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Volunteer as a Mentor:

Please help us make the 2020/2021 Mentorship Program a success by volunteering to become a mentor. This year we aim to build upon the success of the first two years by enhancing the program and increasing the number of participants. We recently conducted a survey of last year's mentors and mentees and will incorporate that feedback into this year's program.

 Program Overview and Objective

Program Objective:  CFA Columbus Mentorship program connects CFA investment professionals with local college students from OSU, OU, Ohio Wesleyan, Franklin University and Dennison. The goal is for the mentors to assist university students who have an interest in pursuing a career in investment management. 

Mentor Objectives: Key mentor objectives are to provide career guidance, to introduce mentees to the CFA Program, explain the importance of the Charter, and encourage mentees to take the CFA exams, and to introduce mentees to other investment professionals.

 Interview with a Mentor

Mentor Kevin Ma's experience serving as a mentor for the past two years

  1. Kevin, could you please tell us what led you to volunteer as a mentor?  Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have a few mentors who have played important roles in my development.  I wanted to use this opportunity to give back.  In addition, I always enjoy reading books, biographies, and articles on successful investors who I admire over the years and I thought it would be great to share what I learned from those successful investors.   
  2. Could you tell us about your mentor experience?  My mentor experience has been both positive and rewarding in the last two years.  In working with my first mentee, Jared, I enjoyed getting to know Jared on a personal level and learned about his background, interests, and career goals. We discussed various strategies in terms of how working toward a CFA charter, getting involved in Research Challenge, and providing his own research reports in an interview can help differentiate him from other candidates.  The most gratifying event was when I found out that Jared got a great job offer from a top institutional manager near his hometown. 
  3. How often would you estimate that you met with your mentees?  We met a couples of times in person and also communicated with emails and texts. 
  4. Did you meet one-on-one, in a group, at Society lunches, at your workplace or other?  With both mentees, we met one-one-one, in a group, and at Society lunches. I set up coffees and lunches with my mentees so they can get to know and network with other CFA charterholders in the area.  This year, Kim Bingle got me and another mentor together for dinner along with our mentees.  During the dinner, the three mentors shared our experiences with our mentees and discussed questions they had.  I thought having a small group of mentors and mentees meeting for lunch or dinner is a great idea and I would recommend other mentors consider doing this in the future.   
  5. What guidance do you have for Society members who have never been a mentor but are considering volunteering this year?  I would recommend looking back at your career and think back to the mentors you had and how they have helped you in your careers.  Now you have the opportunity to play a similar role in someone else's career. 
  6. What was the most rewarding part of being a mentor?  The most rewarding part of being a mentor is when I feel like my mentees enjoy and benefit from the mentoring experience. It is most gratifying when you can celebrate any successes they have like getting an important interview or landing their dream jobs. 
  7. Could you please tell us what your role is at Nationwide InsuranceI work in the Leveraged Finance team at Nationwide.  As a team, we manage high yield fixed income assets (loans and bonds) for various Nationwide general accounts as well as some separate accounts, including Nationwide Pension. 

 Letter of Appreciation from a 2018/2019 Mentee

Dear Ken,

I just wanted to take a moment and commend your CFA Mentor program. I have had an AMAZING experience with my mentor, Faith Stevenson. Despite not being based full-time in Columbus, she always makes an effort to see me in person during her [already] busy schedule in town and always makes herself available to me by phone and email.

Faced with several job offers and potential career routes after completing my MBA, I was at a crossroads in deciding what my next step would be. Faith not only helped me traverse the complicated finance landscapes, weigh benefits, and helped me to think long-term sustainability, but she did so while keeping me as a person and as a woman in the field in mind. Just hearing about her illustrious career trajectory and becoming so successful in such a male-dominated industry was inspiring, but getting to spend time with her and hear her stories and gain her pieces of advice has been incredibly impactful. I am so grateful for the connection, and hope to one day return the favor as a mentor myself. Thank you for the opportunity and the wonderful programming.



 Mentorship Program Committee

Yiting Liu, CFA Chair

Brian Wright, CFA

Ken Chee, CFA

Kim Bingle, CFA

 Contact Info

For additional questions:

Please email and request that a Mentorship Committee member contact you directly via phone or email.