At SoFi Technologies, we truly believe our people are our greatest asset. In order for them to thrive, we know we have to offer opportunities for personal and professional growth as well as real purpose and connection to their work. That’s why we created our mentorship program, SoFi GROW.
The objective of GROW is to develop SoFi’s underrepresented minorities and groups through professional mentorship by pairing these future leaders with senior employees at the company to provide real-time feedback, active coaching, key business knowledge, and advocacy to support their professional journeys. GROW applications open twice a year for a six-month program.
We’re giving future leaders real-time feedback, active coaching, and support in their professional journey. Additionally, GROW allows participants to network with other SoFi team members, giving them the chance to build connections with those with similar interests and skill sets.
Meet Jess Cherner, Director of Executive Recruiting and Sourcing and Erica Hester, Associate Manager-Escalations. Jess was paired to be Erica's mentor through GROW! We had the opportunity to sit down with this amazing GROW duo to discuss how their experience in GROW has been valuable and our SoFi value of the month, Get To The Truth!
What motivates you to participate in GROW?
Erica: I was encouraged to participate in the GROW program by my leadership team after I mentioned that I wanted to network with other Business Units. I was also seeking a mentor so that I can receive guidance on navigating my career path with SoFi.
Jess: I love getting to know people, sharing lessons and best practices I've learned in my career, and being a thought partner for another manager. I have leaned on mentors so much in my life throughout all the different stages of my career, and I wanted to jump at the opportunity to be that active coach, advocate, and resource for my mentee. Erica is so amazing and it's been so rewarding getting to know her and problem solving with her. We are both working moms with young kids and we've had a great time bonding over the highs and lows of that part of our lives as well!
How has SoFi encouraged your career growth?
Erica: SoFi offers programs like GROW mentorship and Free Udemy Professionals courses to assist with my professional development. Taking advantage of these opportunities allows me to be prepared to grow within my current role and future opportunities. Having a mentor that helps me map out my career trajectory but also navigates any challenges I’m facing in my current role, makes me feel supported and valued.
Jess: I love SoFi because it's a place that encourages, challenges, and supports everyone to thrive through an ever changing environment. SoFi encouraged my career growth because it took a bet on me as our company's first in-house Exec Recruiter for all VP+ hiring. Within a few months time, SoFi also gave me the opportunity to build out a team and another function that did not exist before, our talent sourcing team, so we could better target passive talent and improve our workforce diversity across G&A and Tech recruiting. I'm so grateful for the leadership on the people team, my peers, my team, and all my cross functional partners who have contributed to my career growth here at SoFi.
April’s Value Of The Month is “Get To The Truth.” Can you explain how you most often live out this value in your role?
Erica: Working with a peer group of analysts, I am able to review data that speaks to our agent’s performance. As a people manager, I work with my team to celebrate their successes, but also during development sessions, I listen to my Account Manager’s challenges and work with them to provide solutions as well as set expectations to achieve our SoFi goals.
Jess: As an Executive Recruiter speaking to prospective candidates every day, I find this value to be at the heart of every conversation—getting to the truth on someone's background and experience, strengths, career goals, and if their values align with our mission and values here at SoFi. It is really one of the most rewarding parts of my job, being able to connect with people and help them land their next dream job here at SoFi.
What are your favorite book, podcast, or video recommendations for career growth and inspiration?
Erica: Currently, my favorite book is Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. I found this book to be inspiring because it reminds me to be brave and willing to commit to the end goal, but also to be open to having tough conversations with myself to continue growing as a leader. This keeps me focused even on the toughest days.
Jess: One of my favorites that I read as a teacher many years ago is Mindset by Carol Dweck! A few others I'd recommend are Give and Take by Adam Grant and Nudge by Richard Thaler.
We are so proud to feature GROW partnerships like Jess and Erica who are eagerly awaiting advocacy and career pathing, or who want to share their resources and experience. SoFi is committed to creating a workplace where everyone feels welcomed, included and able to contribute. We believe that by creating an environment where we can continually elevate underrepresented communities, we can foster professional development.
The individuals featured are SoFi employees. Their personal experiences, obviously, do not take into account your own specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. Results will vary.