Leadership Pipeline Spotlight — Chelsea Springer and Janet Riis
For the next installment of the Leadership Pipeline spotlight, I interviewed Chelsea Springer (mentee) and Janet Riis (mentor) of the 2012-13 alumni class. Chelsea currently works at the University of Utah and Janet is the Director at Carroll College in Montana.
What made you choose to participate as a mentee/mentor in Leadership Pipeline?
Janet: I’ve had so many great mentors over the years who have supported me and helped lift me up when I needed it. I wanted to try to do the same for someone new in the profession. I also believe it is a mentor to mentor pipeline because I feel like I get so much out of the experience. Your mentee helps you to grow and reminds you of so many things you may have forgotten along the way.
Chelsea: I was encouraged by my boss Amy Capps to apply. I had never been involved in anything outside of the office. I am grateful that she encouraged me to do this. It has opened up more opportunities, created friendships, and valuable connections.
What was your favorite experience in the program?
Janet: Meeting Chelsea was the best part! She was pregnant at the time so during the year I was able to see pictures of the baby and check in with how she was doing. She has a beautiful family!
As far as the program layout, I loved that it followed the leadership book. The chapters outline a perfect flow for conversation and it ran very smoothly. Discussion was led by a mentee each month and mentors were asked to “be quiet” and let the mentees discuss the topics. It was great hearing all the insight and questions everyone came up with.
Chelsea: My favorite part of the program was the mentor that I was paired with. I really felt like I won the jackpot. The program did a fabulous job at pairing us together based on our personality traits. The benefits of being a part of the Leadership Pipeline Program does not stop when the year is over. Our mentor/mentee relationship did not end with the program. This program helped me move into other positions in our regional and local associations. I would encourage anyone that is looking to get involved to apply to this program. It is a great stepping stone.
What is one thing you learned that you now use in your job or personal life today?
Janet: I’ve learned that every day is a learning experience- you are never done. One of my favorite presentations at the kick-off was Justin Draeger’s efficiency with technology. I now have a zero inbox policy!
Chelsea: I learned the value of being involved. Being a part of programs like the Leadership Pipeline gives you a stronger purpose in your day to day tasks. There is nothing better than having connections outside of your own institution to run ideas or problems by.
What is one piece of advice you’d give those considering participating in the program?
Janet: Just say yes! And if you are a supervisor- encourage your staff to participate. Sometimes, it’s just a little push or encouragement that someone needs to get involved.
Chelsea: To apply. It is worth it. Everyone comes out with their own experiences but no one I know that has completed the program has said it was not worth it. Apply and take full advantage of everything the program offers you.
–Eleanor Roberts, Association News Committee Member, Utah