Shelby Bottoms and Mandy Redfield (Project manager/mechanical design & simulation engineer)
Shelby: Through monthly meetings with my mentor, Mandy, I was able to gain a mentor, role model, and friend. Although Mandy works in a different engineering industry than mine, she gave great advice for being a woman in engineering. Mandy was so easy to talk to, and our meetings ranged from going out to eat to going skiing. I learned a lot from my mentor, and I would definitely recommend the WiSE mentoring program!
Mandy: The WiSE Mentorship Program was a fantastic experience! My mentee, Shelby, is an inspiring young woman. I feel as though I learned just as much from her as I was able to offer as a mentor. We are in different industries, but share many of the same challenges. We plan to continue to meet even though the program is over. It has been a pleasure to be part of a program offering encouragement and support to young women in the male-dominated fields of science and engineering!
Qi Liu and Kaarin Taylor (Senior consultant)
Qi: From my experience, I think the most important part of the mentoring part is not to ‘find someone’ to teach you some skills but to help or inspire you to find ‘yourself’. I was personally a very active person, like running, hiking or whatever makes me feel myself. Due to heavy workload or excuses of myself, I stopped doing those things I love. Then starting to lose confidence. This is why I chose Kaarin who is super active and an athletic person. We never met in a conference room, instead we met or had fun together during hiking, snows
hoeing… Though not many times, but all those things made me feel myself again. And I know when I get active and serious on things, I can handle other things with
no problem. So thanks again for this program and Kaarin.
Kaarin: Qi and I quickly found common ground in our love of the outdoors and an active lifestyle. If you saw us during one of our mentoring outings you probably would have simply assumed we were two friends out exploring which, in truth, is quite accurate. Qi was always eager to try new things and I thoroughly enjoyed introducing her to snowshoeing while discussing each of our latest projects and her upcoming presentations and papers. She was even patient enough to teach me a thing or two about robotics and introduce me to her colleagues. The WiSE mentoring program excels at bringing highly motivated intellectuals together without the pretense of precisely matching mentors and mentees skillsets. In this way, both the mentor and mentee are poised to learn something from the other.
Suehyun Cho & Heather Bemis (Architect)
Suehyun: The WiSE Mentoring Program has been a true joy to be a part of. Because my mentor Heather and I have very different backgrounds, I learned so much from her. I found out that certain topics such as work-life balance are universal and Heather was able to help me navigate through them very wisely. At the same time, because our concentrations are so different, we had lots of fun learning more about each other’s field; getting to visit an architectural firm was an added bonus! But most importantly, Heather challenged me to push my boundaries (very gently and patiently within the bounds that I felt comfortable) and gave me a glimpse into what it means to be a true professional rather than a student. I am very grateful for Heather’s mentorship and I strongly recommend the mentoring program to students who are looking to expand their knowledge and perspectives.
Heather: Being a mentor through the WiSE Mentoring Program has been such a great experience. I was paired with Suehyun Cho, an Electrical Engineering PhD. As an Architect in the professional world, I wasn’t sure if I could provide her with the experience or knowledge she was looking for, but it turned out that we were a great match. Suehyun opened up to me about her trials and successes within her program and I was able to help guide her best I could. One thing that we focused on was work-life balance. This balance is something that can be difficult for many professionals, let alone someone so incredibly focused on their schoolwork to graduate. We had great conversations, covering a broad range of topics, over coffee, dessert, or in a conference room at my office. Through these conversations, I was reminded of situations or instances that I could use more growth on as well. I would say it was a very rewarding experience, for both of us. I would recommend the WiSE Mentoring Program to both students and professionals looking for a different perspective and willing to share their knowledge and experience with those around them.