A Tale of Becoming: What Mentorship Means In Atrium’s Luminate Program

A Tale of Becoming What Mentorship Means In Atrium’s Luminate Program

Author: Tyler Pollard, Nick Burkland

Going from college to full-time work is an exciting, yet scary transition for most people. Upon entering the workforce, there is a major shift in dynamics that takes place. What was once a rubric and syllabus is now the more abstract task of defining goals, prioritizing, and accomplishing tasks. Where one could once sit quietly and observe there is now a new need to collaborate and share openly.

Entering A Career In Tech Consulting

All of these shifts with the accompanying life changes that come with working pave a road that many struggle to adapt to. At Atrium, the recognition of such a problem has not gone unnoticed. The Luminate Program was crafted with the intention of helping new graduates ease their way into the world of technology consulting, a field that requires constant refinement of both one’s soft and hard skills. What’s more, the approach is constantly evolving to best suit the needs of incoming new hires.

While the program advances with respect to content, schedule, and things of that nature, one thing is bound to stay consistent—the mentor and mentee relationship. Atrium matches each incoming Luminate with an employee who has either been in their shoes before (Luminate Alum) or has aligned experiences that will greatly benefit them.

A People-First Mentorship Program

Unlike other programs, our Luminate program does not necessarily match you with someone with your exact skill set, instead, the assignments are made more on personality matches. It is a lot easier to talk through situations with someone you enjoy communicating with. Meetings between an experienced mentor and a Luminate mentee are typically held 2 to 3 times a week in addition to the ongoing program meetings.

Some mentors will keep these conversations very loose and up to the mentee to lead the topics of discussion, while others might propose a running agenda. And, for those on the far left side of the meeting spectrum, conversations could end up heading in a direction that keeps both parties engaged for a while.

At the end of the day, this newly kindled relationship has the potential to become a lot more than a work resource exchange. It can seed itself into a budding friendship.

From the Mentee: Nick Burkland, Data Engineer

Coming to Atrium, I had known that the culture was otherworldly. The culture here is one of the reasons I was attracted to the company, but I was not aware of how influential having a great mentor would be. Starting a new job, let alone a new life stage can be intimidating. Before I even started I had questions constantly running through my head.

Am I prepared for this role? Will Atrium run similarly to other companies I worked for? What tools will I need to learn? 

The number of questions was amplified after starting.

Who should I speak to about this problem I am facing? What is the dress code on camera? What is the best way to tackle this certification? Is this email too informal?

If it were not for Tyler, I am not sure how I would have fared during my first few months. He went above and beyond what it means to be a resource. Not only did he field all the questions I had, but he would point me to other resources that could share other insights. Additionally, he wanted to get to know me and my interests, and it is because of him and his advocacy that I am on my dream team doing what I love each and every day.

Our weekly meetings that once catered heavily toward questions, company administration, and certification discussions turned to deeper conversations about careers, hobbies, and health. We were able to start sharing facts about ourselves that existed outside of our work life. The transition of substance in our meetings was the sowing of a seed I like to call friendship. We have now transcended the title of “work buddies” and have stronger respect and admiration for each other.

I cannot say how thankful I am for this experience. I’ve learned a lot, but I believe the true benefit was learning the ways of a high achiever because that in turn has led me to see great success at Atrium. Thank you, Tyler!

From the Mentor: Tyler Pollard, Analytics Consultant

When initially approached about being a mentor in the Luminate Program, my first feeling was one of true excitement. My second was one of absolute nervousness. Although I had completed the Luminate program myself and had project experience under my belt, I had still worked at the company for less than nine months and graduated college less than a year earlier. I found myself asking: Am I prepared to be a mentor? How many questions will I actually be able to answer? What if Nick is a technical genius and I offer him no help at all?

It turns out, I had forgotten just how many questions I had during the transition from school to a new, full-time job. Nick and I were able to talk through many administrative items such as finalizing PTO, blocking off time on the calendar, and scheduling various certification exams. As he was advancing through various aspects of the Luminate program, our conversations shifted to the different intricacies of consulting, from client communication to managing expectations, to different work styles and methodologies.

As Nick began taking exams and finding himself placed on projects, he took no time showcasing his technical genius. He quickly became not only my go-to, but a company-wide go-to for questions about AWS, Snowflake, and Data Warehousing best practices. Had I been placed with someone in the Luminate program that had my exact skill set, I likely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn so much from them so quickly.

Thanks to our multiple weekly meetings, Nick and I were quickly able to shed surface-level small talk and dive into some incredibly important life topics, such as Matthew McConaughey’s autobiography, the best breakfast recipes, truly managing work and life, and finding your voice within a company. It was here I found out that being a mentor isn’t really about being a teacher or having all the answers, it’s about listening.

The more I forced myself to open my ears the more my eyes were opened to the tough, funny, and brilliant consultant in front of me. Thank you, Nick, and thank you Luminate Mentorship Program. It has been an absolute pleasure.

Mentorship Goes A Long Way

As folks work on their transition from college to the workforce, there can be many uncertainties regarding roles, responsibilities, and expectations. The Luminate Program at Atrium does a great job onboarding college hires and training them to be technical consultants. However, a Luminate Mentor is essential for fielding all kinds of questions, pointing you in the right direction, and being a friend along the way.

Find out more about our Luminate Program.