The New York Times

Why Mentoring Matters, and How to Get Started

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

My first desk had an inert hand grenade in one corner and a notebook in another.

As a public relations assistant to Kathy Hochul, the Erie County clerk at the time, my job was to make the office (and by extension, Ms. Hochul) look good. The grenade reminded me that it took decisive confidence to do that well. And the notebook contained advice on how to develop that, much of which I’m still learning.

When Ms. Hochul gave me my first real job, she also taught me how to function in an office. She coached me on how to make myself heard in a roomful of . As I leaned over her shoulder, she edited the materials I wrote for her, honing and sharpening my voice. And when I left her congressional campaign before

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