As you may already know, our mission here at Shona is to educate, empower and inspire today’s Irish Girls to become tomorrow’s strong, confident and curious young women. However, if you think we could do this all on our own you are very much mistaken!
Here at Shona, we believe in the power of mentorship. Having someone who’s a little further down their own path to help you find and start your own journey down yours is so important. And the wonderful thing about mentorship is that it is a cycle, once you’ve experienced the benefits of having a mentor and started down your own path, you can pass it on to those coming behind you. We are very lucky here to have access to amazing and inspiring women who can guide us, and one of those amazing and inspiring women is our very own Tammy Darcy! Tammy is a mentor to all of us ambassadors here at Shona (she’s a very busy woman!) but she has also had many mentors herself, here is what she had to say about her experiences with mentorship…
First things first! What is a mentor?
Tammy – “For me, a good mentor is someone who has walked my path before me and can identify with my experience in terms of challenges and opportunities. It’s someone who can see the potential in me and guide me, asking hard questions when needed but who ultimately wants me to succeed.”
What benefits have you seen from both having a mentor and being one?
Tammy – “I simply wouldn’t be where I am without good mentors. For me they have been a gut check when I have to ask myself hard questions, they have held me accountable so I can’t get in my own way, and they’ve been able to see the big picture when I’m stuck in the details. I’ve benefitted both personally and professionally from the role models who have invested in me. In terms of being a mentor, it’s so fulfilling to be able to share all that I’ve learned with someone else and pay it forward. I get as much out of it as they do. It also reminds me how far I’ve come and helps me to reflect on the journey through their eyes.”
Why do you think it’s important for girls/women in particular to have a mentor?
Tammy – “Unfortunately, I didn’t grow up with many role models in my life, so I had to figure out a lot of things for myself. We can get in our own heads and let those self-limiting beliefs creep in. Having good mentors has shown me that I can’t have all the answers myself, but I can surround myself with people who do and that’s even better!”
What defines a good mentor and mentee?
Tammy- “A good mentor doesn’t tell you what to do, they help you step back and find the answers yourself. They hold you accountable but don’t judge you. They are genuinely invested in seeing you succeed and know that that means being personally fulfilled as well as professionally successful. A good mentee comes open to answering tough questions without getting defensive, and they are willing to do the hard work and invest in themselves.”
So, there it is! Whether there is someone already in your life who you’d like to reach out to for some guidance or whether you need to take the leap and reach out to someone new who’s been down a path you hope to go, it’s time to find yourself a mentorship! It can feel scary, but you will be pleasantly surprised by how much people are willing to help. And most importantly, don’t forget to pass it on!
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