earlier this week i met with a colleague's 22 year old daughter who is struggling to figure out what to be and do when she grows up. he thought it would be good for her and i to chat about life, growing up, and educational opportunities (he also threw in that maybe i could mention how many degrees i have). we met, we had a great chat, we'll probably do it again.
then today i took a summer student out for coffee and answered her questions about our company, our department, my background, and what i wanted to be when i was a student. i gave her some work, encouraged her to me ask me about anything (which she later did - asking me how to post something out of our office, which i had no answer for!), and reassured her that she'd have a good experience in her position.
i recall many times when people took me under their wing in previous jobs and when i moved to other countries, when i showed up without a clue and a thousand questions. i know i never would have figured things out as i did without other people's help and i am now enjoying being in a position when i can share what i know with young women who are beginning their careers. i surely don't have all the answers, and never will, but i like the role of mentor and cannot imagine how i would've made it this far without them myself.