Ciena loves mentorship! Read about the mentoring resources available to team members and see several mentorship success stories.

Everyone has ambitions for their careers—whether it’s finding deep satisfaction, taking on challenges, or aligning your work with your values and interests. Whatever your goals are, one of the most valuable resources anyone can have on their career journey is a mentor. Today, we’re exploring the ways Ciena supports mentorship among our team members and sharing stories of those who have found value in the mentorship experience.

How Ciena supports every step of your mentorship journey

Ciena appreciates how employer endorsement and support can make a major difference in both the experience and value of mentorship in the workplace. That’s why there are abundant resources to encourage mentorship every step of the way including the “Find a Mentor” platform, where individuals can sign up to make their availability as a mentor known, and potential mentees can search though profiles of people who are eager to provide guidance.

Once you’ve established a mentoring relationship, Ciena provides resources that help both parties get the most value out of your arrangement, including tips on goal setting and advice on giving and receiving feedback.

At Ciena, there are senior leaders who have put themselves out there and they want to connect with you. If someone inspires you and you want to talk to them, they’ve already said ‘bring me people who want mentorship’ which is really cool.

What success looks like for Ashley, Laura, and Claire

To illustrate just what successful mentoring can look like, Ashley, Laura, and Claire have shared their stories of how mentorship supported them in reaching different goals.

Ashley’s Story: Leadership guidance and women’s empowerment

Ashley sought out a mentor with an eye on her personal growth. As a cyber security professional, she knew which areas of her role she felt most confident in, and which areas she wanted to learn more about. She also knew that she wanted to find a woman in a leadership role to help her reach her potential.

Using Ciena’s platform and resources, she established a mentoring relationship with a female leader who has been able to provide insight and support into Ashley’s career journey. When a director-level role in cyber security became available within the organization, Ashley’s mentor offered advice and strategies to help Ashley showcase her skills and experience effectively in her application. When she succeeded in getting the new role, her mentor continued to support her leadership journey.Ashely's professional headshot

When it comes to mentorship, I feel like I’ve gotten nothing but unlimited support from my leadership.

Laura’s Story: Context-specific support for a new role

Laura turned to mentorship after moving from a role in services to a role in sales. The unfamiliar context of her new role came with some surprises, and receiving mentorship from her manager helped her adjust to the fresh setting and step into her position more confidently.

Reflecting on how things changed for her after seeking mentorship, Laura says, “I was behaving the same way as in my previous context, and then mentorship helped me to understand that I had to face things differently.” She notes how her mentor was able to provide specific advice, based not only on her performance in her new role, but also based on her mentor’s familiarity with larger context in which they worked.

For Laura, mentorship wasn’t about getting a new job, it was about making the most of the opportunity that she had already achieved.

Laura standing near the Grand Canyon

I didn’t look for a mentor to change my career—I made the change, and then realized I was a bit lost. Then I found this person who was the perfect mentor because she could guide me through the learning curve of my new role.

Claire's Story: Blending professional skill development with community support

The value Claire S. has found in mentorship lies in having a partner who can help her identify opportunities to sharpen her professional skills while also enriching her community. One big win has been building time into her schedule to volunteer at a local zoo in her community. She notes, “volunteering has honed my planning, communication, and leadership skills—all of which are invaluable in my role.”

As a result of these changes, Claire has enjoyed reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction. Taking on meaningful volunteer work has helped her achieve a more balanced work-life rhythm, which has been a win-win for both herself, her community, and her team at Ciena.

This balance has helped her dream even bigger when it comes to achieving Ciena’s purpose of bringing humanity to innovation. Claire sees strong connections between the strategic goals that she works closely with every day in her professional role, and the capacity for anyone to contribute to a brighter future. Combined with the guidance provided by her mentor, Claire is more inspired than ever in the roles she plays at work and in her community.Claire S and her mentor Claire P

I'm incredibly grateful for the mentorship I've received at Ciena. It has opened my eyes to the many ways I can enhance my skills as an event professional, one of which is through volunteering.

Mentorship helps everyone—including the mentors

Mentorship is not only valuable to the mentees—it can be a rewarding experience for mentors as well. Claire P. is a mentor at Ciena, and while she’s had mentoring relationships throughout her career, she notes that Ciena offers a level of formal support that she hasn’t seen elsewhere.

As someone who has been a mentor and a mentee, she believes anyone has the capacity to be a mentor—not just those who have decades of experience or hold senior leadership roles. Providing mentorship is a fulfilling way to uplift your colleagues that anyone can appreciate, and everyone has a unique perspective to offer, regardless of age or experience.

Claire P standing before a grey background

We have the tools here to be better versions of ourselves, and I think that’s what makes Ciena quite unique.

She also emphasizes that the mentor-mentee relationship is reciprocal—mentors can gain valuable insights from their mentees. This partnership is characterized by mutual investment in the mentee's success, representing a two-way professional dynamic. Additionally, successful mentoring often thrives when individuals share similarities and can relate to each other. If you’re searching for a career where mentorship is valued and supported, explore our current open roles for your opportunity to join Ciena.