Updated: Apr 15, 2020
When she’s not working, Emily likes to travel, whether it be to physical locations or those within the pages of a book.
She is also a huge fan of tacos.
We spoke with Emily to hear about her own experience with mentoring in the past and how she approaches being a mentor.
Read the full spotlight below to learn more about Emily, her professional journey and why she Is excited to be part of our mentoring program!
Could you tell us a little about your career path and what brought you to your current work?
I’m not sure I would call it a “career path” because it has been anything but linear! When I graduated from college I became a case manager for a foster care agency. After that, I worked as a restaurant server, a tutor, and an elementary classroom aide. In August I was going to begin a masters program at Northern Arizona University, but at the last minute decided to take the role offered to me by the co-founders at addapptation because it felt like a great opportunity.
So how did you get into mentoring? How would you describe your approach, and what you try to achieve when working with mentees?
Through high school and college, I had several people in my life that invested a great deal of time and energy into helping me grow. These relationships were never formal “mentorships,” but just developed naturally and felt a lot like friendship. That’s the approach I take with mentorship today - authentically relational and without any agenda other than support, connection and mutual learning.
What’s the biggest buzz you’ve got during your time mentoring?
For two years I was a mentor to an 8 (10 when we ended) year old girl through Big Brothers Big Sisters. When our mentorship ended (because I was moving here) her mom told me that she had seen a huge improvement in her daughter’s ability to make friends throughout those two years, and that her daughter was a happier kid because of it. That meant a lot to me.
What would you say that you get from mentoring, both personally and professionally?
Connection and growth!
One word -- verb, noun, adjective, adverb -- that describes a Mentor's role.
Are there any tips you’d give to new mentors who are unsure what they’re letting themselves in for?
I think that the word “mentorship” intimidates people for some reason, but you aren’t signing your name onto a binding contract. Just be kind to people. Empathize and offer support when you can. Especially when you might know something they don’t. And try to make sure you don’t just help people who are very similar to you.
And how about mentees who’ve never experienced 1-on-1 mentoring before—do you have any advice on how they can approach the experience to get the maximum benefit from it?
Be open. You might find a mentor in someone that you don’t expect, and it might not look exactly the way you envisioned.
How do you think mentoring can help create an inclusive culture?
Mentorship can expand our understanding of the human experience, which makes us more empathetic people. Empathetic people are more likely to create inclusive spaces.
Finally… funniest story from your career so far?
I have a lot (kids can be wild) but last summer when I was working as a camp counselor, a kid threw a ham sandwich at my face while I was driving a 15 passenger van. I’m proud to say that I didn’t crash the van.
Want to know more about being a mentor or the power of inclusive mentoring?
Register here for our virtual Rise & Diversify event on April 22!