From the Emirates: Women’s network kicks off mentorship program

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Issue 46 of The Gazelle, the student publication at NYU Abu Dhabi. It has been reprinted with permission as a part of an ongoing collaboration between The Gazelle and WSN to connect our two campuses.

On Oct. 18, Women’s Leadership Network, a Student Interest Group, hosted its launch event for the Women’s Mentorship Program, organized for the second consecutive year. The aim of the program is to connect women from NYU Abu Dhabi with women that excel in their fields who can provide educational and personal guidance to their mentees and share lessons they have learned. Another objective of the mentorship program is to create a platform for women working on female empowerment through education and mutual support.

The Women’s Mentorship Program was founded last year by Nicole Lopez Del Carril and was organised this year by sophomore Nicoleta Nichifor and senior Mandy Tan.

The event started with SIG leaders senior Olivia Bergen and Nichifor welcoming mentors and mentees followed by mentor and guest Maysa Jalbout speaking about her own experiences and her visions for the program. Over 70 people attended the event, out of a total of 90 who signed up for the program. The new mentors, who number 46, in total, come from diverse backgrounds and professions, ranging from medicine and engineering to marketing and the military.

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The newly inducted mentors are looking forward to explore the idea of mentorship with NYUAD students.

“I’ve always been on the other side, being mentored, and I haven’t mentored anyone, so I’ve decided to give back to somebody else,” said Gemma Leaming, one of the new mentors this year.

The mentors see this event as an opportunity, not only to teach, but also to learn.

“I think one of the great things about this opportunity is that we come from such diverse backgrounds and experiences, so even though I am mentoring I truly expect that I will learn something from my mentee as well,” said mentor Tangela Johnson.

“I didn’t have a mentor and I still don’t have a mentor. I don’t have a go-to person,” mentor Nuru Y. F. Bwanga said. “I feel like I could do something, help people out and help them adjust to living in Abu Dhabi.”

“I had a really relaxing talk and learned a lot from my assigned mentor as well as other amazing women there. Now I am really looking forward to the mentoring process and what it will bring me both personally and professionally,” sophomore Fisher Wu said.

They stress the importance of having someone to guide and help young women, who strive for success.

“It was fantastic because I was amazed that they matched me with a mentor who has so many of my own interests that I didn’t even put down on the application,” said freshman Louise Claire. “I felt such positivity and such unexpected encounters that make me really excited for what the year will bring.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 20 print edition. Email Merima Sabanovic at [email protected]

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