In the spirit of LinkedIn's #ThankYourMentor campaign
I'm pretty lucky, because I've had enough incredible mentors that I exceeded LinkedIn's character limit, and that the list continues to grow all the time. I learn something from virtually everyone I talk to, but a couple people in particular come to mind.
Shari Shaw - Thank you for giving me confidence from a young age. I remember distinctly when I was 6 and 7, when many kids dream of becoming a policeman or firefighter, I wanted to be a bus driver because I wanted to interact with kids, but didn't think I was smart enough to be a teacher. You changed that.
Scot Millhollen - Thank you for making your classroom a place of academic and emotional refuge. I can't count the number of times you've picked me up when I felt down.
Paul Woo - Thank you for expertly sculpting what others might call "creative energy" or some other euphemism but what we both know were my naivete and idealism into something that still guides how I make decisions about my life today.
Kevin Kimura - You're unapologetically crazy (and not at the expense of getting things done), and I respect that a lot.
Jerry Cain - Thanks for the conversation you had with me at the start of my college career. It gave me a sense of direction, and when I talked to you again for the first time two years later and you still remembered the conversation, it gave me a sense of assurance that the vision I was devoting myself to was worthwhile.
Peter Belmi - Thank you for your sarcastic, frank honesty. Your role in my first full-time job informs the kind of relationship I seek with the people I work with. We didn't end up working together for long, but you were looking out for me and introduced me to...
Lucia Guillory and Scott Judd - Thank you for opening my eyes to the fascinating world of HR. I haven't looked back since my internship with you guys, and in retrospect I am in awe at how lucky I am to have worked on a team with you as my first experience in industry.
Cynthia Hannah and Maria Cespedes - Thank you for going well above and beyond to make my internship an incredible experience, especially since you didn't anticipate having me at all and everything was sort of impromptu. I'm not kidding when I brag about how awesome my manager and mentor are to other interns.