This week DPW sits down with past #WomanOfTheWeek honoree Michele Bobadilla focusing on mentorship. As an award-winning professional, Michele is a go-to for women professionals and students to gain guidance! So let's dive into it to learn more about her!
Zara: How do you define mentorship?
Michele: Mentorship is the active engagement of sharing lessons learned and the exploration of opportunities for growth.
Zara: What are the benefits of mentoring?
Michele: The benefits of mentoring are limitless! The mentee and mentor grow through an open and candid relationship grounded in advocacy, engagement, and empowerment.
Zara: What are some things a protégé or mentee can prepare for in advance before entering into a formal mentoring program?
Michele: The most important aspect of a mentee entering into a formal mentoring program is authenticity.
Zara: Let's talk about informal mentorship. What guidance can you provide women regarding mentoring other women?
Michele: Informal mentoring simply stated is Women Empowering Women! Share...Grow...Learn...Soar...
Empowered Women Empower Women.
Zara: What are some key elements that every mentor should implement in their framework when mentoring others?
Michele: A key factor when mentoring others is to LISTEN.
Zara: Can you share how you have become a mentor to so many women? What are some key characteristics and skills every mentor should have that make them an effective mentor?
Michele: Mentoring happens daily whether in a formal or informal setting. Our words, actions, and deeds leave an indelible mark on others.
Zara: Let's take a trip back into time, who were your most influential mentors and what were some of the key takeaways from your experience that has shaped you into the incredible leader you are today?
Michele: My most influential and impactful mentors include my parents, my grandmother, teachers, community leaders, and friends who have been my biggest cheerleaders. They have provided a soft place to land; encouraged me to take a step in faith; supported me to stand in my truth; and have always been open and honest with me.
Zara: What advice do you have for women that want to mentor, but don't have enough time?
Michele: Mentoring can be a word of encouragement; a note, call, or text; the sharing of a quote or image with profound meaning; a glance or a smile of reassurance...Each interaction can mentor another.
Zara: What are your thoughts on pairing up mentors with mentees in a formal setting? Do you think mentees learn more from someone that has some of the qualities they are looking to sharpen or from someone that is polar opposites? How can organizations with formal mentorship programs help pair up to get optimal results?
Michele: Mentee/Mentor (Protégé) programs focused on career-specific pathways can prove very beneficial especially with respect to breaking glass ceilings. Learning from trailblazers on the frontlines is immeasurable. Pairing mentees with mentors is most successful when both embark on the journey as a process of learning and growing.
Zara: What have you found more effective group mentorship or 1x1 interactions? Tell us about your experience and how accountability, growth and equity were measured differently between these settings.
Michele: Mentoring whether in a group setting or one-on-one is a gift of time, talent, and shared treasures.
Zara: Someone right now is reading this and wanting YOU to mentor them! How can someone get in touch with you to talk more about mentorship?
Michele: I can be reached through LinkedIn, Facebook, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michele Bobadilla, M.Ed, D.Litt (hc) Senior Associate VP Outreach & Community Engagement Assistant Provost Hispanic Student Success Enrollment Management The University of Texas at Arlington email@example.com