Watch the extended version of Thank Your Mentor.
This January 31, will you be thanking your mentor?
At Buckle, mentoring is one of our core values. Mentorship helps in developing our teams and leaders, and it’s something we live every day through the hundreds of mentor/mentee relationships within our company.
In support of National Mentoring Month this January and Thank Your Mentor Day on January 31, we talked with some of our teammates on the importance of having mentors and the positive impacts mentors have made in our lives.
Meet Alixzandra J.
Alixzandra started working for Buckle over two years ago while pursuing fashion design at Michigan State University. Now, as a Management Trainee and fashion design graduate, she’s gearing up to manage her own Buckle store. When Alixzandra was younger, she admits things were not always easy. She had to work to find the right way, or the wrong way would be just around the corner. Luckily, she has mentors in her life that helped along the way.
Tell us about your first mentor:
My sister has been one of my biggest mentors. She guided me when no one else was giving me the guidance to make the right decision. She was hard on me, because she did not want me to repeat the same mistakes she had witnessed or experienced on her own. She gave me the opportunity to grow, but never fail without warning. She gave me the confidence to be independent, which gave me the courage to move away from home to further myself with a college education, and to find myself and what I was meant to do.
How did you find yourself and what you were meant for?
By motivating myself through the vision of future success and happiness, I was able to perform well all throughout grade school and was accepted into the college of my dreams. I went to Michigan State University, where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. During college, I took a part-time job at Buckle while I was going to school for fashion design. I had different plans for my future and originally didn’t see anything coming out of the part-time job. But my Buckle Manager, who has also been a mentor, saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, and never once let an opportunity go by where he didn’t remind me of the potential I had with the company.
What made you change your mind about your career?
The change came from realizing how much passion I had for the guest, the product, and for developing a team. The ability to make a difference to an entire team of people each day was the most euphoric feeling. I love the structure of this company and the people I work with every day. My mentor has taken every opportunity to help me develop. He is always there for me. He uses my strengths to give me confidence and my weaknesses to help me grow. I owe my success to my mentors. I started as a part-time teammate and now I’m awaiting my own store. It has been both humbling and rewarding to see my hard work pay off, and this is just the beginning of my journey.
Meet Dallas L.
Dallas started working for Buckle after a unique experience. A couple years ago, before working for the company, he helped merchandise a Buckle store. A Regional Manager saw his work and insisted on meeting him. The Regional Manager thought Dallas would be a great fit for the company and introduced him to some other managers. Dallas started out in the Management Trainee program, and similar to other times in his life, had reservations about his ability to succeed. He explained that each time he’s felt this way during his life, he’s had a mentor to encourage him to keep going.
How has a mentor helped you in your personal life?
In my personal life, one of my biggest mentors has been my mom. I remember coming home one time right after I started college, and just being really discouraged. I felt like I wasn’t living my life to its fullest potential, and my mom noticed that and asked me what was going on. I just had to be real with her and said I feel like I’m making mistakes, I feel like I don’t know what my next steps should be. She told me that there are no mistakes that can’t be learned from. That mistakes don’t define you, they should inspire you.
How has a mentor helped you in your career?
When I first started at Buckle, I had a mentor that really encouraged me to just be myself. I didn’t necessarily know if I was going to have all the qualities that I needed to succeed, but my mentor really shined a flash light on my abilities and allowed me to see things that I didn’t see in myself. After three months at Buckle, I realized that I truly enjoyed everything about the company. The passion for product, passion for people, and passion for progression!
How have your mentors continued to help you succeed?
Both my mom and Buckle mentors continue to share in my success. They cheer me on when I’m winning and offer a different perspective when improvement needs to be made. Ultimately, my growth and development, both personally and professionally, is up to me. That decision is left up to each and every one of us. We choose every single day what we will do and those actions dictate who we will become!
If it wasn’t for your mentors, where do you think you would be in life?
Without mentors, I know my growth and development would take much longer. My mentors have provided essential guidance during life’s challenges. This helped expedite my success and set clear expectations and standards for my future. I share those expectations and standards with others, and hope someday they will do the same for someone else as they mature into the leaders (and mentors) themselves!
Meet Timber L.
Executive Strategist of Visual and Sales
Overland Park, Kansas
As the Executive Strategist of Visual and Sales for Buckle, Timber is someone who has seen a lot of success during her 19 years with the company, and she gives a lot of credit to her mentors for this success.
How did a part-time job at Buckle turn into a career? Did mentors play a role?
I never would have thought that my very first part-time job could have turned into my career. The culture and leadership at Buckle has been life changing! I’ve had leaders throughout my career that discovered my strengths, and through their belief in me, I continue to grow and develop. I’ll be honest in sharing that at times I’ve had to “borrow” their belief, but I think it takes commitment and the ability to evolve and change to get to where you want to be in life. I never had a vision on what roles or positions I wanted to achieve, but instead, trusted my mentors to put me into a position that adds the most value to the company.
Tell us about your mentors:
I’ve been very fortunate to have countless mentors over the years. My mentors have been everyone from the people I’ve worked with since their very first shift (with all the excitement and energy, and story they bring), to upper management and leadership within the company. They have all been a huge factor in my growth and development, and have helped shape me into the person that I am today. My mentors have been able to pull the greatness out of me, and I’m better than I ever dreamed possible because of them. When you mentor someone, you really see where they could be, and then you help them bridge the gap and get to that next level. Often times, they surpass even what they thought was possible for themselves. That’s the beauty of it – that’s what mentors are able to do for the people they lead.
How did your mentors pull the greatness out of you?
The people I look up to most in life guide me through the example they set and ultimately from who they are as a person. I’m constantly challenging myself to keep up with the books they read, the videos they watch, and the podcasts they listen to because being a lifelong learner is something I pride myself on. It’s been a game changer for my growth over the years and my mentors have lead the way. It’s so important to surround yourself with incredible people, and I’ve come to realize that the people closest to me will determine my level of success in life. The better the people I surround myself with, the better I will become. I think Zig Ziglar said it best…
“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” – Zig Ziglar
Mentors play an instrumental role in helping individuals flourish and develop to their fullest potential. From childhood to adulthood, personally and professionally, mentors are important in all aspects of our lives. That is why Buckle supports organizations like TeamMates Youth Mentoring Program and reminds you to #ThankYourMentor on January 31.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT:
#ThankYourMentor on social media.
Find a mentoring opportunity:
Learn more about careers at Buckle:
Thank Your Mentor Day is part of National Mentoring Month. As an initiative of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the month recognizes mentoring and the positive effects it has on young lives. As well as, focuses national attention on the need for mentors.