People are Rubrik’s greatest asset and the reason for our success over the years. Today, I want to introduce you to Rubrik’s Mentorship Program, which has been an integral part of the Rubrik engineering team’s culture and a testament to our undivided focus on people development.
Whether you just graduated from college or are the CEO of a company, it is important to keep learning to grow. But you cannot do it alone! You need people, you need “mentors” to help you guide your path. Behind every great leader, at the base of every great tale of success, you will find an indispensable circle of trusted advisors and mentors.
In my early days at Rubrik, the talent I found here was outstanding - I felt I could learn a bit from everyone. I did not limit myself to my immediate circle, I wanted to build my network, I hoped to learn as many skills as possible, and looked for mentors to help me navigate my career. I was lucky enough to build that over time, but is everybody?
The entrepreneur in me led me to ensure other Rubrik team members had opportunities to benefit from mentorship. I pitched the idea and what followed was some incredible support from my then manager, Adam Gee, two of Rubrik’s co-founders, Soham Mazumdar and Arvind Nithrakashyap, and the entire engineering leadership team. They gave me the confidence, helped market the program concept, and provided me with the resources to make it a reality. Not only was I supported as I developed something I was passionate about, but leadership was committed to the development and growth of all team members. This program is currently limited to Rubrik Engineering team but we plan to extend it to all of Rubrik in the future.
How we got started
We first started this program in late 2019 with minimal operational power. The idea was to be lightweight and give everyone a platform to start looking out for mentors. Team members register in the program, and with their manager’s help try to find a mentor to suit the individual’s requirements. We had great interest to begin with (over 40 folks registered), but over a period of 6-8 months, the program started to die down.
We collected feedback and learned that for the program to be successful, people need help finding mentors, mentors require training, and mentees want to change mentors on a continuous basis, not just stick with one. This input gave us a sense of the interest and potential impact, but could we invest to make it big? It was Adam yet again, who gave me the energy and confidence to persist.
In early 2021, we established a voluntary working group which we now call Rubrik Mentorship NightWatch, a set of individuals who give deep importance to mentorship and are motivated to make it available to everyone. Based on our learnings and understanding of external programs, we completely revamped the process and launched the reboot in May 2021, resulting in success and adoption beyond what we anticipated. Right from the first cycle, we saw participation from more than 65% of the Engineering organization.
What we’ve made it into today
Today’s Rubrik Mentorship program is a 6-month rotational program within engineering that matches mentees (based on their requirements) to mentors (based on their skills and experience) outside of their immediate team(s) or their managerial line. Mentees get a new mentor every 6 months, but continue to have a relationship with previous mentors if they desire. It allows people to continuously add people to their networks that are invested in their success and connect to people throughout the engineering organization.
The scope of discussion is not limited and can be driven by the mentee’s changing needs with time. It helps mentees to build new relationships, develop specific skills, grow in their organization, learn through others’ journeys or navigate through difficult situations. It also helps mentors grow their leadership skills.
The mentor-mentee conversations are completely confidential and are solely focused on the personal and professional interests of the mentee. Mentors keep the interests of the mentee above the interests of the company, both of which are almost always aligned, which helps build trust.
Every cycle, the Rubrik NightWatch Team organizes and manages each step in the process, from training on the best practices for mentorship, to matching mentees and mentors, to monitoring the relationships, to soliciting program feedback and iterating on the program before it launches again. The program is available to all of Rubrik Engineering, and new college graduates and interns are automatically enrolled as mentees.
Rubrik Mentorship Program, so far, has been an incredible success. In the first cycle, we had more than 160 pairs registered, and over 300 employees participated either as mentors or as mentees. In the second cycle, the participation was similar. The feedback we receive at the end of every cycle is also very positive with participants noting personalized matching, mentor’s time investment, growth via tangible goals and building long term relationships as the most impactful elements.
Our dream is to scale mentoring, make it an automatic engine, and make it available to all of Rubrik – trust me, it’s not too far!
Steve Jobs was once asked which of his creations make him most proud? I thought he might say, the original Macintosh or the iPhone. His greatest creations, he said, are the people he grew to become leaders. Have you found your greatest creations yet?
If you are interested in initiatives like Rubrik’s mentorship program, in making a difference, take the leap and come join us on the rocket ship! We are looking for creative thinkers and problem-solvers who are ready to help us continue to shape the future of data security and help us on our mission to secure the world’s data. See what opportunities await here.
Read what Participants Had to Say
“Being a mentor in the mentorship program has helped me with self-reflection, think about and learn how to do better myself - giving advice to my mentee made me think through things I have done well or badly, things which I appreciate in others I work with and how I learn from them. I am truly grateful for the opportunity provided through RMP” - Deepti Kochar, Staff Engineer
“Our co-founder, Soham, was my first mentor through this program. He has pushed me, cared for me, raised my bar, and helped me through ups and downs, he has always been there. The program cycle may have lasted only 6 months, but we still talk on a regular basis, and I am sure wherever our careers take us in the future, this relationship will last forever. That’s the power of mentorship, that’s the power of the Rubrik Mentorship Program” - Anshul Gupta, Principal Technical Lead Manager
“Mentorship has helped me with the satisfaction of growing one’s career and making a difference. I really enjoyed seeing the perspective of someone who is newer and providing them with what I would have thought is obvious feedback, and yet helpful to them was enlightening” - Andrew Cui, Senior Software Engineer
“Seungyeop was my mentor for about 8-9 months through this program. Initially, we spent a couple of meetings just to get to know each other and understand what I wanted to achieve. He identified meaningful and tangible goals for me and guided me to achieve them. He was extremely patient with me even when I was not able to meet my goals. Through this mentorship, We have built a relationship that will continue in the future.” - Aayush Ojha, Software Engineer