The Kenan Scholars had the opportunity to get top-notch advice from business veterans at the Feb. 22 Kenan Scholars Board of Mentors Panel. Participating mentors Brad Hendricks, Kate Sidebottom Simpson, Nicole Williams, Curtis Clark and Marty Sather shared insightful guidance on such topics as building business relationships, dealing with rejection and developing strong leadership skills.
Networking and relationships emerged as strong themes during the discussion. Panelists emphasized the importance of seeking out mentorship and advice from professionals in one’s chosen field. Several panelists described how the strong relationships they built during their careers were instrumental in helping them reach their goals. Marty Sather, co-founder and chief investment officer at Boundary Street Partners, shared how, when he was starting out in business, he attended as many meetings as possible, using them to learn as much as he could from his mentors.
Panelists also discussed how best to deal with rejection over job interviews, research proposals and other educational and career-related situations. They encouraged the scholars to be honest with themselves and to use rejection to learn, improve and prepare for the next opportunity.
Brad Hendricks, assistant professor of accounting at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, illustrated the point by relating how he used the feedback he received from a journal that rejected his submission to improve his work, which was then accepted by a different publication.
The panelists also discussed how to develop the leadership qualities they feel are essential for success, including being able to respond to adversity, maintaining and enhancing visibility and developing listening skills. Marty Sather observed that the strongest leaders during the financial crisis were those who were able to sustain their leadership skills in the face of adversity.
Other panelists agreed that strong leaders are genuinely engaged with the people they lead and put effort into actively listening to their team.
At the end of the session, the Kenan Scholars walked away with many valuable insights into leadership development that will serve them well in their future research projects, internships and careers.
Learn more about the Kenan Scholars Program.
Networking and relationships emerged as strong themes during the discussion. Panelists emphasized the importance of seeking out mentorship and advice from professionals in one’s chosen field.