Have you heard about our latest partnership with Slcket?! We’re teaming up with this rising tech company in Kansas City to connect High School Girl Scouts with exceptional professionals from our community. But why is this important? What will girls gain out of this? We caught up with Slcket’s Joy Broils, Director of Community Relations, to help you get a better idea of what mentorship is, and why it’s so important as you anticipate and prepare for your next steps in life!
1. What does it mean to have a mentor and what can our mentees expect from this experience? Having a mentor gives each girl a point of contact within a field of expertise in which they have interest; someone available for questions, guidance, advice, or hands-on experience to help the girls make more informed decisions regarding their future.
2. What advice do you have for girls and their parents / caregivers today to best prepare for their future?
My number one piece of advice for every girl growing up in today’s
world is to find your voice and use your voice. When I was a teenager, I
was really shy outside of the classroom. I liked raising my hand in class
and answering questions, but that changed when kids started to bully me about
always having the answer. So I let those kids and their mean comments
affect my behavior in class and my shyness completely took over every part of
my life. I lost the little bit of confidence that I had and lost my
desire to share my thoughts and ideas – I
lost my voice. It took me a long time to find it again and realize
that my thoughts and ideas were just as important as everyone else’s.
Fast forward to today, I make sure that if I’m in a meeting or at a networking
event that I’m sharing my thoughts and ideas. Sometimes that takes
persistence, especially if I am in a big group, but I have found that
confidence and persistence are keys to being heard. I don’t have to be
the loudest person in the room, but through confidence and persistence, my
thoughts and ideas (my voice) will be heard.
3. What does networking with professionals mean and why is it important?
Networking is a large part of what I do in my role at Slcket. Networking is meeting new people, building relationships, having a one-on-one conversation to get to know each other better. It is very important to make connections in whatever industry you are in. The friendships I have developed through networking are vital and those friends are among the first people I go to for advice, referrals, and opportunities. Those friends are champions for me and I am in turn champions for them. So many times, a person will walk into a networking group for the first time and be discouraged that they didn’t come out of that event with multiple sales and/or referrals. That person didn’t take time to build relationships with other people at the event. They were just looking for the quick sale. In the business world, most people feel more comfortable doing business with someone that they have built a relationship with rather than someone who is a complete stranger. People feel good about making a referral to a friend if the person they are referring has done work for them before or is a friend. Imagine if you referred a complete stranger to your friend who needed help with painting their house. That referral could work out great or be a complete disaster. If you had referred someone who had painted your house or you had built a relationship with through networking, you know that your friend will have a much better experience.
4. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I have a bracelet with the inscription “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.” I think this actually goes beyond beauty. Admire someone else’s sports skills… Admire someone else’s character traits…. The list could go on and on. We spend so much time looking at what other people around us are doing and comparing ourselves to other people. Instead I think we should admire someone else’s ________ (you can fill in the blank) and at the same time admire our own. Having that confidence is hard, really at any age, but especially when you are a teenager. Remember you have your individual, unique qualities and embrace those qualities as uniquely YOU!
Are you ready to embrace your own qualities and start building connections with those in fields you aspire to join one day? Register for this mentorship program that kicks off with a casual pre-meeting on Sept. 11 where we’ll get you prepped and ready for the kick-off event at Slcket on Sept. 18 where you’ll meet perspective mentors!