“My academic career would not have been the same if it was not for the FWA. The FWA gave me the confidence I need in order to succeed professionally. It enabled me to understand the financial industry and how to keep myself competitive at all times. It taught me how helpful and rewarding a mentor-mentee relationship can be. The FWA built the professional person I am today,” a recent mentee who now works for Morgan Stanley said.
Kicking off in 2002, the Baruch Mentoring Program features approximately 25-30 mentoring pairs at a time, primarily juniors and seniors of diverse backgrounds that are first generation to college. These mentees receive crucial guidance and access to information related to career panels, networking and interviewing skills, business etiquette, study abroad opportunities and the ability to attend important women’s leadership conferences. Over the years, over 160 mentees have successfully passed through this mentoring program, all of which graduated with undergraduate business degrees and a majority who then went on to land employment in major financial institutions including Goldman Sacks, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and UBS among others.
On Wednesday, June 4th mentees and mentors came together celebrate the past year of success at their annual closing dinner held at Baruch. This year, Ellen Cahill will be moving on from the Baruch Mentoring Program to be replaced by Betsy Werley. Former FWA President from 2001-2002 and longtime FWA Member, Ms. Werley revealed that it was back in the spring of 2001 when another Member had approached her and brought up the idea of starting a college mentoring program due to the continued success being seen by the high school mentoring program at Murry Bergtraum. After determining that Baruch would be the perfect place to initiate the mentoring sessions due to its diversity, together Ms. Werley and Kristen McDonough (a former librarian at the college with key connections as well as former FWA President from 2008-2009) got the program up and running. A crucial element of the Baruch Mentoring Program was to get the right people involved and once Alyce Mayo was recruited to lead the program, she then got all of the mentors lined up and ready to go.
Ms. Werley stated, “I think our mentoring programs are important because they are a huge way to fulfill the FWA’s mission of advancing women in finance. They really connect with us the next generation of women as role models, as inspiration and as guides along the way. At the same time, mentoring is an extremely life enhancing experience that enables us to make a connection with a young person with a very diverse background through sharing our own experiences and also learn from the mentees experiences. “
Adding that getting involved in this mentoring program is a great way to better connect with other FWA Members as you’re all working closely together to build the program and support the cohort of mentees, Ms. Werley commented that an added bonus of being a mentor is that “you can meet women who have a similar interest in advancing the careers of younger people and thus enhance your membership through connections with others who have a passion for helping.”
“The Financial Women’s Association Mentorship Program at Baruch College was invaluable to me as an undergraduate student by connecting me to like-minded peers and role models and mentors who were already successfully navigating their careers and personal lives. The mentors and program coordinators showed us by example the kinds of things that were possible as well as the kinds of things that were expected of our group,” Anastasia Sagalovitch, another mentee revealed.
Additionally, as Ellen Cahill, vice president of Cahill Associates, passes on the torch to Ms. Werley she commented that the Baruch mentoring program has always been important to her because it gave her the opportunity to professionally and personally give back to a younger woman through essentially enabling “all the knowledge and experience I have gathered to be put to good use. “ The relationship also proves to be a reciprocal one in that Ms. Cahill has been taught many times by her mentees, specifically in the ever-changing technology area, and rewarding as it gives mentors a way to share the things you value the most with someone else.