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Dr. Rebecca Weintraub Joins Speaker Series, Presenting "Mentorship for Success"

Monday, September 17, 2018

by By Lauren Mullarkey-Williams, USC BS PPD 2019 - MS GIST 2020

METRANS, Pacific Southwest Region UTC, and USC Women in Management (WIM) kicked off their Fall 2018 Speakers Series Thursday, September 13 at the Doheny Memorial Library, USC, with an interactive workshop delivered by Dr. Rebecca Weintraub, USC Annenberg clinical professor and director of the Communication Management Master’s program. Dr. Weintraub is a recent recipient of the prestigious USC Provost’s Mentoring Award, a selective honor awarded to no more than two professors from across the university annually.

Throughout the presentation, Dr. Weintraub shared her thoughts on the value of mentoring and how we all can take advantage of the many opportunities to mentor and be mentored in both our personal and professional lives. “Mentoring is one of those things that’s in the eye of the beholder,” shared Dr. Weintraub, “I might think I’ve just had a career counseling session or a Q-and-A, and they walk out going, ‘I think I was just mentored.’ So the joy of this job is that I have gotten to interact with, teach, and support just hundreds of people.”

Lin Zhu, a 2nd year Transportation Engineering graduate student at USC, considers herself fortunate to have attended Dr. Weintraub’s workshop as she was able to take away valuable insight into developing a stronger relationship with her METRANS mentor, with whom she connects with on a monthly basis. Zhu described the importance of mentees listening, asking questions, and keeping in touch as some of the key points that stuck out to her throughout the speaker’s presentation. “We must be willing to listen even when we do not want to, and we must learn how to ask the right questions,” Zhu emphasized. “We cannot ask very general questions as our mentors may not know how to answer,” and this can lead to unclear expectations between what is expected from the relationship.

Mentorship is certainly a two-way street, and Zhu noted just how important it is to understand where a mentor or mentee may be coming from in regard to their perspectives on any given issue. “In some situations,” Zhu learned, “mentors [or mentees] may not be telling the whole truth – not because they mean to mislead you, but simply out of habit. When someone is involved in a specific sector or area of concentration, they may hold different opinions that are shaped by the work they do or the experiences they’ve endured.”

While mentorship can take many different shapes throughout one’s career, it is clear that the strong connections and relationships developed in both one's time at school and later in one's chosen professions are integral to one's future success. “I realize that one of the reasons I love this job is I get to feel like I’m really making a difference,” Dr. Weintraub said. Zhu, along with over one-dozen other students who attended the workshop, serve as testimony to Dr. Weintaub’s incredible knowledge and impact on all of the students (and mentees) she reaches.

 

About the Speaker:

Rebecca Weintraub has spent more than 20 years in the field of communication, facilitation, change management and organizational behavior. She teaches strategic communication classes in the Communication Management program and provides communication and facilitation consulting services to organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

 

About the Author:

Lauren Mullarkey-Williams is a fourth-year undergraduate and first-year graduate student interested in Transportation Planning and GIS at the University of Southern California. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of METRANS on the Move and can be reached at [email protected] or (412) 576-3737.