ZWIB: Societas- Meet a Mentor

by Maria Shpokayte, MBA Candidate 2012 Human Resources / Organizational Behavior and Information Systems

On Thursday, October 13th, 2011 Zicklin Women in Business (ZWIB) held a mentorship event for Zicklin’s graduate students. The “Societas –Meet a Mentor” event was created to help our graduate students find a mentor. The objective of the event was to have one-on-one mentor sessions in order to provide each student with some valuable career advice and to help expand his or her professional network.

Students had the pleasure of meeting mentors from various companies: Amy Baer (Associate Director – Personal Care Insights, Colgate Palmolive), Abran Valdivia (Manager – International Tax, Colgate Palmolive), Alyssa Kessler (AVP-Human Resources, ING Investments), Arlene Newman (President – Career Bound Success, Inc.), Catherine D’Amato Griffith (Manager –Risk Assurance, PwC), Fabiana Cid de Andrade (Head of Latin America Regional Distribution, ING Investment Management), Howard Adam Levy (Principal, Red Rooster Group), Isabelle Papoulias (SVP – Global Account Director, Universal McCann), Jacqueline Scarra (Senior Manager – Global Human Capital, PwC), Jing Wang (VP – Operational Client Services, J.P. Morgan), Kelly Quinn (VP –Operational Client Services, Barclays Capital), Kriti Vichare (International Marketing Manager, PepsiCo), Molly John (Partner – NESA Practice, Ernst and Young), Dr. Pam Straker (Author, Speaker, Workplace Strategist, NoMoreWorkplaceDrama.com), William Sheridan (VP – International Human Resource Services, National Foreign Trade Council).

The event began with an encouraging message from ZWIB President, Sweta Merchant, who spoke about ZWIB’s purpose and objective to provide women with career support and to help them achieve their future professional goals.

The event kicked off in full swing with Arlene Newman, President of Career Bound Success, Inc. Arlene took the stage and provided everyone with valuable career advice and tips on job search. She started the lecture with a very important question: “Who in this room would like to get a job?” That got the students’ attentions immediately. All hands in the room were up. Arlene did an excellent job at providing students with various tips such as an “Elevator Pitch”. Arlene gave out several handouts and had the students working on their own pitch for a few minutes. She also presented the students with her own “Elevator Pitch” in order to give everyone a sense of what one would sound like. Arlene also encouraged students to use these 5 networking tips:

  1. Attend Professional organization meetings, seminars, and networking events.
  2. Schedule informational meetings with companies and professionals in your field of interest.
  3. When you hear of job openings, find networking connections to targeted companies and hiring managers on LinkedIn.
  4. If appropriate, have your connection refer you and present your resume to the hiring manager or to Human Resources.
  5. Determine how you can add value to create mutually beneficial networking relationships that will grow throughout your career.

”Societas –Meet a Mentor” continued when ZWIB VP External Relations Severine Perrin, the event moderator, announced that the first mentorship session was now in progress. Students were delighted to meet their mentors. The event had an amazing turn out with over 100 students who came to network. Students were so satisfied with their mentor-mentee sessions, that they were asking to meet even more mentors, and were eager to get as much career advice as possible. At every table around the room, mentors and mentees were having exciting discussions and making connections.

With such a driven group of participants, the ZWIB Board and our facilitator, Severine Perrin, found it hard to end the event. The event concluded with a vote of thanks from ZWIB Executive Committee member, Claudia Zhao while students were eager to stick around and network with mentors they did not have a chance to meet earlier. The “Societas – Meet a Mentor” event was a perfect opportunity to make new and lasting connections.

We hope all of you who had the opportunity to join us on Thursday, enjoyed it and took away valuable networking resources to use in your career growth. To those of you who could not join us, we hope to see you in the future. ZWIB is committed to creating a long-term network for the Zicklin community. We actively connect our 500+ members with distinguished alumni and professionals.  We host discussions on important topics such as successful negotiation techniques, the use of emotional intelligence, and the breaking of the corporate glass ceiling. For more updated information about ZWIB, please visit our website at or add us on Facebook to take a look at our future events.

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