Women of Cincy: The Origin Story

Sometimes the best things happen by accident.

Around 6 a.m. on January 20, 2017, I woke up feeling unsettled. A divisive election had come and gone, but it felt like an unprecedented cloud of negativity was only just starting to gather. Even friends and families who would usually put their differences aside were attacking one another. What ever happened to simply seeing one another as people?

The Guinea Pig Intern

Reflecting on this past fall semester of my senior year, I had the privilege to work alongside a similarly passionate and outgoing group of "lady bosses" at Women of Cincy. We joked throughout calling me the "guinea pig," being the first ever intern they've had, as I got to test out the various tasks and story ideas.

Portraits of Mentorship: Mandy Shoemaker & Alesha Hamilton on Giving Life a Shot

With only one semester of her undergraduate education to go before heading to law school, Alesha has been lucky to find not only role models, but also important friendships among advisors and other students. Mandy, her University of Cincinnati Honors Program advisor, finds inspiration among Alesha and other students who push themselves outside of their comfort zones. The two have grown together over the past few years and helped each other in ways they wouldn’t have imagined, expanding the typical roles of the mentor-mentee relationship.

Portraits of Mentorship: Dr. Jane Sojka & Hannah Fereshtehkhou on Confidence in Selling Yourself

After a long Tuesday proctoring a final marketing exam for the semester, Dr. Sojka and Hannah met with me in Dr. Sojka’s office. Their motto is that “everybody sells something,” especially themselves and it is important to build the confidence to do so. Despite the quiet halls of the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, they remained lively in their conversations – although that could have been the sugar from the cookies Dr. Sojka offered us.

Portraits of Mentorship: Dr. Karen Bankston & Sara Burke on Nurses' Impact

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Dr. Karen Bankston and Sara Burke of the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing squeezed me into their busy schedules. The enthusiasm they carried about their impressive careers and hope for the future was felt throughout the room. “It’s not your mother’s nursing school,” Dr. Bankston says as she reflects on the differences of nursing education through the years. While some aspects have stayed the same, both of these women find their passion in driving change beyond hospital walls.

Portraits of Mentorship

Many of us are lucky enough to name 10 to 15 role models that have shaped who we are today. Our educational years mold us greatly in our future professions. Those in the beginning stages of their careers need attention and interest from those around to help them in shaping their goals and reaching their full potential. Through this series, I was able to focus on students pursuing different goals, personally and professionally, to discover what makes the role of mentorship in their lives so special.