The Lasting Power of Mentorship
By Richard Young, Associate, Citi Investment Banking, New York City July 22, 2015 12:15 PM
I am especially privileged to serve as a mentor because of the impact my own mentor has had on my life. Nearly 21 years after we were first introduced, we are still in touch, and have developed a lasting relationship. I credit much of the success I have found in my career to the relationship I have with my mentor, as well as the Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Career Prep Program, which I graduated from in 2007.
MLT is a nonprofit organization that works to equip underrepresented minorities with the tools and skills they need to compete and succeed at the highest levels of the corporate, nonprofit and entrepreneurial sectors. It was through my involvement with MLT’s Career Prep Program that I gained an understanding of the financial services industry, which eventually led to me joining Citi’s Corporate and Investment Banking Division in 2008. MLT has transformed the lives of more than 4,000 Rising Leaders - and both Jeron and I are proud to be among that group.
After beginning my career at Citi, I knew that I wanted to give back to students who may have a similar story. When I first met Jeron, I saw a lot of myself in him. Like Jeron, I too was driven and hungry, but I needed someone to provide me guidance on how best to present myself, and how to convey my strengths in a job interview.
This May, Jeron became the first person in his family to graduate from college. Since then, he has joined Citi as an Investment Banking Analyst. While this is what I hope will be just one among a career full of successes for Jeron, it is also great for Citi in that we are adding a highly talented and energetic individual to our team. I was honored to be there to support him along the way and look forward to supporting him as he begins his full time career.
The Citi Foundation has long been a supporter of MLT, and through the work of the organization, it seeks to combine philanthropic efforts with employee engagement opportunities. I understand first hand, through my own experiences and my experiences working with Jeron, what a critical difference mentoring support can make in the lives of youth. I look forward to continuing to mentor both informally and through the MLT Ascend program a new college success and career readiness program in partnership with Pathways to Progress, the Citi Foundation’s initiative focused on youth empowerment and career development.
Richard Young (right) and his mentee Jeron Davis (left) present at the National Opportunity Summit on how mentorship has the power to change the course of a young person’s life. (Photo Credit: Opportunity Nation)