If I asked you to name mentors from your life, it probably would not take you long to come up with a list. For myself, the two that immediately come to mind are Al Murray and Paul Brailsford.
In my first swim meet as a freshman in high school, Mr. Murray put me in an event I had never done before and had failed to complete just days prior during practice. This began a streak of him providing me numerous opportunities to grow through his extreme generosity in our relationship, including him hiring me to work for two of his companies.
Paul Brailsford, of Brailsford & Dunlavey (no judging on the shameless name drop), was instrumental in helping me decide the type of college that best suited me. We had numerous discussions on the pool deck regarding the type of environment where I could unlock my potential—though at the time, I did not realize the depth of our conversations.
More recently, I took advantage of the opportunity to again engage in a mentor-mentee relationship. I participated as a mentee in the program two years ago and was very fortunate to be paired with Duane Morris from Montana State University. Generally, we spoke for 60-90 minutes monthly, with approximately 15 minutes of preparation time on the topic that I had pre-selected for the call. Duane was tremendous in providing advice and guidance for no other reason than wanting to give back to the IAVM community, which he said had been very generous to him over the years.
The Mentor Connector Program continues to grow each year from the continuing generosity and participation of our members. At this time, I personally challenge you to seriously consider signing up to participate. It’s merely 12-15 hours a year that could potentially establish a lifelong professional bond, friendship, and mentor-mentee relationship.