Being a Y&Y Mentor is a transformative experience, and I’m not talking only about the Y&Y Fellows who receive mentoring, but also about the mentors themselves. For Rachel Baker, the Y&Y Fellowship Program brought her so many new learnings that she is not the same person as when she first joined it. Rachel is a VP in the Chief of Staff Office for Global Consumer Bank Operations and Fraud Prevention at Citi. She is based in the United States and, through her job, she supports the strategy and operations of Citi Consumer Bank, the biggest portion of Citi’s portfolio. She analyzes metric trends, performs global diversity and inclusion initiatives, organizes public relations strategies and, as a plus, gets to work with people all over the world. Her role entails solving problems and communicating solutions well – both internally and externally. To do so, Rachel has a wide range of skills. One of her biggest passions is to learn new things and apply them. In thirteen years working at Citi, this passion contributed to moving her across departments and regions.
At the Y&Y Fellowship Program, Rachel mentored Arthur Lima, founder of AfroSaúde. AfroSaúde is a platform that connects patients to black health professionals to promote health and combat racism and social inequality in the labor market in Brazil. During the mentoring session, she helped Arthur to refine his business/revenue model, define short and long term goals, prepare presentations for partners and for the final Y&Y pitch competition. Rachel also noticed that many of the social issues impacting her context in the USA also impact Arthur’s work in Brazil. During the program, anti-racism protests took place across both countries, which, for Rachel, highlighted the importance of Arthur’s work even more. She learned from him to be more considerate to people in her community who are directly affected by those issues, and decided to speak up more. His resiliency, passion and adaptability also impressed Rachel. During the pandemic, Arthur and his team were quick to shift gears and adapt to their community’s most pressing needs. Rachel was amazing at that. For her, Arthur’s passion is “as big as his smile”!
Her learning did not stop there. Before the program, Rachel knew little about social entrepreneurship and its value. With this experience, she came to the realization that “a business’ bottom line doesn’t have to revolve around monetary value; it can be based on impact”.
To advance her learning journey even more, Rachel decided to continue engaged with her community’s needs and find creative ways to give back. Whether by donating to nonprofits when shopping online, or offering her skills to them, she is certain that she can keep using her resources to make a difference.
To other corporate professionals who are thinking about becoming mentors, Rachel would say: “do it!”. She would also assure them that the combination of their passion and expertise surely will bring much value to a Y&Y Fellow, and that this will impact their own work positively as well. In her experience, the change was noticeable: “you will get out of it as much as you put into it!”.
To learn more about Y&Y Fellows, click here.