By Wai Shong Chan, USC Price MPA 2016
The WTS Orange County Chapter initiated its 2017-2018 Mentoring Program on July 28, 2017. Hosted by Nossaman LLP in Irvine, the event brought the mentor and mentees pairs together for the first time, giving them an opportunity to meet and to learn about their interests and professional/career goals.
This year, WTS Orange County had a record-breaking 39 mentor/mentee pairs. Juliet Su, Corridor Manager at Transportation Corridor Agencies, Chair of the WTS-OC Mentoring Program Committee, and a current mentor herself, explained that the WTS Orange County Chapter promoted the program for three weeks and then spent approximately four weeks selecting and pairing the applicants. Su noted that it is very rewarding to see how experts in the transportation industry are willing and eager to give back and to provide professional guidance.
The Chapter strategically plans exciting events and workshops throughout the year to give mentors and mentees to the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships. Su appreciates that WTS-OC Chapter and the Mentor Program Committee continuously assess outcomes and feedback from previous years to ensure that current and prospect applicants successfully benefit from the advantages of the program.
Anh Case, Construction Manager at Jacobs and current member of WTS-OC Mentoring Committee, was pleased that the kick-off event was so well attended, and that the Chapter is dedicated to developing and sharing guidelines that applicants are expected to follow in order to gain greater value the program. She is certain that this year’s mentoring program will foster both relationships and growth of mentees in the Transportation Industry.
METRANS Associate Director, Victoria Deguzman, is returning again this year as a mentor, and was thrilled to meet her new mentee, Jessica Lopez, Community Relations Specialist at OCTA. “The WTS-OC mentor program is so well run, and I could not be happier to meet my mentee,” she said. “I am grateful to the hard work of all who make this program possible, and look forward to an exciting journey with Ms. Lopez. We have already set several goals together, and it will be wonderful to see what the future brings for her!”
My mentor is Kristin Slocum, Director of Operations and Communications at Mobility 21. She shared with me that she decided to become a mentor this year to give back to the industry. Slocum recalled that she had numerous mentors throughout her career that have contributed to and shaped her success in the industry. Now, she is ready to share the knowledge she has gained.
As a current mentee, I am extremely happy to be paired with Ms. Slocum. I am confident that my mentor can teach me the communication and policy aspects of transportation issues/challenges that evolve in the Southern California Region. I believe that our mentoring match is a huge success which resulted in a great partnership; we communicate on a regular basis.
About the Author: Wai Shong Chan
Wai Shong Chan is a Metrolink’s Special Services Employee in the Office of the Chief of External Affairs. Wai holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from USC, where she received the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation Award for Outstanding Performance in 2016. She has keen interests in transportation projects, economic development projects, urban planning, and intersectoral collaboration. She is the interim Hospitality Chair for WTS-OC and active volunteer for METRANS, WTS, and FuturePorts. She also has public sector experience as an Intern with the Public Works departments of the cities of Anaheim and Santa Ana, and as Public Policy Research Analyst with University of Alaska Anchorage and USC. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and minor in Economics from CSU Fullerton, graduating cum laude with distinction. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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