Bank VP Alumna Advocates Mentoring
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
“Mentoring is a partnership that represents an investment that we may not notice until later,” says Jada Grandy ’00 M’04.
Grandy presented the keynote address at the Women and Transformational Leadership Symposium sponsored by RMU’s Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program. In a Sewall Center room filled with more than 100 female students and faculty, she stressed the importance of mentorship for women.
The senior vice president and regional director for community and economic development at the Charlotte, N.C., office of Fifth Third Bank had three key messages for the young professionals: her personal story of mentors, the definition of mentorship, and how to jumpstart these women into finding a mentor. It’s never too late to get a mentor, says Grandy.
After the speech, one of the participants asked Grandy what she believes to be the biggest mistake college women make. Grandy explained that young women don’t speak up enough, not realizing that all they have to do to get a mentor is seek one out. “Just ask,” says Grandy.
Then, Grandy covered the basics of identifying a mentor:
- Determine the skills you are looking to gain
- Find someone who possesses those skills
- Expand your network
- Participate in extracurricular activities and community events
- Approach someone to be your mentor
Stressing the importance of mentorship, Grandy credits her professional success to her mentors. Because Grandy was the first in her family to attend college, she turned to professionals in various groups for advice, utilizing feedback from sorority sisters to teachers to those she met through her volunteerism and work. These mentors taught her everything from how important appearance is to how every interaction with another person counts for something. In fact, after accepting her position with Fifth Third Bank, Grandy discovered that the person who recommended hiring her had only met her twice.
Grandy received a bachelor’s in finance and a master’s of business administration from Robert Morris University. “This university has been really good to me, and provided me many opportunities to excel. My family and I didn’t know how I was going to get to college, but Robert Morris made it possible,” Grandy says. “So I think I have a duty and responsibility to come back and encourage other students that success is possible, and how mentoring has played a role in that.”
The Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program is a four-year program that pairs students with faculty and peer mentors, and this year it is beginning to seek professional mentors too.
“As a freshman, the program is really nice because you have not only a faculty mentor, but a student mentor as well who can guide you in your transition to college,” says marketing major Brianna Wagner. “My mentors studied the same subject as I’m studying, so they are always helping me with my career path.”
Written by Michelle Emanuele ‘14