2022 YPT Mentoring Program Spotlight: Michael Heidkamp

Michael Heidkamp

COO  |  Pittsburgh Regional Transit

Can you tell us a little about where each of you work and what you do?

I am the Chief Operating Officer at Pittsburgh Regional Transit.

Have you ever been in a mentoring relationship before? If so, what was your role?

I have been a mentor to many transit professionals, both internal and external through APTA and now YPT.

What prompted you to get involved with a mentorship program?

I feel it is my responsibility, after being in this business for almost 30 years, to give back to the next generation of transit professionals, and when I was contacted to be a mentor from YPT, I jumped at the opportunity.

For those that did a mentoring pairing: With YPT, we’ve done the pairing and given suggestions on best practices, but left it to participants to structure their mentorship. Can you walk us through how your partner did mentoring?  (Who takes the lead; how often do you meet; do you structure your meetings or set goals – give us an inside look into what mentoring looks like for the two of you)

I let Heather take the lead on whatever topic she wants to discuss during our sessions. We try to meet every month (for about an hour) and we keep it as an informal session. I have certain papers I like to share with all my mentees, but we did not set any goals. She has been a breath of fresh air to get to know and mentor.

Why do you think it’s important to participate in mentoring, especially in this field?

To help develop the future of this industry.

What is something that you’ve learned from your experience in our mentoring program?

For me, the future is bright with people like Heather involved. She truly cares about the customers she serves.


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