Stacy Schierman, paired with mentor Roxanne Jones, a 2010 WISE Women of the Year honoree, offers the following advice to mentees for getting the most out of the mentoring experience. Interview by Allison Creekmore
The WISE Within program is "mentee-driven." What does that mean to you?
When I was accepted into the program, I honestly had no idea what mentee-driven meant. I did a lot of research and I asked questions of a lot of people who had been in mentor programs. For me, a mentee-driven program meant that I came prepared every time with Roxanne. It was an incredible experience to have someone of her caliber, of her level to have available to ask questions and advice.
What specifically did you do to prepare for the sessions with your mentor?
I always made sure I had a list of topics I wanted to discuss. Sometimes, I would email Roxanne before we met with topics or questions. I gave her a heads up in case she wanted to prepare.
What tips would you give to someone who is beginning the program this year?
First, you have to decide what you want out of this experience. Why do you want a mentor what does that mean to you? Where are you at this time in your life? Are you getting a promotion, changing companies, switching fields or starting a new job? Decide what direction you want to go in to discuss with your mentor. This is a great opportunity to ask someone who has the industry knowledge for their advice and find out what worked for them.
What was the best way you found to communicate with your mentor?
We would meet for breakfast once a month. I would then email her a couple of days before to confirm our meeting. We talked about what was going on in our lives and then we discussed my questions. I was very fortunate that Roxanne, as busy as she is, always made time for me.
What advice would you give to others in the WISE Within mentor program?
You can be a mentee at any age and you can always learn from somebody else.