When Blend Associates Ltd. partnered with the Society, founder Amanda Reynolds, saw the relationship as a perfect opportunity to offer her expertise in coaching and leadership development to our scholarship recipients. She volunteered as a mentor and was matched with Sheavonnie, a Chemistry major in her final year at Lehman College. She describes her experience as a mentor and gives her advice for other mentors.
Why did you become a mentor?
I wanted to help a student take the next step on their career path and enable their progress by sharing my own experience. Sheavonnie is bright, hardworking and determined, but she did not have an advantageous professional network. I have had many mentors and coaches in my career, so I know the value of this kind of support when you begin your professional journey.
What kind of support did you provide?
Through a combination of meetings, FaceTime calls and email correspondence, Sheavonnie and I have connected for about 10 hours so far. I served as a sounding board, listening to what her goals were both academically and professionally.
She plans to take her MCAT and apply to medical school following graduation, so I worked with her on drafting her supporting statements as well as developing her “soft skills” which are as equally important when entering the workforce.
I also connected her with my own professional network including a colleague who is an MD at Yale School of Public Health.
How would you describe your experience as a mentor?
I get huge satisfaction knowing that I’ve played a part in Sheavonnie’s journey and that she will one day become a great physician.
What are your tips for people interested in becoming a mentor?
Be yourself. Be willing to share your journey and lessons you’ve learned.
Utilize your network and make introductions when you can.
Help them build their networking skills both in person and online.
Check in on their progress regularly.
Reflect on failures and celebrate successes.
Be honest about what you can’t do, and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
And how has this experience been for Sheavonnie?
In her words:
I was looking for a mentor that would be able to help me with both my professional and personal goals of becoming a physician-scientist catering to women and children in underserved populations. Through this experience, I have had the opportunity to truly self-reflect and expand my network. Amanda is the perfect mentor for me. She challenges me with her bubbly charisma and ensures I am on the path towards my success, going above and beyond to help me get there.