October 5 - Rhonda Vetere

Rhonda Vetere is a top technology executive. She’s served as the Chief Information and Technology Officer at Estee Lauder, and has contributed her knowledge to institutions like the US Olympics and Paralympics, George Mason University School of Business, SWAAY Magazine, Miss Fashion Week and more. Rhonda likes to play golf, and encourages her friends and associates to pursue active, healthy lifestyles as an integral part of career success and improving performance.

“Ask Rhonda” is a monthly column where Rhonda will answer all your burning questions about starting your own venture, moving up the career ladder and more! In today’s column, we discuss leadership.

Q: Please define what "mentor" means to you.

A: A mentor to me is:

Someone you go to for help
A person that you look up to and admire
Someone that you respect
Get guidance from
Most importantly, a mentor leads by example

Q: Many millennials say they want mentors, but don't know how to find them. What are some resources/tools to find mentors?

Look at who you value in the industry or in life. Align your values, goals and beliefs
Formalize being a mentor: Always ask, never assume.
Google people and find out how to get in touch with them
Use Instagram! I often get notes from folks on Instagram asking me to mentor them
Don’t shy away from asking. It is so important!

Q: What's the best way to ensure you've chosen the right mentor for you?

A: You know you’ve chosen the right mentor if you get something out of it after the 2nd or 3rd meeting. The rest is up to you, and how you both take the advice and implement it into your personal and professional life.

Q: What advice would you have for women looking for mentors in male-dominated fields?

Just be yourself! Be prepared. I have never thought of myself as the “only woman in the room.” Exuding confidence and dressing for success are important, too. And make sure that you know your 30-second elevator pitch of what you do should you find yourself in a quick conversation with a leader at your company.

Q: Please give an example of a good email any one of us could send a potential mentor today!

I think showing someone that you “know” them and explaining why you think that they would be a good mentor is key. I get lots of requests, but ones that stand out are from individuals who catch my eye with knowing something about me and linking it back to their personal goals.

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