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Ann Lim-Brand: Internal Mentor

Ann Lim-Brand

Office: SCOA New York
Business Unit: Diversity & Inclusion
Total years employed by Sumitomo: 4 years

One’s career path and vision can be shaped by the journey as you learn about yourself.





Why did you participate as an internal mentor and how many teams did you mentor during the 0→1 Challenge 2019 Program?

I participated as an internal mentor as most of my professional career has been in people development, which is a big part of the 0-1 Challenge program. It was an opportunity to be part of something bigger for the company in finding innovative projects, and to stretch one’s capabilities including my own. 


Why do you think having an internal mentor is important to the teams? 

An internal mentor is important to the teams for several reasons. First off – asking questions they might not have thought of to prompt them for different answers like what have you tried? what is working? what isn’t? why do you think that would work? etc. It was also helpful in providing different points of view, and suggesting ways to test and learn and helping the teams get rid of barriers to progress and help them keep going in face of obstacles.

It was also a great chance to connect the team to people within the mentor’s network and act as a sounding board to test and explore new solutions and options.


How did being an internal mentor impact your life, career, and skills set?

Being an internal mentor impacted me in several ways. It encouraged myself as an innovator, to look inside myself as a leader, in a different way by thinking outside my area(s)of expertise and department. I also built stronger internal networks and relationships within the company. Lastly, it helped me learn through teaching and mentoring by supporting the team to help them focus on project results while also learning about myself along the way.


Why should employees participate in the 0→1 Challenge?

The 01 Challenge is a great experience for employees because it gives you the opportunity to:

  • Develop oneself, think outside the box to be innovative
  • Build new relationships, be part of a team and feel connected
  • Push yourself outside your comfort zone and grow from them
  • Hone and enhance your leadership skills
  • Collaborate with a team on a shared vision
  • Grow because one’s career path and vision can be shaped by the journey as you learn about yourself


What was the most challenging part of being a mentor and what was the most rewarding part of being a mentor?

The most challenging part of being a mentor was the time constraint, limited tools and resources and  knowing when it was time to change course, ie. path of least resistance, adjustment to policies, procedures, and practices. But the most rewarding part was ensuring the team felt supported, that they know they have a support system in place when it got challenging and they needed to back on track. Also, being a part of a bigger picture than just one’s current role was quite rewarding.