Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Starting the day off with a Mentoring Breakfast: A Recap by Vicky Sullivan

Thank you to everyone who came to our 2010 Mentoring Kick-Off Breakfast on Tuesday Feb. 4th! This year we paired 113 mentors and mentees (the most ever!) and had over 100 attendees during the event. Members networked and mingled, and Terry Yoffe of TRY Coaching, LLC and Chair of the Mentoring Program Committee, started by addressing the importance of mentoring and how one can get the most out of the program.

As a new programming format, the crowd was split in half between mentors and mentees and regrouped in separate rooms to address mentoring roles and questions. The mentors’ discussion was lead by Terry, while the mentee's discussion was lead by Cheryl Darmanin, Senior Director of Account Management at Yahoo! and Mentoring Committee Member. The mentors compared how they meet and communicate with their mentees. Lyle Landon recommended using which is a social network geared toward setting up offline meetings. Others recommended meeting your mentee for breakfast before work since most NYC restaurants are quietest in the morning.

Meanwhile in the mentee room, some mentees expressed concern about how their employers would react (and if it is acceptable) to participation in an outside mentoring program. Cheryl reassured that multiple mentors from different areas of the business are perfectly acceptable and employers should support AWNY’s participants in their desire to further their careers through mentoring. She also stated that their participation might inspire their companies to create an internal mentoring program. One of the biggest suggestions was to have a plan/timeline outlining your goals between you and your mentor.

Books on professional development were also suggested throughout the breakfast. They included: StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, a book devoted to developing your strengths and finding your top 5 talents, How Remarkable Women Lead co-authored by Joanna Barsh, Geoffrey Lewis, and Susie Cranston which creates a model of work and life for women leaders, and Basic Black by Cathie Black, who is president of Hearst Magazines and one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business in 2006

The crowd rejoined at the end of the event for a video demonstration of the AWNY blog was given by Amy Lam, Digital Marketing Manager at Direct Brands. This video is available for viewing at:

There will be two other free exclusive mentoring events in the Spring and in the Fall and check back for more in-depth book reviews! Watch for emails or sign up for the RSS feed today!

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