The HBA Southwest Region is starting its first mentoring program. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to provide you with information about the program and perspectives from those who have participated before both as mentees and mentors. A special thank you to Emily Hobaugh for taking the time to share her experiences with us.
Emily is the HBA Houston chapter president and sits on the HBA Southwest Regional Council. We are so proud of Emily and her board’s leadership as being the fastest growing affiliate in HBA history. Last year the Houston Affiliate became a chapter and now touts over 150 members. Emily participated as a mentee in the HBA NY/NJ 2015 mentoring program. The following are her inspiring responses to my questions.
Pamela: Why did you consider attending an HBA mentoring program?
Emily: I was ready to advance my career and I needed guidance on what to do next and how to achieve “it”, whatever “it” was.
Pamela: What expectations did you have of the program?
Emily: I did not have any expectations but gathered the courage to step out of my comfort zone. I was excited and grateful that my manager also thought that it was a great idea and that the HBA Mentoring Program would significantly contribute to my development plan.
Pamela: Did you have any “Aha” moments? If so, what were they?
Emily: My “Aha” moment was experiencing the power of diversity firsthand in this small group setting. We had mentees from varying backgrounds, functional areas, lengths in their career and industry. The mentors were a female VP at BMS, R&D and a male VP in finance. What I valued the most was the advantage of having varying perspectives. It significantly increases your own awareness. Our backgrounds were so different that they helped me embrace these perspectives. I learned a lot and was able to take the skills that I developed back to my organization and advanced my career.
Pamela: Mentoring occurs in small groups of mentees with two mentors. What was your experience with this kind of format?
Emily: This format is great because you are on a team that works together collectively to help one another reach our goals. This format also significantly increases the confidence level for everyone in the group. We were able to recognize strengths in each other which we sometimes don’t embrace ourselves (being women). I greatly appreciated the insights and encouragement from the team. Everyone supported each other.
Pamela: What surprised you most about your experience with the program?
Emily: What surprised me the most was the relationships that were formed with my mentors and fellow mentees that are still strong today. We keep in touch and continue to support each other. It’s true, in HBA, you do create long-lasting relationships.
Pamela: How has the mentoring program impacted your career?
Emily: It helped me identify my next career step and set me on the path to achieving it. This ultimately led me to Houston, Texas to start a career in rare disease. I am so grateful for how the HBA has helped build my career. It was the stimulus of my passion to get the HBA in Houston so I could share this experience with others.
Thank you, Emily, for your insights and for sharing your experience.
So, do we have your interest piqued about participating in an HBA mentoring program? This program offers HBA members a venue to connect with fellow HBA members to set career goals, tackle workplace challenges and take real steps to make a difference in your lives, careers and the industry more broadly. Here is some more information you may find helpful. Learn more and register today.