Mentee to Mentor: Sharing the Lessons I’ve Learned From my Female Mentors
Throughout my life, I’ve cherished the female mentors I’ve had along the way. As I continue to grow professionally, I look back at the advice and mentorship I received as a mentee and strive to relay the insight as I become a mentor to other young female professionals.
One of my biggest female mentors and role models is my mom. For most of my childhood, she worked for Sacramento County in the parks and recreation department. She was a tireless civil servant and recently retired after years of dedication to improving access to parks and recreation in Northern California. My mom remained fiercely dedicated as a civil servant and as a mother; she somehow managed to balance her professional passion with a homelife. My mother taught me that you can be passionate about your career and maintain a full life outside of work that is equally rewarding, whether it is visiting family, exploring hobbies or recreating outdoors.
The best professional advice I ever received was from another female mentor – Chris Andis. Before I started college, she told me, “Intern, intern, intern.” Regardless of the college you attend, interning was the best way to land a job after graduating. The summer after my freshman year of college, I interned at the local county offices back home. I began to develop a resume and build professional relationships that landed me where I am today. I credit much of my early career development to one word repeated three times: intern, intern, intern.
Jessica Ferrato gets my award for best female mentor – well, after my mom of course. Jessica hired me as an intern many years ago and allowed me the space to grow in unexpected ways. I never believed I would be the policy wonk and data analyst that I am now. I believe the best female mentors are ones who encourage you to explore your passions and grow in new, exciting ways. I am honored to work for someone who believes in professional development and individual growth. Jessica continues to provide me with new opportunities that dive deeper into my passions – spreadsheets, policy weeds and election data. Not only is Jessica a mentor to her employees, Jessica takes time with other young female lobbyist to be a mentor and role model.
All the female mentors in my life are awe-inspiring. They encourage growth and the pursuit of passion. I hope that I can pass along some of the lessons I’ve learned as I begin to lift up the young women coming in behind me: finding a work-life balance, interning as much as possible and always pursue growth. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all these women and many more. I hope that I can be just a fraction as helpful as these women were to me.