Meet a pairing in Millennium’s Mentorship Program: Cari Smalley, Co-Head HR Business Partners, Americas, and Jasmin Zirino, Operations Specialist. Read more to learn about their experience and advice for joining our program.
How did you decide to get involved with the Mentorship program?
JZ: A few years ago, my manager told me the Women of Millennium Network (WOMN) had launched, and through that network, I applied for their mentorship program. I was eager to participate, as I had a positive mentorship experience at my previous firm.
CS: As part of my role on the Women’s Network steering committee, I connected with Jasmin about matching her with a mentor. We had met organically through a different program at the firm, so we decided to match ourselves—the rest is history!
Why do you think being involved in a mentorship program is important?
JZ&CS: The mentorship program is a fantastic experience for anyone who wishes to join. It allows you to meet someone you do not directly work with and grow your network. It is invaluable to have the ability to work through solutions to problems, use one another as sounding boards, and occasionally just blow off steam in a supportive space. We are very fortunate for the experience.
In what ways do you think participating in this program has helped your personal or professional development?
JZ: The program helped me grow both personally and professionally. Personally, it’s empowering to see Cari as a successful, smart, and driven female leader navigate the Firm. Professionally, given that I recently became a manager, it was helpful to have the opportunity to discuss high-level topics like prioritization, deadlines, and work/life balance.
CS: It’s been incredibly fulfilling to see Jasmin come into her own as a strong, successful leader on her team. Our conversations about career progression and managing people have had a real and positive impact on how I think about talent development in my role as an HR professional.
Tell us one thing you learned (so far) from your mentor/mentee?
JZ: The most important thing I have learned from Cari is to be authentic. At Millennium, we work with such talented and driven individuals, and authenticity is the most valuable thing that sets us apart.
CS: I have learned so much from Jasmin. I learned how to be both bold and caring and that good leadership is shown by actions, not just words. Also, pizza and TikTok videos are the best ways to end a rough week.
What advice would you give to others thinking about joining the Mentorship program?
JZ&CS: Our advice: just join! You have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
Some additional advice to anyone else on their career journey:
- Never to be afraid to ask for something to help your career. The worst thing you can be told is no.
- In the words of Ted Lasso, “Be curious, not judgmental.”