Interview with a Dr. Yvonne J. Chandler Mentorship program mentor, Lisa Rush, Director of the Travis County Law Library & Self-Help Center
Info-Flight: Why did you join the Dr. Yvonne J. Chandler Mentorship Program?
Lisa: I joined for Dr. Chandler. I had seen her mentor at conferences over the years, but it didn’t occur to me to honor her legacy or give recognition to what I had seen take place through her mentorship and put it into action until UNT contacted me to join the cause.
Info-Flight: What is one tangible benefit you have provided your mentee?
Lisa: I told him something I wish someone had told me long ago: Do the math. Always be thinking about the next step in your career, but look at the data and do an opportunity/cost analysis before making any decision about your career. I helped Daniel find the resources, like the AALL annual salary survey, that could help him get the data he needed to make career decisions now and later.
Info-Flight: What have you gotten out of the experience?
Lisa: It has made me reflect on my own opinions and think about why I do the things that I do and believe the things that I believe. I am not normally a reflective person, but I wanted to be sure to pass on good advice and not wrong-headed advice, so I reflected on my own career and choices. Also, it felt good to give back and work with a young professional.
Ashley Corbaley is a student in the Master of Library Science program with certificates in Youth Librarianship and Storytelling. She joined the program because she would graduate at the end of the semester and wanted to learn from people with experience in the field who could give her advice about job hunting. She says that the best part of the program for her was that it was remote (She lives in Washington and her mentor lives in Texas) and that she could make a connection with someone in the field who also was happy to answer questions by email in between meetings. Her advice to get the most out of the program is to prepare questions or topics of discussion before meetings and plan for what to talk about next time at the end of each meeting, but she stresses that you should still remain flexible and let the conversation take you where it goes. She says that her mentor, Jennifer Delmar-Rollings, was helpful, friendly, and easy to talk to. Ashley loved hearing about Jennifer’s day to day activities as a librarian and her opinions on best practices for youth librarians. She emphasized that her match was perfect since her mentor is a Youth Services Librarian who, among other duties, coordinates and conducts story times for the patrons of Allen Public Library.
Daniel Samford signed up for the Yvonne J. Chandler Mentorship Program because he was a new librarian at Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshal School of Law, with little experience, and he wanted to develop his skills. He was matched with Lisa Rush, Director of the Travis County Law Library & Self-Help Center. Daniel says Lisa was cool, innovative, and helpful. She gave him homework after the first meeting for him to complete before the next. He says he got the most out of the relationship because he took the time to do all the homework she gave him and prepare for the meetings. He also investigated the resources she provided, like a website that she had created, “Texas Law Help.” Of the mentoring relationship, Daniel says, “It’s like therapy. You get out what you put into it.” His mentor helped him set career goals and salary expectations along with the resources she provided. He thinks that she may be a great future resource for a job in the future as well. Daniel states that he will probably sign up for the mentorship program again in August since he could use some mentorship in the area of electronic resources.
Keivan Kaviani, BA/MA Linguistics
InfoFlight: Why did you join the Mentoring program?
Keivan: I wanted to connect with professionals in my field of study and learn more about the working world. Since I’ve been a student for most of my life, I’m pretty clueless as to how the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired can be used outside of an academic context. I also had several objectives in mind, but didn’t know how to go about pursuing them.
InfoFlight: What is one tangible benefit that you have gotten out of the program?
Keivan: My mentor has introduced me to several different resources, including LinkedIn Learning, Articulate Storyline, and the Critical Language Scholarship Program. I am also on my way to being certified in UX Design, can do basic coding in Python, and have taken an interest in instructional design, the latter of which is my mentor’s specialty.
InfoFlight: Would you sign up again or recommend the program to someone for the fall semester? If so, why? And if not, why not?
Keivan: I would both sign up again and recommend the program to others, as I found it to be a very valuable experience. It was actually more like a mutual mentorship, since we learned from one another and worked together to achieve our goals. Thank you, Nanxi!
Veronica Unnikrishnan, SVP of Product Innovation, Sales & Marketing at 5Q Cloud:
“the program is wonderful and had a really great matching process. We had really good deep conversations and were able to find value in mutually sharing what we know and how we can help. Delighted with the time spent with my mentee, Angela.”
Marilu Howard, Instructional Designer II for Texas State Technical College:
“It's been great to share my new experiences and transition to a new university with my mentee. I think you made a great match between us and I hope to continue learning and growing together. I love the flexibility of the program. We have our standing meetings, but if something comes up, we make sure to notify each other. Communication has to be a must in order for the mentor/mentee relationship to work. We also came up with topics to discuss at each meeting so we are prepared to discuss and share in advance.”