By Sarah Horn – A cornerstone of professional development, the Career Mentor Program at WJC facilitates mentor-style relationships between students and professionals in the student’s career field of interest. After an application process, accepted students are interviewed in order to best match them with mentors who fit their desired experience. Senior Britany Riley and Junior Caty Compton have had successful mentor experiences.
Britany Riley was interested in becoming a lawyer and was curious about the dynamics of balancing a legal career with having a family. For this reason, she requested a female lawyer with a family as a mentor and was matched with Marsha Woodward, a disability and benefits lawyer in Liberty. During the mentorship, Ms. Woodward shared her insight into the legal profession and how it interacted with raising her two children. While Britany is currently undecided about her future beyond graduation in May, her mentorship gave her a clearer picture about what life could be like as a lawyer.
Caty Compton is a biochemistry and Spanish major, interested in earning her doctorate in osteopathic medicine and pursuing medical missions. She has participated in the Career Mentor Program twice. Her first mentor was Dr. Timothy Little, a physician at St. Luke’s Cabot Westside Health Center. Every employee of this organization is bilingual, and they serve the majority of the Spanish speaking community in Kansas City. Caty was able to shadow Dr. Little as he worked and participate by taking patient histories. This mentorship experience cemented her desire to attend medical school and helped her realize the extensive medical needs in the local community.
Caty’s second mentor was Dr. Robert Huster, a gynecology and bariatric medicine doctor in Liberty. Caty is interested in specializing in women’s health in particular and this mentorship gave her insight into the field. A highlight of this experience for Caty was being able to observe two surgeries.
It is a particular challenge for undergraduate pre-medical and science students to gain experience in their desired fields because most internships or jobs require more extensive education and training. For Caty, the Career Mentor Program helped to fill this void. She has already been accepted to the program for the third time during spring semester 2012.
Students and professionals interested in participating in the Career Mentor Program may contact Judy Rychlewski in career services.