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Turning Weakness in to Strengths, lessons from the March Formal Mentoring Event

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On March 27th, the formal mentoring program hosted its third group event at Jacobs in Boston. Dorri Raposa led a discussion on the topic of turning weaknesses into strengths. Dorri, who recently retired after working in the transportation industry for 40 years, has been involved with WTS since 1991, is a past President of WTS-Boston, and is Past Chair of the WTS Foundation.

Dorri used her personal career experiences from working at HDR to provide an example for the group about how to look at perceived “weaknesses” not as weaknesses, but rather as differences. In her case, her difference was being a non-engineer working at an engineering firm. She stressed the importance of asking lots of questions. At first, she asked questions to familiarize herself with engineering concepts and processes. Over time, Dorri’s questions became more advanced. Her ability to look at a plan through a “non-engineer” lens became a great asset to the company. She brought up important questions that helped create better products.

Throughout the discussion, Dorri encouraged the group to continue to ask questions unapologetically and act as sponges to learn from others. Participants noted that everyone has something to offer and the only real failure is the failure to learn. The discussion was interactive and ended with the mentees asking for advice about some specific career decisions. Both mentors and mentees shared their advice, which provided some useful group mentoring.

The topic for the April group mentoring event is Public Speaking and will be led by Joanne Linowes. Details about the April event will be included in a future newsletter.

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