Going for It: Woman Warrior

Role models help us succeed

Over the weekend Fred Wilson wrote a blog post about role models, girls basketball and the positive impact they can have on up and coming entrepreneurs. He says: "Role models are so important. When my girls were young, they had high school players who were their assistant coaches to look up to. They had women head coaches who had played college ball...They wanted to be them, they listened to them, copied them, and got a lot better as a result..."

I absolutely agree with him. Role models help us become our best by giving us real-life examples of who we want to be and how to be exemplary once we are there. In some cases, when we are lucky enough to know our role models personally they may take on a mentoring role and even help guide us in getting there. Either way, just having someone to look up to can be pivotal.

When I was a gymnast, my role model was a balance beam specialist.  Guess what my favorite event was throughout my entire gymnastic career? Balance beam.

When I began studying finance I kept my eyes peeled for role models and found one in Professor Kimberly Rodgers.  An expert in financial distress, corporate bankruptcy and credit ratings, she spoke with a passion and enthusiasm for finance that was absolutely contagious.  I was speechless the day she asked me to be her teaching assistant during my last semester of business school and of course accepted the position, taking full advantage of the opportunity to work closely with someone I respect so much.   

In addition to having role models, I believe it is also important to be one and I always embrace opportunities to help guide and mentor other young women. Not only do I get a lot of pleasure from it, but I believe I owe it to my own role models to pay it forward.

Alexis Rodich

 |  January 26, 2010; 7:27 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Thanks!! Of course, Dave Kieffer was an extremely important mentor of mine, and someone for whom I have tremendous admiration and respect. He took quite a bet on me when many others wouldn't, was patient with me during a tumultuous time period (right after Robin and I broke up), and was generous with his insight and wisdom. I will always feel tremendous gratitude to him for the role he played as a mentor to me.

I probably could have done a better job explaining in this post the difference between a mentor and a role model from my perspective. My role models tend to be people that in some aspects I see myself becoming, and they tend to be women. They are not always people I know first hand, or people who are willing to mentor me, but they are people who I wish to emulate in part.

Posted by: Alexis Rodich | January 28, 2010 2:57 AM
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Lex, don't forget to give a shout out to David Kieffer, your mentor when you worked for the union. He'll be happy to hear it!

Posted by: tartytotheparty | January 27, 2010 4:25 PM
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