestions more than requests, provide options on how to approach a particular issue. Be a sounding board. Be honest, authentic and approachable. Remember what it was like for you when you were starting your career journey.
For mentees be clear with your mentor about what you want from the pairing. Make sure you are driving what you want out of the relationship. Be prepared for the discussions. It is ok if they go off in directions that you did not expect but good to have some rough talking points you would like to discuss to maximise the value of the time together.
WeMentor – The Sandoz Mentoring Program was introduced as a tool to enhance learning and skills development opportunities within the organisation. The goal is to create a culture of knowledge sharing and connectedness, while improving leadership development.
Keen to run your own Mentoring Program? Speak to one of our Mentoring Experts to see how you too, can run your most successful mentoring program yet.