June 2009 | By Jane Leung Larson
Each annual conference features a large session bringing together young professionals and students with Committee of 100 mentors. A mentor is a “loyal advisor,” a mentee a “faithful student,” said Wells Fargo Executive Vice President Iris Chan, corporate sponsor of the session. She joked about John Podesta, moderator of the previous panel on public service, warning that taking a job in the public sector can mean a 40% pay cut for those who quit a private sector job. “Today, if you stay in the private sector, especially in banking, you will probably get more than a 40% pay cut!”
|Iris Chan, Michelle Kwan, Nancy Yuan and Ben Wu at the C-100 Mentoring Event|
Choose a job you are passionate about but if you can’t have fun at it, you’ll burn out, said Chan. “We are living in a very uncertain environment, especially in this crisis,” so control what you can control and build a long-term, focused career.
Ben Wu, President of the U.S.-Asia Institute, co-chaired the mentoring session along with astronaut Leroy Chiao and Asia Foundation Vice President Nancy Yuan.
Sports figure and public diplomat Michelle Kwan gave a pep talk to the mentees. At 28, she just graduated from the University of Denver in international studies and political science, and in 2006 was appointed by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to be the first Public Diplomacy Envoy, traveling to China, Ukraine, Russia and Argentina to meet with young people. Kwan told how she made her way to the top, even though her dad told her at an early age that she wasn’t the most talented skater, but with hard work and determination she could be somebody. She also encouraged the mentees to get to know people of other countries because it was now a global workplace.
|Michelle Kwan with the Arts and Entertainment group|
Kwan said, “This is an incredible, diverse and talented group. You have the opportunity to learn directly from them today the keys to their success. You’ll learn that there is not one single path to reaching your goal. Everyone you speak with will have a different story as to how they achieved their success. . . . Today should be about exposing you to many different ideas and possibilities and be food for thought, so be open-minded.”
|H.K. Chang, retired President of City University of Hong Kong, with mentees in the Academic professions.||Charlie Sie, biotech investor, at the Science and Technology table.|