Meet the mentors and mentees
Mentorships come in all forms. Some mix job search advice with personal support; others are sponsorship-type connections targeted at helping a mentee achieve a particular promotion. Here, mentors and the people they guide discuss how they got together and what they gain from the experience. Next
Lisa Costa and Trinh Tran, Allen & Gerritsen
When the red betta fish she kept in her office at Allen & Gerritsen died, Trinh Tran sadly resigned herself to workdays without her little aquatic friend. But a few days later, to her surprise, a new fish appeared in the tank, courtesy of Lisa Costa, 47, her mentor, who is a senior vice president at the marketing agency. “It made me see Lisa in a completely different way,” says Tran, 26, an analyst at the Boston firm, which has an informal mentorship initiative. “She is an executive and a professional, but now I also knew she also would go out of her way to show that she’s willing to help and care.” Next
Mike Volpe and Anum Hussain, HubSpot
At first glance, Mike Volpe, 38, and Anum Hussain, 22, don’t appear to have much in common. Volpe, a Canton native, is a former Bowdoin College football player with a 2-year-old son. Hussain, a young Muslim-American, is the first in her family born in the United States.
Both Hussain and Volpe like to tell the story about when Hussain’s parents, who emigrated from Pakistan over two decades ago, first visited the office. “Her mother gave me a huge hug, which was totally unexpected,” says Volpe. “She really appreciated all the advice and support I’d given her daughter. It was really a special moment.” Next
Vickie Henry, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Raquel Webster, National Grid
Listening to Vickie Henry speak at a Women’s Bar Association meeting two years ago, Raquel Webster was immediately impressed by her poise and confidence. Then a junior attorney in the field, Webster (far left) appreciated how candid Henry was about the challenges of working in a male-dominated profession.
At their first meeting, the two bonded over the challenges of parenting with a demanding career. Henry, now 46, says they also had a shared perspective about being a minority in the workplace.
Today, Webster, 35, is senior counsel at National Grid in Waltham, but she often calls Henry for advice — and to get a dose of her mentor’s contagious enthusiasm. “I told my wife I want a Pollyanna T-shirt that says, ‘I am a relentless optimist,’ ” Henry says. Next
Hugh Klei and Santiago Fernandez, Deloitte
Becoming a partner at Deloitte — one of the Big Four accounting firms — is no small endeavor. But senior audit manager Santiago Fernandez believes with the help of his mentor, Hugh Klei (right), a longtime auditor partner at the firm’s Boston office, he’ll be able to reach that goal. It was a dream that seemed impossible for Fernandez just 10 years ago, a fresh transfer from Argentina.
Down the road Fernandez hopes to “pay it forward” to aspiring accountants in Deloitte’s Hispanic network group. “There are many Santiagos out there who just need guidance and knowledge,” he says. Next
Vincent Capozzi and Janelle Woods-McNish, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Janelle Woods-McNish was recently crowned Mrs. Massachusetts and is headed for the Mrs. America pageant in September. That excitement is just one of many topics she and mentor Vincent Capozzi might wander into during their monthly meeting. But whether it’s career, family, or company politics, the two Harvard Pilgrim Health Care administrators know what to keep confidential. “We follow the motto, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,’ ” jokes Woods-McNish, community involvement manager at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “We’re both driven to be number one in our fields, while still understanding that family comes first,” says Capozzi, 59, senior vice president for sales and marketing. Next
Dorothy Terrell, FirstCap Advisors, and Aisha Francis-Samuel, Crittenton Women’s Union
Moving to Boston eight years ago for career opportunities was a huge leap for Aisha Francis-Samuel, who knew just a handful of people here. So when she met Dorothy Terrell, 63, at a Bible study, she asked a lot of questions: What makes this city tick? What advice do you have to help me navigate this place? The two clicked.
Although she’s older and more experienced, Terrell describes their meetings as “peer-to-peer mentoring.” When Terrell’s husband passed away two years ago, their relationship gained another dimension, as Francis-Samuel and others not only supported her emotionally but also set up a scholarship, the Albert H. Brown Bridge the Gap fund, in his name. Francis-Samuel is now comfortably settled in as a philanthropic manager at the Crittenton Women’s Union, where she helps create better futures for low-income women. “One thing we’re agreed upon,” says Terrell, “as we encounter life’s challenges, we need each other’s support.” Back to the beginning
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