Colleagues discuss Mayo culture, values that led them back to Mayo after working elsewhere

Steph Jenkins and Anne Bofferding.

In a "Mayo Clinic Employee Experiences" conversation, Anne Bofferding, a senior project manager, and Steph Jenkins, a nurse manager, share their experiences returning to Mayo Clinic after leaving for personal reasons.

Mayo Clinic is a unique place: the culture, the values, the people. "Mayo Clinic Employee Experiences" explores the experiences of Mayo Clinic staff as they navigate life personally and professionally. Sharing these experiences increases understanding of others and ultimately contributes to finding connections, belonging and inclusion at work.    

In this conversation, you will hear Anne Bofferding, a senior project manager in the Center for Individualized Medicine, and Steph Jenkins, a nurse manager in Inpatient and Outpatient Dialysis, discuss their experiences of leaving Mayo Clinic for personal reasons and what led them to return. Bofferding shares her experience returning to Mayo following a move to a different state. Jenkins talks about returning to Mayo in a role that better fits her family schedule.    

Listen as Bofferding and Jenkins share their experiences:

Read the transcript:

Narrator: This is the "Mayo Clinic Employee Experiences" podcast, where we build trust and belonging through the authentic storytelling of our Mayo Clinic staff. In this episode, you will hear Anne, a senior project manager, and Steph, a nurse manager, discuss their experiences of leaving and then returning to Mayo Clinic as employees. Anne, will you tell us about your experience?

Bofferding: I'm a senior project manager with the Center for Individualized Medicine. My role is to lead teams in their implementation of a project — everything from research to implementing something new in Plummer Chart or bringing new clinical lines to Mayo Clinic. I had been living in Arizona before I went to Rochester for this project management assignment. And Arizona is absolutely my happy place. While I love the small city of Rochester, I was really needing to get back to my home in Arizona.

A friend was a hiring manager for a medical company and asked me to come over and work in sales with her. I did it because she said I could work remotely, and I could go back to Arizona.

I joined the small company. They got acquired not once, but twice. What was really interesting, Steph, is that I felt that something was missing. These companies didn't have that culture. They didn't give me goosebumps every day. Back in the Plummer Building, (you can hear the) piano, and people are playing. Or you could go through (Gonda Building), and they have the piano. All those patients and staff are listening to this music. That was just so inspiring to me. The work that we were doing and how it affected the patients really touched me. And I missed that culture. So, I kept looking. Do I go back to Rochester when I really want to be in Arizona? Then, a position opened up in Arizona. It was a true blessing.

So here I am today as a senior project manager in the Center of Individualized Medicine. And I am working on such transformational and meaningful projects.  I still get goosebumps every day. I'm so happy to be back. I'm so happy to be in service to Mayo Clinic. And I feel the love, and I love working with people like you, Steph.

Jenkins: I am the nurse manager for Inpatient and Outpatient Dialysis and the Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic. I'm new to dialysis, so it's been a journey.

I started at Mayo back in 2008. I felt blessed to have been selected because I was told by my hiring manager that 144 candidates applied for the position that I was selected for. So, imagine how I felt. I feel blessed to have been chosen out of those, I'm sure, very capable candidates.

Bofferding: I had an introduction to Mayo as a patient. In 2009, I needed spine surgery. It was really scary to me. My family lives in Rochester. I thought if I'm going to need some help or have surgery on my spine, I'm going to Mayo. The patient experience was beyond description.

In 2012, I became an associate project manager in Research Administration. We were implementing a series of 50 different courses for the graduate program for our researchers and fellows.

Jenkins: You put new meaning to the needs of the patient come first. Your experience with Mayo as a patient impacted you so much that you came back to be a part of the greatness or the wonder of Mayo.

Bofferding: You left Mayo at some point, Steph, right?

Jenkins: Yes, I left Mayo. When I was here in 2008, I was in the Invasive Cardiology Department. I worked in the cath lab and the electrophysiology lab. I left and did a cadre of things. I worked for a hospice. I started in primary care.

I did things that I had an interest in at that time and things that worked for my family at that time. If anybody is familiar with the cath lab, you're on call quite a bit if it's a busy cath lab. And at that time, that did not work for my family.

I left around 2013. I came back in 2018. I came back to the cath lab, where there were some familiar faces. I felt blessed because they wanted me back. I was coming back from Baltimore at that time. I was a primary care manager there. I then got an opportunity to work as a team lead in family medicine for primary care, which I really love.

Then, I got an opportunity to work as a COVID nurse line manager. COVID was new. This was a new experience for Florida to have a nurse call line, and I was instrumental in getting that set up and started. Then I got this opportunity to work as a dialysis manager — something I've never done. My experience at Mayo is that every step for me was a stretch. It was something that allowed me to see what I had in me that could help the organization and help me grow.

Bofferding: That's very cool.

Jenkins: I enjoy working with people, and I'm glad you came back to Mayo. What would you impart to someone who is considering leaving Mayo?

Bofferding: It has to be the culture. The RICH TIES values that we have as an organization far outweigh anything you may see on the other side of the street.

Don't do it. We need you. Talk to somebody if something is not working for you.

Jenkins: I would agree with that. When I left the first time, I wished I had that person to have a conversation with me and say, 'Wait a minute. What's going on?' I guess my message would be the organization is big enough to find the small fit. What works for you? You belong here. I encourage any staff members who are having challenges to find a work confidant, a mentor, someone you can feel safe with having those conversations to help you process before leaving the organization. Mayo is a great place to work, and I love that you pointed out our RICH TIES values because that is who we are as Mayo Clinic staff.

Bofferding: Exactly. The other thing for supervisors out there, as you're looking on these Zoom and Team meetings, look at your people. Are you seeing that they're happy? Are you seeing that there might be a disconnect? Reach out to them. Ask them.

Jenkins: That's great advice for me as a manager. I know that when I am in other meetings, I tend to scroll. If there are 200 people, I probably see every face that is on the screen because I scroll through to see who's there. And I do look at those expressions. You sometimes can tell whether someone's disengaged. As a manager or a supervisor, please make sure your staff are engaging. You engage with them.

People leave for many reasons. We need to make people feel like they belong. And if they don't, let's support them. But we really want you to stay at Mayo. Let's support whatever their endeavors are because, for my team, I want them to be happy. I want them to grow. And I try to encourage that, and my door's open to them. I want them to know that I'm here for them, and I appreciate them being here for me.

Bofferding: That's amazing. As a project manager, my role is to ensure that my team feels valued and that the work they're doing is really contributing to something big. It's going to touch our patients, our clinicians, the technology that is supporting the data needed to bring treatments to our patients.

And I just want to make sure that they feel that they are valued and are part of a team.

Jenkins: I have had such amazing opportunities. I want people to know that there are so many opportunities here at Mayo. Just look around.

Narrator: Thank you, Steph and Anne, for sharing your experiences of leaving Mayo Clinic for personal reasons and coming back as engaged employees. Sharing experiences like these increases our understanding of one another and ultimately contributes to finding connections, belonging and inclusion at work. For more stories, subscribe to "Mayo Clinic Employee Experiences" on popular podcast apps.

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