The Power of Mentorship, by Nettie Nitzberg

In my professional life I was not lucky to have a mentor. I had people that supported me, gave me advice, and coached me, but they were not invested in my career journey.  I had friends and colleagues who spoke about their mentors and I was jealous, why did I not have someone to help and guide me. I took this to heart and looked for opportunities to mentor young woman early in their career. Found opportunities and LOVE it! I helped them learn from my experiences and created connections unlike other relationships I had had.

Since the pandemic, and a move to Portland ME, I made a commitment to myself to find a women’s organization to join, become active, and perhaps have the opportunity to mentor once again.

It happened! In the fall of 2023, I joined the Maine Women’s Network (MWN) and board to meet other professional women, build connections, and make a difference. As a new board member, I joined the programming committee to the create the opportunities I was looking for. A 2024 strategic initiative for the MWN-Portland was to develop and launch a professional mentoring program. I could not raise my hand quick enough to not only participate as a mentor, but to help with the design of the program.

We launched the program on Feb 8th with 24 member mentees and mentors to collaborate in a five-month journey of exploration, development, and support. The mentors and mentees were intentionally paired and at the kick-off luncheon we began the process of building our relationships, creating connections, and hearing the aspirations and goals for each mentee.

The energy in the room was exhilarating, the conversations engaging, and the synergies between the women exceeded our expectations. The journey was off to an amazing start!

Being a mentor for me is a privilege. You have the opportunity to build a relationship with someone you do not know. You become their trusted advisor, partner, and confidante providing guidance, sharing insights, listening, and cheering them on.  It is not always easy but it is so rewarding. The relationship is special and the personal and professional satisfaction like nothing else I have experienced. To this day I am in contact with several of the women I have mentored. It has been an honor.

 

If you are interested in being a mentor or starting a mentoring program in your organization reach out to nettie@satermanconnect.com.  I would love to share my experiences and discuss how Saterman Connect can help your organization launch an internal mentoring program.

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