Gwen Ifill Mentee 2020 Reflection

In these times of extreme uncertainty motivated among many other things by the pandemic, having a safe space to share concerns and doubts within the industry and our personal achievements was a balm that led me to three personal accomplishments: rediscover and accept myself and to continue moving forward.

And in that process, I learned that I was ready for a job change, with a backpack of new skills and a supportive community that I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world. And while the conclusion sounds simple in hindsight now, getting to this realization was tough.

To start at the beginning, the session on the SMARTIE Goals was the first glimpse that my dreams were bigger than what I was doing, and that if I wanted to work towards really being an agent of change, motivated by innovation, I needed to step it up.

I do not want to be extensive in this part,  but some of the key takeaways I’m grateful for learning through this fellowship are the following:

1. Latoya Peterson: What the Imposter Syndrome is and how without knowing that it had a name – I could identify myself
2. Jareen Imam: To improve my communication skills and validate the importance of empathy in the leadership role
3. Kim Bui: The map of power
4. Juleyka Lantigua: It’s always a good time to have the conversation about the salary increase
5. Suzanne Malveaux: How a personal experience redefined her career

My mentor, on the other hand, helped me identify areas of opportunity to continue my professional growth. These were to set boundaries, schedule everything (even snacks), value myself/recognize my achievements and set my goals straight/hold myself accountable for them.

All of these experiences helped me validate that the comfort zone is never the right place to be. And that I am more than ready to continue creating, innovating and telling stories from new spaces.