The best of mentors aren’t sought out, but are handed to you in a surprising fashion.
It was summer after my freshman year of college. A young 19 years old, I drove cross country to start an internship at a public relations firm. It was my second day on the job when I overheard my boss, Michael, on the phone with his friend. They were looking for someone to help at an event the next night, I volunteered my service. Little did I know that Michael taking a chance on his brand new intern and recommending me to his friend, would change my life.
I was on my way to the event the next day when I got in a car wreck. But, don’t worry, it wasn’t my fault. I was less concerned with my health and car and more worried about being late/making a bad impression! Luckily for me, after arriving a few hours late, Ralina welcomed me with open arms and put me to work!
Looking back I can honestly say that this night changed my life. For the better, of course!
Ralina trusted me with so much responsibility even though she barely knew me. She led by example and taught me more in one night than I had learned in my entire life. I learned how to handle myself on the red carpet, trouble shooting techniques, management styles, how to fix someone’s mistakes and still have a kickass time while doing it all.
The trust and learning didn’t stop there. Ralina brought me back for many projects throughout the summer. I was able to be her right-hand-woman at some great events, gain experience to build my résumé, be introduced to a plethora of new things and network. I networked the hell out of that summer, all thanks to Ralina.
The conversations might have been the most beneficial part of my summer experience. Hearing stories from hellish events, great events, people, places, getting into the industry and simply personal stories from Ralina helped direct me to the career path I am currently on. Ralina pushed me to be the best person I can be, enjoy what I do and to stand out from the crowd. She taught me that passion and willingness to learn are some of the best traits a person can have.
To this day Ralina and I have kept in touch and the mentoring has never stopped. Whether it’s a recommendation letter, career advice, introductions to colleagues, working on a project, or simply talking about life, Ralina is there. She is one of the most charismatic, charming, organized, ambitious and happy to be alive people I’ve ever met.
Thank you, Ralina, for being a mentor to me in both my life and career. I will forever be grateful for your guidance and mentorship.