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News | March 15, 2022

Women's History Month - Celebrating Mentorships

By Elise Wells

"You steadily grow into becoming your best as you choose to be accountable and accept responsibility for improvement."   Steve Shallenberger, Entrepreneur, CEO, Corporate Trainer, Community Leader

Ms. Elise Wells, CPA and auditor at the San Fernando Valley Branch Office writes of her experience with her mentor, Ms.Chanea Jones, in our latest in the Women’s History Month series honoring women mentors.

My mentorship experience with Ms. Chanae Jones, Regional Special Programs Manager, pointed out the impact of personal accountability to my career. I understood the importance of a mentor while in school, but since I began working full time I did not understand the value of a mentor.

I was selected to participate in the Federal Executive Board (FEB) Leadership Associates Program which required a mentor. Chanae accepted my request, knowing that it required her time for at least a year. Every month, she faithfully met with me to talk about my goals or discuss ways to handle office problems. It was helpful to be able to converse with a woman who had the same experiences and could share advice on how to succeed.

One of the first things she pointed out was that I needed to finally pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam to earn my CPA to further my career. I had tried before, with no success. However, this time I made more of a commitment to study despite the little time I had left each day after working and being a mom. I did not want to continue to meet her each month and report no progress on passing my exams after she spent her time encouraging me. Her encouragement reinforced that I was accountable to myself to make the effort to pass the exam, which I did!

Even after the FEB program ended, I still ask for the occasional career or resume advice. It can be easy to let the busyness of life get me off track. Having a mentor forced me to make time to commit to setting and completing my career goals because someone else was holding me accountable. For these reasons, I appreciate and celebrate Chanae’s impact on my life as my mentor.