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Mentoring Partnership is a Win-Win

 

Recently, UnitedHealthcare took part in the Fortune - U.S. Department of State Global Women's Mentoring Partnership, a month-long program to empower global women leaders with critical leadership and business skills and pair them with top American female executives—Fortune's Most Powerful Women—and their teams for a customized mentorship. A public-private partnership between Fortune Most Powerful Women, the U.S. Department of State, and Vital Voices Global Partnership, the program draws on the expertise of America's most accomplished leaders to enhance the business and leadership skills of international women professionals. Each mentee spends two weeks at her mentor's company for a customized program designed to address her professional goals and interests.

For two weeks this spring, Tami Reller, chief marketing and experience officer, UnitedHealthcare, had the opportunity to mentor Dwi Fatan "Lily" Lilyana, vice president of Learning and Development at PT Pupuk Indonesia (Persero), a State-Owned Enterprise (BUMN) engaged in fertilizer, petrochemical and agrochemical, steam and electricity, transportation and distribution, trading and EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) industries.

Thanks to Ali Helmstetter, Associate Director of Talent Learning and Development for UnitedHealthcare, and Monica Hamling, Talent Business Partner for UnitedHealthcare, Lily was able to meet many UnitedHealth Group leaders during her time in the Twin Cities, as well as leaders from Cargill.

"We were able to customize Lily's learning to give her exposure to all areas of our business and the systems and processes that will help her influence positive change in her home country of Indonesia," Monica said. "When I first met Lily, this became more than a job, but a personal commitment to help her develop strategies for career growth of women in her country."

Here are some insights into the program and what both women took away from it.

Q: Tami, what has mentoring meant to you in your career?

A: Mentors early in my career had a significant impact on my career direction and leadership philosophy; they shaped how I lead, how I developed, and they shaped the opportunities I was given. And equally as important, being a mentor has meant a lot to me and taught me along the way. I think it's important to pay it forward, and to start relatively early in your career. I encourage everyone to consider how they can be both a mentor and a mentee.

Q: Lily, what was your experience like during these two weeks? What was your favorite highlight?

A: Two things come to mind—leadership and culture, especially the values of compassion and relationships—those really resonate a lot. They have come through in all I've seen and experienced, across all levels and divisions of the company. It's how people act. And I had a very powerful learning journey because of the agenda created by Ali and Monica.

I had a very busy agenda with so many senior leaders, who all kept their meetings with me. To me, this shows devotion, compassion, professionalism and respect.

A fun highlight was going to my first baseball game (Minnesota Twins) with Tami. They may not have won, but the food was great!

Q: Tami, what was your favorite highlight?

A: A highlight for me was seeing how our company and our leaders enthusiastically stepped up to mentor and learn from Lily. It was so impressive, and so inspiring and instructive, to hear Lily recap her discussions after meeting our leaders and seeing them in action.  

Q: Lily, what is your overall perspective about UnitedHealth Group from this experience?

A: This is a big, powerful company filled with purposeful employees and leaders. And I hope as you expand the business globally—with the compassion you have—you will really be able to change the health care world for the better. You already have the culture, you just need to spread it. Business is one aspect but the values are even bigger. The way people interact and see others is so important.

Q: Tami, what was your key learning or takeaway from this experience?

A: Lily came to this experience prepared and open to learn. She is a fantastic leader – purpose-driven, humble and wicked smart. She was chosen from nearly 400 highly qualified applicants from Indonesia. The clarity around her goals for the program was an important part of her preparation, in addition to thinking through all the areas she wanted to explore and learn. It was an important reminder to me to see what it really looks like to have a learning mindset.

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