If you have you taken a ride in a car lately and needed direction, using the car’s “GPS” system to guide you to and from your destination can be a lifesaver. Not only do you get to where you are trying to go in a timely manner, but you avoid roadblocks, traffic, and other obstacles that might get in your way. Like a car’s “GPS” system, having a mentor to help you navigate your professional career can mean the world to a young person just entering the workforce. Maybe you found your mentor while in college, at your first job, or along your career journey. Most likely – she or he was there to guide you through the ups and downs and if you were fortunate enough, encouraged you to be a better you.
In the case of FWA mentee, Kerri Shek, she’s had her very own personal “GPS” in longtime FWA member and mentor, Patricia Jaquay. Kerri says, “my mentor constantly inspires me with her strength and willpower. I am grateful for her willingness to share experiences and for taking me under her wing over the past two years. I appreciate her for helping me develop my negotiating skills and for always pushing me to speak more confidently. She has played such a big part in my personal and professional development. She is always a call away if I need her and is always willing to lend an ear whenever I need it, which I am truly grateful for.” This relationship proves that while becoming a mentor is a big responsibility, when done correctly, you reap the benefits of seeing someone else succeed.
For Kerri, FWA mentoring is a program that provides young women with a plethora of resources and educational opportunities aimed at extending their wealth of knowledge through professional development workshops and one-on-one activities that help build relationships. “Whether it be access to a hand-picked mentor, office visits to top firms like BMO Capital Markets, or regional conferences—the FWA provides female students with a strong, supportive community where you build relationships while enhancing your career and that is truly what makes this program so unique.”
Kerri was recently chosen to be the student speaker at the 2018 FWA Annual Awards Ceremony this past March and she will earn her bachelor’s degree in Finance later this month from Baruch College. Kerri says, “during the night of [the Awards Ceremony], I humbly stood before a room filled with successful women from different walks of life and reflected upon my experiences grappling with adversity. I expressed how being part of Baruch and FWA has helped me find a sense of purpose and reminds me that there is an enormous value that comes from hard work.” As a first-generation student, Kerri attributes much of her success to her parents who immigrated to America from Fujian, China in their teens. Kerri adds, “My parents are still working tirelessly to create a better future for my sister and me. Their hustle and strong work ethic has been ingrained in me and taught me that nothing can replace genuine hard work. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being around similar like-minded individuals within the FWA, who have constantly inspired me to push forward and aspire to be the best version of who I can be.”
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: