A couple of weeks ago, I had an amazing experience when I mentored at Baruch College. From 8 am until 12 noon, I spoke with four young women about their careers. All four women were different with very different experiences and yet all four women were very much the same.
Three of the four women were not born here — two of them moved to the US alone when they were in their 20′s. I still have a hard time imagining what it would be like to pick up and move to another country not knowing the language and the culture and getting to the point of fitting in! I was incredibly impressed.
Although all four women were strong, smart and beautiful, they all were somewhat insecure. I knew the feeling.
When I was growing up, I was constantly put down by my teachers. When I was in Long Beach High School, I was told that I would never amount to anything. I was encouraged by both my parents and my High School advisors to be a secretary because that was a perfect job for a woman.
I fought my way through college and through the working world knowing I had a disadvantage over my fellow male counterparts. Reflecting back, I guess being put down just drove me to be more successful.
These four women, two were in college and two were in grad school, had similar experiences. They didn’t know if they should be overly aggressive because they felt that there was a negative connotation to that. I knew how they felt.
I told them to go out there and be strong and I shared my experiences with them. I told them to follow their dreams and not to let anyone try to get in their way.
I’ve been in touch with a few of them since our meet up and I know that if they put their minds to it, they will be successful too and hopefully mentor someone else some day…
Tell me about an experience you had mentoring someone…
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