When seasoned management consultant Valeria Alarcón first learned about MicroMentor through a friend, she jumped at the opportunity to support social entrepreneurs with her mentorship and expertise. With over 20 years of experience as an executive, Valeria provides innovative business solutions, coaches on high-level and organizational management, and provides comprehensive facilitation services in strategic planning with an intersectional and equity-based framework.
Valeria, who is also a wellness and integrative nutrition coach, takes a holistic approach towards mentorship. There is synergy between an individual and their profession, and Valeria hopes to support her mentees as people first. She believes in meeting people where they are and creating safe spaces filled with compassion, empathy, acceptance, and celebration. Valeria values bringing authenticity to the relationship and encouraging others to be their authentic selves because it opens the door to vulnerability and intimacy in sharing. Her mentorship mantra is simple—work together holistically and comprehensively, in a way that people, planet, and profit are all part of the equation.
In an effort to support as many entrepreneurs as possible, Valeria mentors as many people as she can. Sometimes she’ll even reach out to people on the platform if she thinks she can be of help. She usually meets with her mentees every 2–3 weeks via Zoom and is inspired by their commitment: “The folks I'm working with are engaged, they are keeping themselves accountable, and reaching out when they need help.”
When asked what she considers a successful mentorship outcome, Valeria shares that her responsibility to her mentees is to bring all the tools, all the resources, and all the knowledge and expertise to the table. After doing so, she measures the success of her mentorship in terms of how empowered they are, how inspired they feel, and how clear they are about the path they need to take going forward without feeling overwhelmed. “There are many success stories—big and small!” she quips.
Her advice to other mentors is simple: “You are making a difference with every connection you make and conversation you have, providing guidance and support to individuals who are burning with the desire and intention to show up and lead change.” Having said this, she also recognizes that mentors need support too, which is why it is important to remember that mentorship is a two-way street. Mentors are equally empowered by their mentees and share in their success. “When we work together, we win together."