Women In Nichols (WIN)

Women In Nichols (WIN) is a mentorship program started by the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) and the Institute of Women’s Leadership (IWL). A group of women at Nichols are paired with women alumni or women associated with Nichols in some way. The mentor and mentee are encouraged to meet at least once a month and they make the mentorship what they want. Some will talk mainly business with their mentors and others will talk about friendships, life on campus, and what life can look like after college. Some mentors and mentees are not in the same field as one another but there are still some great connections being made, conversations being had, and advice being given on many different things.

My mentor is named Kaitlyn who is an accounting alumni and now works as assurance staff. Having Kaitlyn as my mentor has been great, I have talked with her about a wide range of things. From roommate mishaps to which job offer I should accept and so much more. In the fall I had applied to three accounting firms and got offer letters from all three. I was unsure which one I wanted to accept and it was hard to decide due to location to my family home. Choosing a company was hard, but while talking with Kaitlyn, I realized how much I wanted to live on my own and not at home. She also helped me figure out how to talk to my parents about it so that we all felt comfortable with my decision.

I have really enjoyed getting to know Kaitlyn and think the match up between us is perfect. I was nervous before we first met because I am shy and quiet especially around new people. Once I started talking with her, the conversation just flowed. Seeing how easy it was to talk with her and not really wanting to stop just proved that we were a perfect pair. During the first in-person event we exchanged phone numbers and planned our next meeting. I meet with her at least once a month and will communicate with her if I want to talk with her before our next scheduled meeting. I have enjoyed every time I speak with her and wish it was easier to plan to meet up in person outside of events that the WIN Program puts on.

The CPDC and IWL have worked together to organize events for the mentors and mentees to meet together in person and it is always fun. We had our kickoff event in the fall and I found it very enjoyable. I had started talking with Kaitlyn and felt I couldn’t run out of things to say. By the end of the night I wanted to keep talking but had to let her go so she could drive home. There is another event being planned for the Spring and I am truly looking forward to it. It is not the easiest to meet up with my mentor in person because of our schedules and the distance between us. However, we still talk over zoom and have great conversations.

If I had any advice to give a new mentee starting the program next year, I would say to exchange phone numbers and plan your next meetings during your current one. By having their number you are able to reach out with any questions or comments you have that will lead to building the relationship. Planning a date for your next meeting helps so you and your mentor don’t have it slip your minds especially when things get busy. Another piece of advice is that you shouldn’t compare your mentorship relationship with a friend’s mentorship relationship because all mentor/mentee relationships are unique and different from one another.

A huge thank you to the CPDC and IWL teams for starting this program and coordinating all the great pairings. I can’t wait for more events to get everyone together and look forward to what is to come.

By Cristen McSweeney
Cristen McSweeney