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By Rudabeh Shahbazi

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DAVIE (CBSMiami) — “Mentoring Monday” is a not so traditional start to mentoring relationships, but an efficient one, a type of “speed-dating” for mentors and mentees.

About 160 women get seven minutes to meet 38 accomplished, inspiring female executives in a multitude of fields, including real estate, insurance, public relations and education, who can provide them guidance and direction in their careers.

Rachel Sapoznik is one of those mentors.

“This has really been a core value of what I believe in,” said Sapoznik. “Because I was helped by a mentor, and it changed my life.”

Sapoznik says she started her insurance company out of her home, after she was fired from her job 30 years ago. Now, she has 70 employees.

“Some of the advice that I always give women, is have an open mind,” she said. “Be sure that your journey has not been all set up yet. Sometimes, someone will make an offer to you that you never thought you would be interested in, and if you have an open mind, that career could lead you on a path of finding your love.”

By the end of the day, the women who have come for guidance can meet with up to nine mentors whose advice and relationships can potentially shift the course of their lives.

“I want to connect with women, like-minded, better than me, who I can learn from, connect with, reach out to in the future,” said Nina Sinisterra, who hopes to advance herself by being brave enough to try new things. She says she looks up to Sapoznik.

“In the seven minutes that we had together, she gave me a great idea on how to connect with my target market,” said Sinisterra. “She explained how to do it. I admire her a lot.”

Sapoznik says people often want to help when asked, and that she gets as much from mentoring as she gives.

“I wish people would take a look at mentoring from that perspective,” she said. “That it’s not taking time from you, it’s adding to the quality of your life.”

Mentoring Monday took place in more than 40 cities nationwide, sponsored by the American City Business Journal and others.



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