The benefits of the mentor’s role are to provide the mentee with career experiences, leadership knowledge, constructive and positive feedback, and guidance to enhance professional abilities. The benefits to the mentee are to take on the responsibility to provide open and honest communication in areas that allow for the improvement in job competences.
Mentor: Christy M. Gurgone
Case Administrator III—United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
The NCBC Mentorship program presented itself to me at a very appropriate time. After completing the NCBC LEAD Academy Pilot Program in August of 2019 and being mentored by an incredible mentor, I felt inspired to take on the great opportunity to step into the role of mentor myself. Becoming an NCBC mentor helped me to expand on what was taught through the LEAD Academy, and showed me how to stretch myself even further in my career.
As a mentor, the program caused me to think about and consider 1) my listening and communication skills and my ability to provide constructive feedback 2) my ability to assist Latonia with challenging situations, and 3) my ability to integrate the education received from past training and resources into our discussions. A valuable asset of the mentoring relationship is the ability to share and connect with someone outside of your own court. Sharing experiences and valuable information across court lines can be of particular benefit to the bankruptcy court system as a whole. I am grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know Latonia on not only a professional, but a personal level as well. The NCBC mentorship program has been beneficial to me and has taken me outside of my comfort zone to further sharpen my leadership skills, because as I have learned, you can lead from where you are no matter your position within the court.
Mentee: Latonia M. Isom
Court Operations Specialist—United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Florida
The NCBC Mentorship Program has been a wonderful benefit to me personally and professionally. It has allowed me to be mentored by a peer from another court who has many years of experience working in different areas of the bankruptcy court. The opportunity to take advantage of this program has afforded me to learn about variances between the Florida Northern and North Carolina Eastern Bankruptcy Courts in the following areas: management and leadership skills, technical processes, financial, and procedural differences.
The management and leadership skills discussed in our meetings has helped me to develop confidence in handling situations that arise in my position as a court operations specialist. In addition, suggestions for improvement provided me with valuable insights and resources to keep developing and advancing my leadership skills.
I greatly appreciated the technical assistance and positive feedback by my mentor in various areas. The suggestions and guidance have an encouraging effect on me to pay more attention to those areas and strive to incorporate them into both my personal and professional life. As a result of our work together, I created several PowerPoint presentations, such as one entitled, “A Day in the Life of a Case Administrator.”
Looking at the financial processes between the two courts helped me be more aware of the differences. In fact, learning about some of North Carolina Eastern financial methods encouraged me to share their streamlined workflow with my court for consideration.
Discussing procedural differences between our courts was the most beneficial topic to me. The mentor shared information about CM Assist, processing of pro se documents, some differences between docket events in CM/ECF, and courtroom deputy responsibilities. Reciprocally, as the mentee, I shared information about 5Alpha, the process of review for pro se documents, our SharePoint operations procedural manual, ADI processes, and courtroom procedures.
As the mentorship program comes to a close, I am reflecting on the experience and appreciate being a part of this program.
In conclusion, the skills, knowledge, and relationship between the mentor and mentee are invaluable. We would highly recommend this program to all NCBC members. It all starts with a desire to learn and grow, submitting the application, and actively participating in the program.