The Ripple Effect of Mentorship
By: Latino Leaders Staff
Throughout our careers, we regularly meet people who have the opportunity to leave a print in our lives. For Cimi Thomas, IT Lead for Client Services Systems at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, one such person is Rodolfo Dominguez, VP of Business Transformation and Chief Digital Officer at the same company. Dominguez, named as one of the HITEC 100 for 2017 and 2018, has long encouraged younger professionals to be curious and seek mentors, coaches and other self-improvement mechanisms.
Thomas is originally from India and has forged a livelihood based on her love for designing and creating things. Her passion is art, but her parents convinced her to reach for a more financially secure profession. She decided to combine art with technology which still allows her to be creative and bring things to life.
During her time in India, Thomas taught computer science, math and digital electronics. When she arrived to the U.S., she knew it was a perfect time change gears in her career. She soon found herself working at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
Ten years later, Thomas is now an IT Lead who attributes much of her recent success and growth to Dominguez’s mentorship. “He has taught me how to be my genuine self. He has taught me how I can be a great leader just by being authentic and, in doing so, he has helped me tap into my own potential.”
Dominguez, as Thomas described, is someone inspiring and admirable with a radiant and energetic personality. In a word, he is approachable. It’s because of his personality that Thomas felt comfortable in asking him for a meeting and that meeting turned into a regular series of coaching sessions. “A mentor can support you with the right wisdom and can help you advance in your career by coaching you. He can prepare you for that next step that you want to take. Having a mentor provides you with that safe environment where you can openly ask questions and learn to grow yourself.” says Thomas.
During the six months that Thomas has been mentored by Dominguez, she feels she has grown incredibly. To her, Dominguez has helped her stay focused on her goals and to realize the great potential she has. “He leads by example,” claims Thomas. “If you are aspiring to be a good leader, it is crucial to have a good mentor, the right mentor.” Thomas has changed the way she looks at herself now. She is now confident and is able to set realistic goals.
Part of mentoring also involves preparing them to lead others in this industry. It is no secret; the STEM industry is underrepresented. And with innovation becoming a daily practice,Thomas expressed how important it is maintaining an active flow of diverse talent in the workforce, especially in STEM.
“I believe this is very crucial for today’s world because everything is changing. Everything is changing fast. Technology is changing. Even the way we innovate is changing. We need to double up in this area and mentor more leaders for our future.” shared Thomas. To her, this is a responsibility. This is a way of giving back. This is the ripple effect of mentorship. You get, you grow and you give.