“In all you do, stay true to you!” Such profound and insightful words to pair with an evening of this caliber.

This past Thursday, December 9, Charleston Young Professionals gathered for Mentor “Rectangle”table to hear from seven of Charleston’s top business leaders. Entrepreneurship, non-profit, finance/accounting, higher education, property management, even fashion, this group of mentors span a variety of industries, possess a vast level of knowledge and experiences making them the perfect selection for this event.  

Based on attendee participation, engagement and shared laughs from all tables, mentors and mentees thoroughly enjoyed themselves. When looking towards the future of our career paths, there’s so much from this evening we’ll bring with us, making us more confident in the next chapter. On behalf of young professionals who attended, we extend a resounding thank you to the mentors for sharing their stories, insights and words of wisdom with the next generation of industry leaders.  


“Possessing the ability to say no is key,” says Bryan Derreberry, “understanding and valuing your skills and contributions to your organization is significant. ”Young professionals believe they have to do and say yes to everything they’re directed to do but that is not the case. Ask yourself “where you want to spend your evenings and holidays?” at the office, sending emails after hours or with your family and enjoying life. 

Like Mentor Roundtable and other CYP events, Professor Jocelyn Evans reminds young professionals of the importance of never leaving a networking event early for two reasons: 1. You never know who you are talking to, it could be your future boss or influential business leader and 2. Networking in diverse spaces fosters your personal sense of inclusion ensuring you’ll be able to converse with professionals from all backgrounds. 

“It’s not about what you do from 9am-5pm but what you do from 5pm-9pm.” This quote was shared from David Botzis’ former mentor and he still holds on to it 30 years later and believes it has helped to propel and shape his future.  

“I have been impressed and inspired by the young professionals who attended this event,” says Kenya Dunn. She encourages young professionals to “continue to be poised, prepared, professional and enthusiastic about learning all your field and the world has to offer.”  

Have you set long-term and short-term goals? If not, SET THEM! Jason Lee, urges young professionals to “truly acknowledge and assess your goals; once you’re ready to achieve them, set new ones.” Never stop reaching for the stars. The work doesn’t stop! 

As you excel in your career Jaymes McCloud says “make sure that in everything you do, whatever it is, it is YOUR decision.” It is imperative that you value your time and the decisions made are to your benefit. You lead your own future and no one else. 

Sean Lowery shared this infamous quote from his family member – “if not you…then WHO?!” He encourages young professionals to take the risk and to not be discouraged by others. You may think that credentials or letters behind other people’s name means they are more capable than you, but continue to trust in yourself and your abilities.  

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Charleston Young Professionals

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