The Power of Mentorship Among Women
March is Women’s History Month, and with all the buzz I’ve been hearing about the accomplishments of inspiring women, I can’t help but stop and think about the women in my own life who have inspired me. Whether it has been through formal mentoring relationships or one-off conversations, I’m not sure what my career would look like today without them.
I’m not the only one who believes in the power of mentorship, especially among women. According to the Million Women Mentors initiative, “mentoring is one of the most effective levers to propel and support women and girls on STEM pathways.” Additionally, in her TED Talk Dangerous Times Call For Dangerous Women, Pat Mitchell, the editorial director of TEDWomen, argues that “mentoring is one lever we can activate to advance more women in their work, to help them gain access to capital and economic opportunities they might otherwise miss, and to be better prepared for opportunities when they come.” The list of reasons could go on and on, but I would summarize by saying that women mentors have an incredible ability and opportunity to uplift other women, both professionally and personally.
Starting a new mentoring relationship isn’t always easy; in fact, it can be quite difficult or awkward, especially if you’ve never initiated a mentoring conversation before. That’s one thing I love about UConn’s Husky Mentor Network – all the UConn alumni who are in the system have signed up specifically because of their interest in mentoring current UConn students and recent grads. I mention this in hopes that it calms any nerves you might have about that first step of outreach, even just a little.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to highlight some of our amazing women mentors who have signed up for the Husky Mentor Network who are eager and ready to have mentoring conversations. If you are looking for a mentor, these inspiring women could be a fantastic place for you to start your search.
Undergraduate Alumni – Husky Mentor Network
Usha Latif ’17 (CLAS) studied psychology at UConn and is now in graduate school for public health in at Mount Sinai. In between graduation and now, Usha worked as a medical scribe and a dermatology medical assistant. Usha is available for conversations about picking a major, studying tips, retirement planning, work-life balance, and more.
Kenya Evans ’12 (ENGR) is a structural analysis engineer at Lockheed Martin and also has a motivating and inspiring YouTube channel called “Chosen Engineer.” Kenya is willing to chat about the job search, salary negotiations, industry insights, and more.
Sara Nguyen ’19 (BUS) did two internships with Prudential Financial before graduation and now works for The Hartford as a group benefits training and design consultant. Sara is ready to chat about career exploration and decision making, LinkedIn, the internship search, and more.
Brooke Gemmell ’15 (BFA) went on to pursue a post-baccalaureate fellowship in fine and studio arts after graduation and now works as a design technologist at Greenhouse Studios, a part of our very own UConn family! Brooke also has experience as a video artist, photographer, and archivist. Brooke is available to discuss careers in arts/media/communications, marketing, board membership, job shadowing, and more.
Meiling Kry ’14 (CLAS) studied Economics at UConn and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown. Meiling has more than 5 years of experience in finance-related roles at Aetna and also spent this past summer as a summer consultant with EY. Meiling is ready to chat about applying to business school, cover letters, networking, mock interviews, and more.
Stacey Stearns ’02 (CAHNR) is an agriculture professional with an emphasis on communications, facilitation, advocacy, metrics, member services, and outreach. Stacey currently works for the UConn Extension Program as the agriculture specialist and is a freelance writer for two magazines. Schedule a time to chat with Stacey about her career!
Graduate Alumni – Husky Mentor Network
Gomathi Ramachandran ’18 (MA) has a degree in curriculum and instruction and has worked as a middle school science teacher for the past 3 years. Gomathi is open to chat about studying tips, career fair and event preparation, job shadowing, volunteering, and more.
Julia Anderson ’18 (MA) graduated with a Master’s from UConn’s Neag School of Education and then made a career change into the world of politics. She is now a Policy Analyst for the Connecticut General Assembly. Julia is available for general career conversations, job search questions, resume reviews, LinkedIn consultations, and conversations about transitioning from school to work.
Aarti Tarkar ’09 (MS) and ’15 (PhD) is currently an experimental medicine investigator of oncology at GSK. Aarti has been with GSK since 2017 and has moved through various roles with the company, including a postdoctoral research fellowship. Aarti is ready to chat about careers in healthcare and wellness, applying to an MS program, navigating the PhD, and more.
There are so many other mentors on the Husky Mentor Network for you to choose from… truly hundreds! I highly recommend creating an account if you haven’t already and spending some time looking through our amazing alumni profiles. Remember, the hardest part can sometimes be just getting started, so use Women’s History Month as your motivation to take the plunge and send your first request!
If you have questions or want to talk through your mentorship strategy, you can always schedule an appointment with a career coach to talk things through before you get started.