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A Life of Mentoring

Guidance early in his career has led to decades of helping younger colleagues find their way

By Jeff Lyons, CSC senior copywriter

A cranky sales manager with a penchant for profanity took a young Jim Estep under his wing 45 years ago. That relationship helped Jim navigate the complexities of his first job, and he’s been doing the same for others ever since.

“I worked in the mail room when I started and every other word out of my manager’s mouth was a curse word,” CSC’s soft-spoken and recently retired leader of client satisfaction recalls with a smile. “He was from New York, and I was from West Virginia—not exactly a match made in heaven. I still think of him and how he took an interest in me. I’ll never forget how he helped my young career.”

In the decades that have followed, Jim says he’s mentored hundreds of people, both in an official and unofficial capacity. Before retiring, he was one of the leaders of CSC’s Strategic Equality Alliance Mentoring (SEAM) Program, an eight-month diversity mentoring program which aims to identify and develop emerging talent for Black, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latinx employees, veterans, employees with disabilities, those who identify as part of the LGBTQ2+ community, and all other diverse populations. SEAM was rolled out as part of the company’s diversity and belonging program, which was introduced in 2020.

“As CSC continues to grow globally, diversity and inclusion has remained a top strategic priority,” says Jim, who retired at the end of 2023 after 14 years with CSC. In the last few years, the company’s presence has grown exponentially in areas across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions. As more people joined the organization, CSC has made conscious efforts to make welcoming environments for their more than 8,000 colleagues—a place where each person can feel comfortable being their authentic selves. Initiatives like SEAM, employee resource groups, workshops, and more have helped to foster this inclusive environment. “Over my career, I’ve witnessed the power of seeing people not as who they are, but who they can become. SEAM has helped unlock the tremendous potential of many of our colleagues.” Some of the main benefits for those participating in the program and in other forms of mentorship has included:

Exposure to new perspectives

Mentoring often involves putting two people together who might not interact regularly. As a result, each person has exposure to perspectives, opinions, and backgrounds that may be different than their own. They have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of one another and begin building and strengthening new connections. “As a SEAM leader for three years, I learned more about diverse populations than I had in the prior 40 years, especially from our Black and LGBTQ colleagues,” says Jim. “I gained more of an understanding and appreciation of their mentees’ life experiences and with that understanding, I think I became a better leader. Mentoring relationships expand mutual understanding and can empower meaningful contributions by all involved.”


Mentoring also provides the opportunity for its participants to expand their professional network. Mentors, and mentees as well, can introduce their partner to people from different departments and help them build their network. The more people you know, the better your understanding of the intricacies of the business. A large professional network also comes in handy when looking for more career opportunities.

Building self-confidence

For younger colleagues, in particular, mentorship provides a safe space and sounding board. While one of CSC’s values is being genuine—having straightforward, open, and honest communication—younger colleagues are sometimes still hesitant to discuss an obstacle they may be facing with their leader. However, mentors provide another outlet. With a mentor, mentees get unbiased feedback. Jim says, “As one-on-one relationships develop, people become more comfortable stepping forward with their particular talents and strengths.” Having guidance helps a person grow and begin to think of new tasks as opportunities instead of challenges.

Developing leadership skills

Mentors gain leadership experience and sharpen communication skills when working with other colleagues. They can also gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses as a leader as they exchange ideas with their mentee. “I learned a lot about myself as I received their feedback. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun to talk to great people,” says Jim as he reflects on the ways he’s improved as a leader, business manager, and service provider. And by passing along professional knowledge, mentees have long-lasting professional benefits. Even in the twilight of his career, Jim looked for ways to help a young colleague. “Every morning I looked for opportunities to share my knowledge or skills with a colleague. It was very fulfilling to me personally and I hope my efforts have benefited the broader organization in some way,” he says.

Interested in a workplace that’ll help you reach your professional goals without compromising who you are? At CSC, we’re building a space of inclusion and appreciation for our greatest asset—our people. Find out what makes us different. Visit and learn more at