My Mentor and Me

Last quarter I wrote a little bit about the mentorship program through GHRA. Through the Human Resources Association of Central Ohio, members of Fisher’s GHRA are matched to mentors in the human resources field. I was very excited about meeting my mentor last quarter and finding out about the “real world” of HR.

Since our match up, my mentor, Heather, and I have met about once a month. She is a graduate of Ohio State with an undergraduate degree in human resources. She has worked for a credit union since her internship about seven years ago, and really loves her work.

One thing I really appreciate about Heather is her willingness to freely give of her time. I email her with questions and advice frequently, and she is always quick to respond with support or knowledge that goes above and beyond the call of duty. She has also been proactive at arranging meetings for us and bringing learning materials to our get-togethers.

At our last meeting, over dinner at the Northstar Cafe, we went through the hiring process used by Heather’s office. Then she gave me a mock interview. I’m sure more than a few people were giving us the side-eye as I answered her questions as if we were undergoing a real interview. Afterward she provided me with valuable feedback that I can use as I continue my search for a summer internship. Where else can you get constructive feedback straight from a professional in the field?

We’re meeting again next month to talk about family medical leave, legal guidelines and weeding through resumes. That may not sound like great conversation starter, but for someone who is trying to learn about the field, this is a great glimpse into the world of work. But it’s not all business. We even manage to squeeze in a little water-cooler chat while we’re at it.

Skepticism Overcome by Reality

I have never had a mentor before. Sure, I’ve had employers take me under their wing, but my bosses who have done this have also had a friendship with me and that’s why they took more of an interest than the ‘average’ employer normally would. As a member of the GHRA, we had the opportunity to sign-up for the mentorship program and have a professional assigned to us. Because I have limited knowledge of the HR world, i.e. I’m from Psychology and I’m amazed I’m not sinking yet, I am looking for many ways to gain exposure into this crazy world.

Yesterday, I met my mentor, Lisa, at a HRACO (Human Resources Association of Central Ohio) event. Lisa is everything I didn’t imagine in a mentor, in a good way. 🙂 I was expecting an awkward person, who didn’t know how to interact with me and didn’t know how to use their expertise to help me learn more about the field. Oh gosh, Lisa’s amazing. She has such a great personality and we had a great talk. Additionally, she has such a vision on how to help me. She has the personality which just engages people and she knew nearly everyone at the meeting, introduced me to all of them, and truly made me feel welcome. What’s really amazing is that she has real ideas on how I can advance my career search and work towards getting myself to a point where the job search will come naturally. I’m very excited for it all.

In other news, I found out (well I guess my entire class did) when my group presents and it happens to be after Thanksgiving for MHR 851. Whew. I’m pretty stressed out and it’s good to know that I have two extra weeks to work on our presentation. My group met today and I feel the general consensus among my group is that we are light years ahead of other groups, even the ones who are presenting next week. We have a really great idea, we’ve talked to a lot of people, found a lot of research to back up what we’ve discovered. It’s a really great feeling and the rest of our project should come very easily.

This weekend is the conclusion of one of the major stressors in my life. I’m currently coaching an agriculture based knowledge team – it’s called a skillathon – and the team is competing on Monday at a national competition in Louisville. I was on the team when I was in 4-H, my mom used to coach the team, my fiance was on a national championship team and was 2nd high individual overall. This team was a big part of my life when I was in 4-H. I was very honored when my boss asked me to co-coach it with him. While it’s been a lot of fun, it has also been very stressful planning the practices, grading piles of homework, working and going to class/studying. I feel as though the team we put together is going to represent Ohio very well and they’re going to have a great experience. Think of us on Monday when we’re competing! Good wishes to them. 🙂

Happy Thursday! It’s almost the weekend!