1. Years being a mentor?
Maureen: This is my first year as a mentor
Gina: This is my first year as a mentor
2. Reasons for becoming a mentor?
Maureen: I was fortunate enough to be matched with an incredible mentor, Resa Lovelace, during my first year with Women Leaders. Her influence helped me immensely and encouraged me to get more involved with Women Leaders, specifically through the mentor program. I hope to be able to influence others who are growing in the field and encourage people to be more involved with Women Leaders, primarily because of the impact it has had on my career trajectory and the importance of making valuable connections in the industry with other supportive and powerful women!
Gina: To support and assist in the personal and professional development of women. Women need women role models in order to believe they can achieve.
3. What has your career path been?
Maureen: My career path started during my undergrad Oregon State University when I volunteered in the Student-Athlete Development department, under Kimya Massey. He encouraged me to pursue it as a full time career, so I was very fortunate to get a position within the Clemson University’s Student-Athlete Development department working in leadership development for student-athletes, while pursuing my master’s degree. Following that position I accepted a job at Georgia Tech Athletics as the Total Person Program Coordinator. In my current role, I work with the career and leadership development programs for all student-athletes.
Gina: I became the Head Soccer Coach at Centre College at the age of 22. I coached for 11 years and then was afforded the opportunity to become the Assistant Athletic Director/SWA at Centre. Six years ago, I served as the Interim Athletic Director at Centre College for one year and for the past 5 years my role is Associate Athletic Director/SWA.
4. What advice would you give to women in the organization looking to advance?
Maureen: As I am still rather young in my career, the biggest impact that Women Leaders and other opportunities has given me is the ability to meet influential people. It is amazing the support and connection that professionals in our industry have, and this has been incredibly valuable for my career trajectory so far. The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to reach out, meet others, connect with those in positons you admire, and take full advantage of professional development opportunities- because you never know who you may meet who could refer you to your next step!
Gina: Consistently seek opportunities for growth. Look for ways to add value to your department outside of your job description – this will enhance your professional growth while enhancing your athletic department. Volunteer to be on committees within organizations like WLCS, NCAA, WeCoach and NACDA. Reach out to other women in the profession, we will help you :)
5. Who is your mentee?
Maureen: My mentee is Ashlynn Fields, GA at University of Southern California
Shyandrea: Molly Penland, Brevard College
6. How has your experience in the program been so far?
Maurren: My experience in the program has been very rewarding. I am very lucky to have been both a mentee and a mentor with Women Leaders. I have a great relationship with the mentor I was matched with when I was a mentee, Resa Lovelace. She did a great job of modeling what a collaborative mentorship can look like. With the opportunity to be a mentor now, I find it very rewarding to connect with someone who shares a lot of similarities with me, from our past athletic experience to our current field of work. Ashlynn is very driven and passionate so it makes working with her really fun. I’m learning a lot from her too, so that collaboration is one of my favorite outcomes of this program.
Gina: It has been great! We had one phone call and one facetime and in between we have texted. We will meet in person for the first time next week - Centre College is in Kentucky and Molly has family in Kentucky and will be coming up for Thanksgiving! Small world! We are deciding on a book to read together so we can be on our journey to professional growth together. Molly’s next goal is to become an Assistant Athletic Director and I look forward to working with her towards achieving this goal and other goals!