Every career path is different, proving there is no set course to success.

This was one of the main messages from the six panelists at the second annual Speed Mentoring Roundtable with Administrative Leaders event, sponsored by Human Resources and the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners (AMMP) June 18. Before becoming directors and administrative directors, the panelists worked the graveyard shift cleaning ORs, at banks or at consulting firms. Gary Smith, senior administrative director of Research Management, spent his early career as a field representative for Chrysler Credit Corporation, which in addition to auditing car dealerships, took him across upstate New York repossessing cars – a part of the job that was not fully disclosed during the job interview.   

 “You will never know where your career path will take you,” said panelist Guardia Banister, RN, PhD, executive director of the Institute for Patient Care and director of the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research.

During the discussion in the Thier Conference Room, attendees sat at numbered tables, a timer was set and a mentor sat at each table to field questions, offer suggestions and share real-world advice. When the 15 minutes were up, the speakers changed tables and greeted the next set of mentees. In addition to Smith and Banister, the administrative leaders panel featured Jae Lee, executive director of Radiology; John McGillivray, senior administrative director of the Gastrointestinal Unit; Jacqueline Nolan, director of Volunteer Services, and Carmen Vega-Barachowitz, director of Speech, Language and Swallowing Disorders.

While each panelist shared personal advice on how to succeed, a common theme throughout the conversations was the importance of saying “yes” to new connections, challenges and opportunities. Banister also stressed that attendees should know the culture of the team they are working with and do their homework when looking to advance in a career. McGillivray discussed the importance of lifelong learning and setting team-oriented goals, while Vega-Barachowitz credited her success to a healthy spirit of adventure.

Nolan advised the participants that they should find something they are passionate about. “Know what you want to do, and throw yourself into that.”

This article was published in the 07/13/18 Hotline issue.