The first Wednesday of every month, a group of female students interested in business and the professional workplace meet with two to six female Truist employees to discuss everything from LinkedIn to elevator speeches and more. This group of females comprises the Women Mentoring Women club, which is led by faculty sponsor and college counselor Pam Ambler.
The club is geared towards all female students, not just those interested in pursuing a career in finance. “Although Women Mentoring Women is partnering Pace Academy students with women at Truist, a financial institution, that does not mean that you need to be interested in a finance career to join the club,” said Truist mentor Tillie Allen. “We hope to be mentors to young women pursuing all career paths.”
While normally meetings are held over pizza in the Seaman Family Student Commons, this year’s meetings are held on WebX, a virtual meeting site. The meeting topics covered this year have included how to build a resume, what clubs to join in college, gender discrimination in the workplace and more. “I would say my favorite meeting was when we talked about the stock market and what different types of investments mean and what the mentors actually do at work,” said senior leader Sidney Funston.
Ms. Allen and other club members are looking forward to next month’s meeting which is a Senior Women Panel. “While there’s not a specific topic, this is an incredible opportunity to connect young high school women with women who have been working in the professional world for 20+ years,” said Ms. Allen. “I never had that opportunity in high school and feel as though it is very unique to have the chance to ask experienced women any questions that you all may have regarding the professional world.”
This year, in addition to the monthly meetings, club members have been able to meet one-on-one with a mentor that rotates every month. “My favorite part of Women Mentoring Women is the relationships cultivated,” said Mrs. Ambler. “Owing to the fact that we were unable to meet face to face this year, Sidney Funston developed a rotating one-on-one mentorship model, and these dialogues made our virtual monthly group meetings more conversational and engaging.”
On top of learning how to build relationships with mentors, girls in the club learn how to apply the skills they learn during the meetings. “At the macro level, members gain complex communication skills and develop confidence in asking discerning questions,” said Mrs. Ambler. “Additionally, members learn terminology well beyond the scope of the finance industry and they develop an understanding of how elevator speeches translate to interviews.”
Funston appreciates the knowledge she has gained through the club that she has not learned in the classroom. “I’d say I’ve become more confident and capable in my classes speaking-wise, but I’ve also learned a lot about topics that Pace doesn’t necessarily cover like credit cards and credit scores,” she said.
Mrs. Ambler’s main goal for the club is for members to take the knowledge they learn from their mentors and put it to use in a professional setting later in life. “By gaining conversational confidence as well as practical awareness of the professional world, I hope Pace members will go on to become serial ceiling smashers,” she said.