The NEEBC Mentoring Experience – Cultivating Skills for Career Success

For over ten years, NEEBC’s group mentoring has helped advance early-in-career Total Rewards professionals with their career choices.  While the program is focused on skills development required to succeed in this career, as well as career planning, it is greatly augmented by NEEBC’s in-depth benefits education led by industry thought leaders, conferences, best practices, and networking opportunities.  The group mentoring topics include leadership, public speaking, and communications. In addition, each year mentees decide extra topics most important to the group, which helps make the experience unique and meaningful for all.

The following sentiments were shared by recent mentees about the skill development sessions:

“The leadership session was great. It helped clarify what a leader is, which can be very different than what I think of as a "leader." 

“Communications was very OE heavy, which was exactly what I needed. I was able to take some of that and upgrade what we've been doing for years.”

Discussion is always encouraged and prompted by group leaders as well as guest presenters.  Oftentimes, one mentee expresses a concern that several others are also concerned about.  It is not uncommon that when one mentee shares a challenge, another mentee who has faced a similar set of circumstances offers a different perspective and suggests an alternative solution. The dialog and exchange of ideas are very important to the program.

While the group mentoring tends to be general in nature – the things to consider while formulating one’s career path and how to execute on it – each monthly session is focused on a specific topic. The topics of interest are explored and guided by the leaders, adding real-world experience as well as helpful hints to stimulate discussion or augment their thoughts on the topic.  Deep dives on topics like benefits communications are led by guest speakers who are subject matter experts. They walk the mentees through various designs and execution stages.  Networking among group participants, as well as with group leaders and guest speakers is highly encouraged.

Thinking about future career opportunities

A popular session for all group participants involves having a leader or guest speaker talk about their path to success and how they found it – some by accident and some by design. All have expressed that the ups and downs were well worth it as they learned, grew and advanced in a job in which they felt valued, added value to and that brought satisfaction to them. Sometimes it means changing companies, modifying your career path, getting out of your comfort zone, or simply acknowledging that something is not working for you.  In the end, mentees learn that choosing the company that allows them to thrive in all aspects of their lives is key to success.

An additional career consideration made evident is that a career in Total Rewards opens up so many diverse opportunities. While your present position may take you down a certain path, you may find that your skill set and aptitude lean in another area to pursue.  The benefits space is ever-evolving with changing laws, innovation, exciting new designs, a different employee demographic demanding different plan offerings, or the ever-changing needs of companies, which create new opportunities.  The mentees also benefit from hearing from fellow mentees in various industry roles.

Access to One-on-One Mentoring

One-on-one mentoring, which matches a mentee with a seasoned professional in the NEEBC community, was added two years ago as an optional supplement to the group mentoring.  This helped bring a more intimate meaning to what being a Total Rewards professional is and how one might grow in their career.


The NEEBC group and one-on-one mentoring have been well received and attended. However, the program’s success is measured when a mentee succeeds in their chosen career as a consultant, broker, actuary, or HR professional and, hopefully, continues to be an active member and contributor to the NEEBC community.

Nancy Lazgin, Former Director of Global Benefits for Staples Inc. and Consultant for Mercer PeoplePro | Co-chair NEEBC Mentoring Program

Learn more about NEEBC Mentoring 

Share this post:

Comments on "The NEEBC Mentoring Experience – Cultivating Skills for Career Success"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment