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IBIT Mentoring Program

During the Fall semester, I was able to have the opportunity to participate in the IBIT mentoring program, where students are matched with experienced senior executives who provide guidance and coaching to students, such as providing ideas and feedback. My mentor was Andrea Anania, a retired Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of CIGNA Corporation. I had two meetings with Andrea where we had conversations about her experiences and my experiences as well. She talked about what she thought about big companies compared to smaller companies when I told her about the recent internship offer I received from a fairly big company where she stated that big companies have more structure because they know how to deal with interns and put them on projects. She mentioned different things I should be aware of when starting up my professional career in the field that I want to go into, such as stepping up to get any opportunity to join in on discussions or formal presentations. She also told me how feedback is essential as it will help me understand what areas I need to improve on. 

We also discussed the changes that education and the professional field have now since the time she was in school and working. When she was in school she talked about how she took up clerical jobs during the summer, and after she graduated she applied to companies because having a college degree was enough to get many opportunities as people believed that those with college degrees have those skills (such as problem-solving) necessary for the work field. Nowadays many students have to choose a specific area of study and continue to grow upon those specific skills through our courses. Despite the changes, she believes that I have a good foundation already at Temple and that I will continue to grow from the knowledge I gained, and the experiences I will receive during the summer.

The mentorship program helped me understand what areas to work on, such as presentation skills and speaking up. Though in the back of my mind, I knew that I needed to improve in those areas, having a mentor provide that feedback to me during our conversation helped. It was a pleasure to talk to Andrea about her life, both personal and professional, and about her thoughts on various things. Overall, the IBIT mentoring program was an amazing opportunity and experience that positively impacted my professional development and is an experience that has helped me connect to my mentor in a way that I could not have done on my own.

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