Volunteering with veterans: BP mentors support next career steps

November 11, 2018

BP employees are helping those who served pursue their next career path, in the energy industry or beyond, through a one-on-one mentoring initiative in conjunction with American Corporate Partners (ACP).

After launching earlier this year, more than 50 veterans have been paired with BP employees, based on mutual occupational interests, to help guide their transition to corporate careers.

Ray Dempsey, BP’s chief diversity officer, says: “This new partnership with ACP not only represents BP’s commitment to service men and women, but underscores the immense talent and opportunity we see within the military veteran community.”

How it works: Each BP mentor commits to a year-long program of support and guidance that focuses on topics identified by the mentee as significant in making a successful transition into the corporate environment. That might be resume writing, developing career roadmaps, or networking opportunities.

What the volunteers say: “I am thrilled that BP is partnering with ACP to support our veterans,” says Mary Sloan, mentor and systems lead for upstream talent and learning. “I love this program and I now have a better understanding of the various decisions facing our veterans as they assimilate to civilian life. 

“Through supporting the veterans, I’ve had the opportunity to learn as well, while I also enjoy the friendships developed through this program.”

Better connected: Mary is paired with Chuck, U.S. Army, who echoes her enthusiasm: “The connections I’ve made through Mary’s network are invaluable, and even led me to another rock star mentor. My network is growing, and I owe that to Mary and her efforts.”

Meanwhile U.S. National Guard veteran, Kegan, is working with BP mentor Candace McKinney. He says: “This has been phenomenal. My mentor is amazing and always looking for ways to help and encourage me. I largely accredit the mentorship in helping me find my new position."

Another mentor, BP human resources specialist and Air Force veteran, Pree Newton says: “I believe this partnership is a great opportunity for newly-separated veterans to grow their professional networks. They get the chance to learn from people in the industry on how to successfully transfer their skills into corporate America; I wish there’d been programs like this one when I separated 10 years ago.”

The networking works: The ultimate goal for these mentor pairings is to produce job opportunities beyond the military. And BP’s volunteers are helping make that happen; a number of veterans have already found employment after program guidance.