1. Years being a mentor?
Brittany: This is my first year as a mentor!
Shyandrea: This is my first year serving as a mentor
2. Reasons for becoming a mentor?
Brittany: In my first official job after graduate school, I was encouraged to attend my first WLCS national convention within the first few months on the job. I also signed up for the mentor program, and was matched with an extremely impressive and helpful mentor. After completing the IAA this summer, I wanted to give back and move from mentee to mentor this year!
Shyandrea: I decided to become a mentor for the Women's Leaders in College Sports organization because I have a passion for helping others. When I attended IAA West, I gained a lot of sisters that I am still in contact with that help push me to be better. One thing that I took from the IAA West conference is to help other women as you grow and this is why I decided to be a mentor.
3. What has your career path been?
Brittany: I grew up competing in sport and knew I always wanted to continue working in sports and help people accomplish goals, but I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to do that. As a kinesiology major, after realizing organic chemistry and microbiology were not my thing, I began exploring other career options in sport. While a sophomore swimmer at the University of Illinois, I fell in love with the work of my academic advisor and life skills coordinator – and an epiphany hit me, where I knew this career field was meant for me. I started shadowing and assisting with programming at Illinois, then went straight to graduate school at Michigan State where I was the Assistant to the President of the N4A while also serving as a graduate assistant to the student-athlete support services departments. Immediately upon graduating from Michigan State, I received my first full-time job offer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in student-athlete development. I’m in my fifth year at Wisconsin now, and could not be happier!
Shyandrea: I started my career path in the summer of 2015 volunteering at Jackson State University, thanks to Genese Lavalais. I dedicated my summer learning about athletics and how the academic center is ran. After volunteering that summer I was then offered a position as an Academic Counselor II. In the summer of 2016, I received a promotion and became the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Support Services. In October of 2017, I promoted to Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Support Services. Thanks to Jackson State University and Genese Lavalais for giving me my start in Athletics.
4. What advice would you give to women in the organization looking to advance?
Brittany: One word: hustle. If you have a desire to work in athletics, you should do whatever you can to break into the industry. You’ve got to start somewhere, so whether it’s through shadowing, networking, and putting yourself into situations to learn something new every day – people will notice. Keep hustling and you’ll get to where you want to be!
Shyandrea: I would tell women in the Women Leaders in College Sport to always do your best in whatever task that you are given. Don't be afraid to ask for extra responsibilities, that shows that you are serious about your job and that you want to grow. Always help others as you grow and bring your own chair to the table and a couple other women with you as well.
5. Who is your mentee?
Brittany: My mentee is Krystal Clarke
Shyandrea: My mentee is Ancia Ifill from FAMU.
6. How has your experience in the program been so far?
Brittany: So far, she’s been able to share her career goals and aspirations with
me – and I’ve been able to give her some helpful tips and suggestions to
prepare her for different opportunities. A few examples include helping
her update her resume and cover letter, helping her prepare for
attending her first WLCS National Convention, as well as helping her
prepare for interviews she’s been having. I’m hopeful she receives an
Shyandrea: I have enjoyed getting to know Ancia and assisting her with fulfilling her goals that she has set.