I spent all day on Tuesday at an ASU Career Connections event, a way for college students to learn about different professions from people working in the field. I initially volunteered for this several months ago, in the spirit of mentorship, but by the time it rolled around this week I admit I was far from thrilled. It’s been a crazy few weeks and being out of the office all day was a pain. Nevertheless, as I made the familiar drive to campus – the same campus where I spent four incredible years – I felt myself getting more excited.
I arrived feeling apprehensive – much like the freshmen that meandered into the event throughout the day – and quickly found my assigned seat. I noted that I’d be sharing my table with someone else, and that she was an editor, but didn’t think much of it. Little did I know I was about to make as valuable a connection as the students.
It turns out my tablemate was fantastic. We spent both sessions and lunch chatting like old friends, sharing family stories, professional anecdotes and college memories, while simultaneously delivering assorted insights to 18-year-old students. I can’t remember the last time I felt so comfortable with a total stranger, and I am honored to now call Mary a friend. I was so touched to receive a note in the mail from her today, and look forward to many more conversations.