Mentor of the Month – Mary Greenebaum

Mary has been a member since the 1970s, and has been mentoring since 2004.  She’s currently the longest running mentor at Baruch College.  In her day job, she serves as the Chief Investment Officer at the New York Community Trust.

Mary Greenebaum

Why did you decide to become an FWA mentor?

I’ve always been drawn to activities that bring different generations together because our society tends to segregate people by age group.  This is unfortunate, since we can all benefit from getting to know people who are much older or much younger than we are.

 What has your mentoring experience taught you?

Mary with past mentees at their annual reunion.

I have probably learned more from the students than they have from me.  Mentoring has given me a perspective on the world that young people face today.  Starting out in the workplace is totally different these days from what I experienced a few decades ago.

Mentoring has also brought me in touch with other cultures.  Although I come from an international family, my relatives and friends outside the U.S. all live in Western Europe.

Through the mentoring program, I have made friends with people from Asia and Eastern Europe.  Baruch’s tremendous diversity provides a valuable perspective on an increasingly global world.

Mary (centered) with Olga Barskaya (right), Director of FWA Mentoring Programs at Baruch College with Baruch Mentees.

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career and how are you passing it on to your mentee?

The people who have helped me the most are those who helped me to think through my options so that I could decide for myself what to do.  I’ve tried to create this type of dialogue with my mentees.  Ultimately, individuals need to make their own decisions – but someone with more experience can help them analyze the choices.

When it’s been possible, I’ve tried to bring some of my recent mentees into these conversations.  The experiences of recent graduates can be very helpful to students who are trying to decide what direction to take.

How do you find time to mentor?

Mentors and Mentees participate in a scavenger hunt at the Bronx Zoo.

Mentoring is extremely flexible and not very time consuming.  There is no commitment to show up on a given day at a given time.  My mentees – who are usually much busier than I am – communicate with me by email and phone.  We try to meet in person about once a month at a convenient time.   At some of these meetings, we have taken advantge of New York City’s cultural opportunities by visiting museums.

Why  should an individual become a mentor?

Mentoring is a very rewarding opportunity to contribute to Baruch’s lively and diversified community.

Interested in Mentoring?

Given how important mentoring is, you could be a key source of knowledge to a young woman seeking guidance with developing her career. To learn more about FWA mentoring and to get involved contact:

(Baruch College) Betsy Werley,
(Seton Hall University) Carol Doyle or Rachel Peddle,
(High School) Beth Dorfman or Mindy Kipness.

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