Primary File

Frances Mumford and Her Board of Advisors

Dawn E. Chandler Steven M. Cox
January 1, 2016
North America
Strategy & General Management
5 pages
Mentoring, developmental network, career development, career success, leveraging
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

This case details the early career trajectory of a recent college graduate who effectively leveraged mentoring to achieve career success. The protagonist, Frances Mumford, was not a naturally gifted computer scientist and found herself struggling to climb the learning curves necessary to be effective both during her college studies and again in her first post-college job. However, she did possess relational savvy, defined as protégé adeptness with nurturing and managing developmental relationships (Chandler, Hall, and Kram, 2010), which she used to build a personal board of advisors to help her meet her developmental needs (Shen, Cotton, & Kram, 2015) and increase her productivity and effectiveness. The discussion illuminates the value of mentoring and the importance of embracing and utilizing relational learning for career success.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Discuss and categorize the benefits of mentoring for protégés and mentors as well as the types of support that developers provide.
  2. Explain the nature of a developmental network in terms of its primary dimensions, as well as some positive outcomes associated with the support received from mentors and certain network structures.
  3. Determine the influence of the employing organization’s context in enabling and hindering opportunities for nurturing developmental relationships.
  4. Devise strategies for targeting and reaching out to potential mentors and nurturing and utilizing a responsive developmental network capable of meeting one’s career advancement and personal growth aspirations.