Monthly Archives: July 2014

DHL@SHA Alums: Be a Mentor!

When I attended Developing History Leaders at SHA (DHL@SHA) in 2010, I discovered a great resource in Ben Simons, a colleague and an DHL@SHA graduate (Class of 2008). A couple of times in the weeks leading up to my departure, he shared a few words of advice and encouraged me to really think about what I wanted to get out of the experience. As a result, I considered it more than I would have without his suggestion. As I scrambled to wrap up my projects and tasks at the office, prior to my departure for DHL@SHA, Ben put my mind at greater ease.  I asked him about his experience. I asked him about Indianapolis. I asked him about the sessions and his fellow participants. I appreciated his openness and willingness to entertain my questions. He also assured me, when I began putting my introductory presentation together (at the last minute), that this was the case with the majority of the other participants. And when I arrived in Indianapolis, Ben sent me a few e-mails containing helpful reminders, words of encouragement, and advice related to DHL@SHA. These brief communications of just a few words enhanced my experience in ways I continue to be grateful for. Ben was my informal mentor.

DHL@SHA instituted a mentor program in 2011, where participants get matched with an alumni mentor. If you are in incoming DHL@SHA candidate for the class of 2014, I encourage you to utilize the mentor option. If you are an alum, please consider being a mentor. It’s easy, all you have to do is sign up anytime between now and the beginning of August.

In 2012, I signed up to be a mentor, and had the pleasure of working with Jessica Dorman and Emily Dunnack (both class of 2012). Jessica, Emily, and I hit it off from the beginning. I had separate conversations with each of them by phone a few weeks before DHL@SHA and shared a few e-mail messages with each of these lovely ladies while they were in Indianapolis. After the three of us began having regular phone conference calls to first talk about the value of their experience and now we utilize this opportunity to share, explore, learn new things, and stay connected. I’ve never met Jessica or Emily in person, but feel incredibly connected to them professionally and personally. One never knows what will develop, but one does know that with DHL@SHA it is a valuable learning opportunity to be involved with!

To sign up to be an SHA mentor for a member of the 2014 class, please e-mail Kim McCray at

Kim McCray (SHA ’10), Shelburne Museum

%d bloggers like this: