Throughout the month of March, NYPA will be featuring online profiles of professional women working at different locations and in different capacities throughout the Authority in honor of Women’s History Month. We provided a series of questions on career development, and each profile features personal insights on how each of these professionals reached their goals, both long term and day to day.
Karina works in NYPA’s White Plains Office as the Director of Total Compensation and Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS).
When you mentor people, what do you try to accomplish? What is the most important part of being a mentor?
In mentoring others, the accomplishment is not what I want but what the other person wants. Mentoring is being there for the other person. To advocate for them, to provide different perspectives they may not have had opportunity to explore, to make connections.
Mentoring provides an opportunity for someone to explore ideas and test discussions before taking them out in the ‘real’ world.
The most important part of being a mentor is listening to what the other person is looking for and making connections for them. I might not be the right person to help them, but I may know someone who has experience with what they are looking to learn.
What advice do you have for maintaining a work/life balance?
As a working mom, it’s all about teamwork, communication, calendars and flexibility with my family, friends and my work. Just because I do something one week or month, doesn’t mean my husband won’t take that responsibility next time around. I try to be as available as I can be for work, and balance out times I need to be at the school play or Girl Scout meeting. But that may mean some late nights or bringing work home other times.
What do you enjoy most about working at NYPA?
The people I work with here are great and know they are doing something important. They take pride in their work and want to share it with others. In my roles here the last five years I really enjoy the ability to see across all the business segments, how they interact and the role they play in the larger strategy.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to talk to people; I had been terribly shy. You miss out on so many connections by not finding out about others but, don’t lose the ability to sit back and observe interactions as well, a skill I honed in my silence.
What are, from your perspective, the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles?
Finding your voice and staying true to yourself. Interpretation of styles/personalities/emotions can derail communications and get the message lost. Be aware of others styles as well as your own.