Through my Board service to the Society of Alumni at Randolph-Macon College I have recently had the honor of mentoring a young woman, a junior from southern Virginia and first-generation college student. Inspired by Elizabeth Morehead’s writing on supporting first-generation professionals to improve corporate diversity, I wanted to share some advice.
If we ever want to solve big problems like pay equity or women in the Boardroom, we have to support women from the very beginning. It’s not enough to GET to college, you need to maximize the experience. It’s not enough to get the internship, you need to squeeze every last drop of value out of it. And to keep going you need to be supported every step of the way.
So I went to my hive mind, my college girlfriends who are killing it professionally and up at 7 AM on a Sunday morning and happy to share advice via text as they sip coffee before launching into their busy days. While some of the advice stemmed from our own internship failures (“don’t talk to the press,” truth.) here is what we came up with:
Remember, this is an audition for your future life. Now go break a leg, sister, you’ve got this.