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Mother, Daughter Share Insights On Two Generations In IT

Gina Narcisi

At the Women of the Channel West Leadership Summit 2021, Aruba Networks’ Channel Chief Donna Grothjan and her daughter, Katie Grothjan, digital marketing manager for solution provider giant Ingram Micro, shared their experiences as women of two generations in IT.

Do you have a mentor or mentors?

Donna: This is going to sound like a canned answer, but honestly, it’s not. first of all, yes, I have many mentors from my current generation, and some that are older than me. For me personally, the way that I have built my network is I have a very trusted inner circle. I will call all of them my mentors, [or] my inner circle. And then of course, you have a broader network, and the reason for that is because anytime I have any issue, challenge, new responsibility, whatever that is, I have the ability to call somebody up and say, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” Or, “I feel like an idiot today,” or, “I was in this meeting and I answered this question and now I feel really stupid.” “Tell me what you think and give me your opinion.”

Katie: Obviously, my mom and the wonderful people that she’s introduced me to [are mentors], but my group of friends influences me every single day. They’re all so different. You would think that you need similar people to have the same thought processes as you to go into these deep conversations, but they’re actually very different and every time we go down the rabbit hole, it’s always a very healthy, productive conversation. They continue to inspire me every day.

 
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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