Karry Murphy - Advisor, Recognition Initiatives for VIA Rail Canada, participated in our 2018 Wisdom Mentoring Program. Here's her story:
"This past year (2018) has been a highlight for me in my 25+ year career. The WXN [Mentoring] program provided me with many “first experiences” which assisted in my development over the past year.
I was excited when I received the name of my mentor which included her position and company name. My mentor is with Canada Post. My father worked for Canada Post for over 36 years, I remember thinking to myself – “this must be fate”. I wrote to my mentor to introduce myself and her reply made me feel welcomed and excited for what the next few months would hold for me.
I recall my first in class session with WXN. Walking into the conference room, not knowing anyone and starting make introductions with other mentees. Everyone was filled with excitement, opportunity and a bit of nervousness. By the end of the first day, we were talking like we’ve known each other for years. Sharing career, personal stories and experiences.
My first one on one session with my mentor brought a new kind of nervousness to me. Knowing that I would be meeting with a CFO of a corporation and the need to fill up 45-60 minutes. I prepared myself with several questions prior to the call. Topic of interest to me was career advancement vs. personal/family commitments. I asked “What type of moves did you make during your career that required you to physically move for a promotion? Subsequently, what was the impact on your family?” We discussed this topic at length. She gave me some advice that proved me well when I was faced with this type of decision recently. My mentor reflected on her company and her employees who may be in a similar situation; how she could make some changes to consider the needs of the millennial generation. Making it a win-win topic for both of us.
Throughout this year, I’ve learned the importance of relationship building. This skill was key while launching a key initiative for our company as I worked with several different departments who held crucial functions to the launch of the program. Based on what I learned from my mentor and the in-class sessions, I was able to build upon my negotiation, network building, presentation and communication skills (both verbal and written) at many levels in the organization and with suppliers outside our organization. I experienced a new appreciation working closely with an executive of a company on making the best use of their time and learning how to communicate with the senior level team.
In the WXN program, we explored career planning at length. I’m happy to say the timing could not have been better. I was offered a new role managing the program I had launched as well I was nominated and won one of our company’s annual Distinction awards which celebrates innovation, creativity and achieving success in project delivery. Career highlights for me to work extremely hard on program that I felt so passionate about, successfully launching and maintaining the momentum to inspire culture change.
Thank you WXN as mentoring gave me the courage to explore new territories and opportunities! 2018-2019 will be a year for the history books and looking forward to what this new chapter will bring my career."
The Wisdom Mentoring Program matches women with influential mentors, who can help them make their ambitions a reality. Join the community of over 1000 women who have already taken their careers to the next level through this unique development opportunity.
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Karry Murphy is Advisor, Recognition Initiatives, for VIA Rail Canada.