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Student kickstarts career through program during senior year

Student picked for career networking program found not only a mentor but her future boss

January 10, 2022

 

Helen Umana '21 participated in GenHERation Connection through the Mount. There, she met the mentor from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.who would offer Umana a position following her graduation.
Helen Umana '21 participated in GenHERation Connection through the Mount. There, she met the mentor from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.who would offer Umana a position following her graduation.

As an institution committed to educate and develop the next generation of leaders, we understand the important value of developing strong networks and connecting with mentors. Former Student Government Association President Helen Umana ‘21 also learned the importance of networking and mentoring relationships during her time at the Mount.

Last year, Umana was invited to participate in the GenHERation Connection program — a network of more than 200 corporations that provides mentorship opportunities for young women. The University paid for several students to attend the mentorship program, which gives students the opportunity to meet with senior female executives at leading companies and learn about future career opportunities.

As part of the program, Umana had a mock interview with Melissa Cerny, area president of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a global insurance brokerage. In preparation for that first meeting, Kim Terrill, director of career and professional development at the Mount, helped Umana practice for her interview and work on her resume.

That first interview was the stepping stone that helped Umana maintain a relationship with the executive and, eventually, land a job at the firm as a client representative. “It was a privilege to see Helen’s growth as an individual and a leader during her time at the Mount," says Rosalyn Kempf, EdD, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and vice president of Women's Leadership. "I have no doubt that she brings the same passion, dedication and drive to her work that she did when she served as student government president.” 

“The University has been setting me up for success from the start,” says Umana, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management emphasis. “Opportunities like this program, the Mount’s Women’s Leadership Conference and the Leadership Scholar Program provide unique mentorship opportunities that widen the number of ways to succeed.”

Umana relishes being a client representative, learning the ropes of the company. “The ultimate idea is for me to use my experience to help build ways to improve work flows and training to make it easier for new people,” she says. “Melissa even just called me last week asking how I was doing, and she wants me to start some different projects. I feel her support just like I felt support at the Mount.”