Laura’s Story

Laura Habberfield

Prior to college, I felt unsure about my career aspirations. This was ?mainly because I didn’t know enough about what was out there and what paths ?could be taken. As I gained more knowledge and experience, I began ?exploring different options through several ways. One was informational ?sessions that were hosted by my university, another was through internships ?that I spent between 6 months and a year doing, and most importantly I ?spoke to as many professionals, recent graduates, and peers that were able ?to share with me what it is that they had a passion for. This allowed me ?to not only to find areas that I could develop an interest in, but also ?areas that I knew would not be a good fit for me. One of my biggest tips ?for my mentees is to always ask questions, and understand that there are so ?many jobs out there that they are probably not even aware of, and unless ?one tries to find out about them they may never find the job that is a ?perfect fit for them.

I had one great mentor in college, and he was always willing to sit and ?discuss with me the areas that I had interest in, what types of roles/paths ?I could take within such an interest, and ultimately pushed me to try ?whatever I could, in order to help narrow down what would be a good fit for ?me. I feel that if it weren’t for him, I may not have been as motivated to ?try so hard to find out what I would become very interested in, and I may ?not be as happy in my role now, as I am.

My current role in corporate retail was not something I imagined myself ?doing. Honestly, I didn’t even know it existed until I began the interview ?process. I work in Merchandise Planning & Allocation for a major retailer, ?in the toy industry. I had a friend graduate the year before me and accept ?the same job so having seen someone go through the transition process ?successfully, I had a lot more confidence to do the same.

So far, I have been able to help my mentees by asking questions which ?allows them to stop and think about some of their choices or decisions a ?little bit longer than they may have if they just went through this process ?on their own. I value having a peer to discuss my decisions with, and I am ?privileged to be able to assist others in the same way, that may not know ?someone at their school or in their group of friends that understand what ?they’re going through, and can give them some advice and guidance along the ?way. I have really enjoyed my experience so far, and I would like to be ?able to help these individuals further throughout their career. I know ?that working with them will allow me to learn something new as well, which ?I also really like about the mentor/mentee relationship.

I would recommend this program for both mentors and mentees; the opportunity ?to speak with someone outside of your normal realm is rare, and I believe ?that both parties will be able to learn from the experience.