When I joined the WISE Within program, I wanted to make new connections and broaden my network of extraordinary women. Little did I know this mentor program would lead me to a new job that is a perfect fit.
I moved to New York in 2002 to take a job at MLB.com, Major League Baseball's web site. The learnings and connections I made during my tenure were wonderful, but after about six-and-a-half years of working at the same company, I yearned to meet people and network outside of my company. In September 2008, I applied to be a mentee in the WISE Within program.
I couldn't have imagined where that decision would eventually lead...
One of the greatest benefits of the WISE Within mentor program is the structure it provides for not only connecting with your mentoring partner, but for meeting the broader group of mentors and mentees.
At the midpoint session of our WISE Within New York chapter program, I remember having some great directed conversations with other mentors and mentees, and being able to connect with others who had gone through some of the same struggles I had.
When I was searching for a new job in the fall of 2009, I came across a job listing at ESPN that seemed like it was written for me. I knew the perils of being one in a thousand resumes that were submitted online and I wanted to be sure to set myself apart. Thankfully, I remembered that one of the other mentors in the WISE Within program, who was part of that great conversation at the midpoint session, worked at ESPN. I emailed her to inquire about the job posting. Within 15 minutes, she had emailed me back and connected me with the hiring manager.
The hiring manager is now my boss, and I attribute it to WISE. Could I have gotten the job without the right skill set and qualifications? Of course not. But was it invaluable to have an inside connection who could immediately put my resume in front of the person making the hiring decision? Absolutely.
And that's what WISE and WISE Within can give you a chance to make a connection that could prove crucial. Perhaps for you it won't be ultimately getting connected with your new boss at a completely new job at a different company, but it could be a peer connection that provides support and friendship, and ultimately a lifelong friend.
Incidentally, I later learned that the mentor I reached out to was referred to the WISE Within program by her colleague, who had served as a mentor the previous year. He was asked to participate in the program by a WISE Within committee member who had worked with my new boss. It really is a small world and we are all connected in ways we can't imagine.
Open yourself up to the possibilities and you never know what can happen.