Mentoring


The Women’s Launch Pad (WLP) is a Brown-based mentoring program that helps facilitate relationships between alumnae and female students in their senior year at Brown. The overarching goal of the program is to provide participants with the opportunity to make meaningful connections to the next generation of Brown women. Through individual mentoring pairs, students receive guidance from mentors sharing reflections on their own career paths and they often become key touchstones for the mentees. As we head into our 10th year we hope to top our mentoring success of 140 pairings from the last fiscal year.

The year began with a dinner that included President Paxson and featured Professor Barbra Tannenbaum, Ph. D. P'10 as the key note speaker. Professor Tannenbaum, Ph. D. P'10 spoke about effective communication for women to an audience of both mentors and mentees. To close out the year we held a reception and a panel discussion by 5 recently graduated Mentees describing their perspectives on real world scenarios. The audience of female students and alumnae represented the diverse and accomplished members of the Women's Launch Pad community.

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Are you interested in becoming a mentor?

If you are interested in mentoring a senior class woman, please review the following guidelines for participation in the Women’s Launch Pad as an alumna mentor.

  • 10 years since graduating, however, 5+ will be considered based on the alumna’s caliber of professional/personal life experiences.

  • Attendance at one on-campus or off-campus event such as the October program kickoff, the May year-end event or regional events over winter break and summer months.

  • A minimum of six contacts (via email, telephone or in person) from October to the end of April.

  • Be willing to listen to the mentee’s questions and concerns and share thoughts, guidance and perspective regarding life beyond Brown.

  • Provide a brief biographic sketch to include in the annual WLP program.

  • Be open to hearing from other mentees in the program as well.

To confirm your interest in mentoring for the upcoming academic year (2014-2015), please take the time to complete this mentor information form. The information provided will assist in the mentor/mentee pairing process. Please note that mentor/mentee pairs are based on the student’s preferences as indicated on her application (e.g. career field, concentration, graduate school, ethnicity, and living/working abroad). Therefore the program’s specific mentoring needs will not be known until the mentee application review and selection process concludes in mid-September.

To learn more about the program email wlp@brown.edu with your questions.

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Below is a collection of testimonies provided by mentors and mentees:

1. Mentee/Mentor pairs: Chenelle Chin ‘12 and Carol Mahony ‘77

Mentee: Chenelle Chin ‘12
Baltimore, MD
Graduate School at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Was your mentor a supportive and positive role model? Please explain.

Yes, she was a very positive role model. She showed a sincere interest in my personal and academic life, and asked questions about my family, hobbies, and studies. She was happy to talk about her journey and family as well. She was so kind and gentle, and encouraged and supported me in my ambitions.

Has this experience served as a resource for your academic and career decisions Please explain.

Yes. My mentor allowed me to visit her at work, which gave me a perspective on a certain health career. She helped connect me with a couple of wonderful people in the Boston area, and made a sincere effort to help me achieve my goals.

Mentor: Carol Mahony ‘77
Boston, MA
Senior Hand Therapist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Did your mentee's chosen area of study and career interests relate to your own personal academic/career experience? Please explain.

Yes. I am a health care clinician and my mentee is very interested in public health. We are very good match. I was able to introduce her to some researchers in diabetes at the MGH Diabetes Center and she observed my work with patients as well. These hospital interactions helped confirm her decision to apply to graduate school right away. She was very appreciative.

Do you feel you were able to help with your mentee's development of academic, career and family goals? Please explain.

I often feel that it is helpful for the mentee to express their thoughts and feelings without any pressure from me. They very often know what they want to do, even if they feel unsure. The opportunity to talk about their concerns with adults other than their parents helps them clarify their goals and interests.

How do you think your mentee benefited from having access to you as a unique Brown resource? Please explain.

She could relate to my professional expertise and we could have good discussions about resources and programs.

2. Mentee/Mentor pair: Rebecca McGoldrick ’12 and Sarah Beaulieu ‘99

Mentee: Rebecca McGoldrick ‘12
Providence, RI
Starting a non-profit

Was your mentor a supportive and positive role model? Please explain.

She was both a supportive and positive role model. She currently works in a career field that I respect greatly, and her hobbies and volunteer work are based in values that I share. She was concerned with my overall well-being, and was very supportive when I had doubts, questions, or concerns, no matter how irrational or silly they were.

Has this experience served as a resource for your academic and career decisions? Please explain.

Certainly. Though I am still figuring out a career path that is right for me, I feel more confident and sound in the decisions I made in my personal, academic, and professional life in large part because of this experience.

Mentor: Sarah Beaulieu ‘99
Boston, MA
Executive Director, Organizational Advancement at Be the Change, Inc. and author at The Enliven Project (www.theenlivenproject.com)

Did your mentee's chosen area of study and career interests relate to your own personal academic/career experience? Please explain.

My mentee was undecided when we started our relationship, though mostly interested in the nonprofit sector. By the spring, she had narrowed her focus to advocacy and awareness initiatives, which dovetailed with my professional experience.

Do you feel you were able to help with your mentee's development of academic, career and family goals? Please explain.

We spent a lot of time talking about goals and priorities at various stages of life. I think I helped provide a framework to help her figure it out on her own - during this transition and in future transitions. One of the fun things we did together was organize a dinner with other young people - other mentees in my life - to talk about how they were asking and answering the same set of questions around life goals.

How do you think your mentee benefited from having access to you as a unique Brown resource? Please explain.

The mentor/mentee relationship is a powerful way to demonstrate the power of a network, which will be a lesson that lasts a lifetime. Hopefully, she now really understands that Brown alumnae are a resource to her for the rest of her life.

3. Mentee/Mentor pair: Mary Lesbirel ’12 & Sheila Ennis ‘86

Mary Lesbirel ‘12
Holmdel, NJ
Associate Analyst, MasterCard in Purchase, NY

Was your mentor a supportive and positive role model? Please explain.

Absolutely, we will be lifelong friends. It was truly amazing going from knowing nothing about my future in October to having a job offer mid-March. To go from the lost college student to playing the part of a young professional could not have been done without being motivated by reading the bios of my mentor and all others in the program.

Has this experience served as a resource for your academic and career decisions? Please explain.

My mentor gave me some advice on academic decisions, mainly to explore what I am most interested in. She helped me with career decisions but always with the understanding that I am still figuring this all out and that the big decisions have to come from within.

Mentor: Sheila Ennis ‘86
Lafayette, CA
Managing Director, Hypatia Capital Advisors

Did your mentee's chosen area of study and career interests relate to your own personal academic/career experience? Please explain.

Yes. Mary is keenly interested in financial services sector but brings a strong sense of how technology can be leveraged more effectively to drive better decision making. I happen to be an investment banker with a tech focused practice and a specialty in analytics applications specifically. I had a hunch Mary would gravitate to analytics and made the intro -- to another mentor in the data consulting division of MasterCard -- MasterCard advisors.

Do you feel you were able to help with your mentee's development of academic, career and family goals?Please explain.

Mary is ambitious and pretty career-ready as she was a double major and a four year athlete at Brown. She understands what it is to balance competing requirements on one's time. When I suggested she get an internship for the spring semester since she had not yet built much office experience, she did it immediately and learned a lot about what she did not want to do as well as the bits she likes. My experience enabled me to point her in a direction that would leverage some of her skills and interests while ignoring others.

How do you think your mentee benefited from having access to you as a unique Brown resource? Please explain.

I think Mary and I hit it off right from the start and she benefitted from having access to someone who can 'cut to the chase' on how to go about getting a job in her industry of choice -- outside the normal systems of Human Resources gatekeepers, etc. Additionally, I spotted a hole in her resume and suggested a quick fix. Get an internship for Spring semester. Since I know the venture capital business well, I was able to suggest valuable projects she could propose to do for little or no compensation. Mary promptly made a proposal to get her internship that was impossible to refuse. As far as it being a unique Brown resource, -- Mary could have reached out to the BRUnet network, she could have leveraged the soccer network she's associated with... I'm not sure it's such a unique resource. Brown made it easily accessible and gave the Launch Pad women a push into networking.



To date, the Women’s Launch Pad community is 815 women strong!