The One Mentorship That Changed My Life

Mia Williams ’19
FoundHER of The Colors of Her Success

Casey Miller (left) and Mia Williams
Casey Miller (left) and Mia Williams

My freshman year I started working at the front desk of the Career Center. Then I became a career peer adviser (CPA), where I helped students with their resumes and cover letters. I wanted to expand my skill set and knowledge of the professional development world because if I wanted an internship or job [in the future], I would always have that skill set.

My dad was really big on me working at the Career Center, and I’m glad I decided to work there. I liked the people and the work we did. I got trained on resumes and cover letters, and I was interfacing with students on a day-to-day basis, which I really enjoyed.

Danielle Brower was my manager for my first year and a half. But Danielle left for another role, so I started working with Casey Miller.

Our relationships developed naturally, because we would have weekly meetings. We had the freedom to talk about whatever we wanted. Originally, we were supposed to talk about how many students came in for express hours and things like that. But eventually, it became a therapy session, and it was like, “Well, what’s going on in your life, and how’s school going and how are you doing with finals?”

One moment I remember specifically with Danielle was when I was trying to get my first internship. I got rejected, and when Danielle and I had our one-on-one, I broke down crying. She validated me and let me know that I was qualified for any internship and that I would leave that year with an internship, so I didn’t have to be worried. I ended up graduating having had five internships, with organizations like [sports marketing firm] Octagon, NASCAR and [the Baltimore branch of] the PR firm Weber Shandwick.

I have a business called The Colors of Her Success. I help young professionals by interviewing high-powered women of color on their career journeys, offering professional development services and posting social media content.

[The mentorship taught] me how to be a boss. I have hired a team for my business, and now [that] I am in a space to influence people I want to make anyone I interact with feels the way I felt when I was having those one-on-ones with Casey and Danielle.

From them, I learned how to manage from a people perspective, not from a “This is what I need from you” perspective. I also learned that mentorship is a two-way street. They are people I have kept in touch with. Even when Danielle left for another role, I still would see how she was doing. And I’ve reached out to Casey even though I’ve graduated.

My mentorship and the support I had in college are what helped me develop into the person I am today. Because Casey and Danielle saw something in me that I didn’t see back then. I really appreciated that. At that time, that’s what I needed.

I needed to be uplifted.