Monday, September 9, 2013

The Meaning of Mentoring

As a young professional just out of college, I didn't have clear goals about what I wanted to do with my career. In fact, the idea of a "career" vs. a job wasn't even something I was actively thinking about. I was most preoccupied with getting a job in the city so I could move out of my parent's house in the sticks. I was very lucky. After a string of disappointing job interviews, I found myself gainfully employed by a university physics department, and my boss was an amazing teacher. He was also my first mentor, helping me to improve my skill set and supporting me while I worked on a graduate degree. While I wasn't going to pursue a career in physics, he guided me through the complicated world of Academe, and encouraged me to use my talent and smarts to move forward.


My second mentor was my next boss. There's a difference between a boss and a mentor, but I was fortunate to find a second person who was both. She told me about which professional networks to join, and how to polish my outward appearance and persona so people would take me more seriously. (She also taught me to always open correspondence with a letter opener, which is something I still do.) We still meet for coffee and trade emails and she's still offering me her time and advice. She's someone I can really count on.

I was elated when Simmons launched a formal mentoring program two years ago, and signed up immediately to be a mentor. I firmly believe in Simmons' mission of educating women for principled leadership. There aren't enough women in the C-suite. There aren't enough women on corporate boards. And the way that more women will get there is to help each other. I truly hope that the women I mentor will build strong careers for themselves, and provide a path for future women to follow.

Yes, mentoring takes a lot of effort. With the Simmons program, we met every two weeks, set goals, and worked toward them together. It is terrifically rewarding to hear someone making progress and part of that progress was due to my input. In some ways, mentoring reminds me of the concepts I learned when I was starting out in fundraising: people don't give to institutions, they give to people. Donors are making an investment in something they care about, whether it's scholarships for dance classes or feeding seven families at Thanksgiving. So I am making an investment in women that I hope to see a return on, in the form of principled leaders who will bring good judgment and perspective to the world of business. 

Have you mentored someone? Have you had an exceptional mentor?

9 comments:

  1. If you’re looking for excellent Workers.We are here to provide Internet Marketing services and help people. We offer NICHE Relevant Manual Blog Comment Service , We can rank you for any keyword on Google I will be very happy to offer my service to you. Please feel free to message me and talk about any queries

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. SEO marketing is not a one-day process and hence you need complete dedication and incredible consistency when it comes to slowly building your brand through expert SEO internet marketing strategies. web design company nyc

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is level two of the SEO tech-y, the geekier SEO. These guys to the more complicated technical jobs in the SEO field, they do research into the algorithms used by search engines. dennis seo profile

    ReplyDelete

  6. Presently similarly as a commentary Facebook shares have dropped to under $20 per share, that is a large portion of their unique cost... also, the claims are flying buy facebook likes uk

    ReplyDelete
  7. Clicking from video to video makes you find things you never thought you would find, interesting topics, funny videos, how-to kind of videos, publicity etc.http://brsm.io/twitter-followers-retweets

    ReplyDelete
  8. people must follow this https://twitter.com/darrenwinters01 blogger if they really wants some help about business..This guy is just awesome.!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Strategic implementation of proper SEO campaign should be done by an expert SEO and digital marketing individual or agency as it is a crucial procedure which should follow the strict guidelines from Google. digital marketing toronto

    ReplyDelete