Playing Mama Bear

July 1, 2010 at 9:16 am | Posted in Career Moves | 4 Comments
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When I was in middle school and high school, there was this Big Brother Big Sister program designed to acclimate younger students to a new school under the guidance of an upperclassmen.  When it was my turn to be the big sister, I took my role pretty seriously and watched over my friends’ sisters as if they were my own.  I even took girls that were not assigned to me under my wing.  High school is tough and it’s so easy to fall in with the wrong crowd. I took one of the girls under my wing after word spread around school that a girl in my circle was going to fight her and I wanted to stop it before it happened.  She stayed a close friend of mine for the duration of high school.

I still like to play Mama Bear but of course the circumstances have changed.  I now enjoy mentoring younger or new workers, who mostly come in the former of interns.  I’ve had interns since I began working.  Two of my former interns actually now have my two previous jobs.  I enjoy imparting my knowledge on interns and guiding them the way I would like to be guided.  I’m not a tough ass, but I will teach you a thing or two.

I have had high school interns and college interns. I’ve had interns focused on many different things – none of which included taking coffee orders.  My interns work, learn, and produce meaningful products and results.  I’ve had interns ask me to write them recommendations and I’ve had interns speak highly of their experience working with me.  This makes me feel really good.  If I can help guide someone in career development, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.  Former colleagues trust my judgment when I recommend an employee to them, which shows great respect of my peers, so the good feeling comes from both ends.

I know I have a lot to learn. I’m not at the age where I think I know everything anymore, so my teaching style isn’t black and white.  I can learn from the young-in’s as much as they can learn from me. Funny how I never wanted to be a teacher yet I find myself teaching in a different way.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again.  I had some great mentors to look up to when I was first starting out. It feels good to give back and be a mentor to others.


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  1. I miss you, Mama Bear. Your mentoring skills are unrivaled by anyone else! You are definitely up to the job and I hope I too will become a big, ferocious grizzly to an orphaned cub.

    – Little Bear

  2. I agree, mentoring is so important. I definitely would not be where I am today without some amazing mentors in my life. I hope I can help other young people the way my mentors encouraged and motivated me.

    Found you on 20sb and love your blog!

    • Thanks Anna! I’ll definitely check out your blog! I write about work a lot so I hope you’ll come back.

  3. I loved being your intern because you are a great teacher! And not many people are. I know what I’ve learned from you and other mentors in my life will help me immensely when I get the opportunity to teach someone.

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