Full disclosure: I love Pulse and have chosen to spend hours and hours this year serving as the co-chair of the Pulse marketing committee. Beyond Pulse, I often find myself busy doing things for work, for fun, and for philanthropy—all over Greenville. I have had to make some hard decisions over the past 5 years about what to spend time and energy on and what to say no to. A good friend and Outdoorosity LLC collaborator, Jo Hackl, also happens to be a longtime mentor and one of the biggest fans of the Greenville Pulse PaceSetters mentoring program. It took her around 13 months to convince me that I had to participate in PaceSetters. Once I started the program in February 2015, though, it didn't take long for me to become as enthusiastic about PaceSetters as I already was about Pulse.
My PaceSetters group met once a month from February until November, plus a few large group rendezvous with everyone in PaceSetters and a few additional casual small group gatherings just for the heck of it. Scott Dishman and Irv Welling mentored me through an industry switch last summer and have continued to check in over the past year. They organized a meeting with Milt Lowder to talk about what we really wanted. We did a walking tour of Greenville to discuss how our city has changed and grown. We read and discussed thought-provoking, "what-is-really-important" articles. We learned about our Predictive Index (P.I.) results and their everyday relevance. We enjoyed a hilarious December meal celebrating and laughing together.
Both within and outside PaceSetters group meetings, we talked through our challenges and successes in both our personal and professional lives. We cheered on some new moms, new marriages, raises, and discussed the difficulties and shared advice about management (both managing up and managing down). It wasn't planned this way, but five of those in my PaceSetters group changed companies and positions during the year and we were able to navigate the transitions together. Though we were in industries ranging from finance to nonprofit to engineering, we shared and learned from each other and were even surprised to learn how much we liked each other.
“At the core of Pacesetters is the whole idea of simply having to consider and discuss one's career (and life, etc)—what really matters, choices we all have to make, alternatives, our careers, etc.—and doing so with some guidance and with others who are going through the same stages. I have to think one comes out of this with better knowledge and insight and better equipped to make their own choices going forward,” said Irv Welling. For anyone seeking to be challenged, looking for help envisioning their next ten (or one, or twenty five) years, interested in connecting with motivated peers outside your industry, and/or wanting to build personal relationships with experienced and passionate local leaders, try PaceSetters. Even those in our group who self-described as "only doing this because my boss told me to” raved about the PaceSetters experience by the end.
Consider applying for the 2017 PaceSetters class; applications are available now.
Those mentored by Scott and Irv through PaceSetters have:
- Opened a successful Kilwins franchise—Ashley Clark
- Won the Beef Jerky Outlet Franchisee of the Year and the Best of the Upstate—Steven Crane
- Gotten the highest quarterly corporate sales in new Dave & Busters stores nationwide—Kristi Banning
- Become Pulse Advisory Council members—Lyderic Champetier and myself (Jessica Pate)
Additional mentee successes highlighted by Scott and Irv:
- Been inspired and coached through major career jumps in their field
- Discovered new ways to balance their work and home lives
- Found joy and success in career paths they were previously unsure about
- Managed to move on from past jobs that they were stuck in for too long
- Clarified their goals and made adjustments to get there more quickly
About the Author:
Jessica Pate is an Account Representative at Jackson Marketing Group and the 2016 Co-Chair of the Pulse Young Professionals Marketing Committee. She mentors through Mentor Upstate and has raced in the Spinx Run Fest every year since 2012. She participated in the 2015 Pulse PaceSetters mentoring program (shout out to Scott, Irv and group 3!) and is a Furman University Alumni Ambassador (proud 2013 Communication Studies and Sociology grad). She loves attending all the festivals in Greenville and traveling as much as she can on a twenty-something’s budget.