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Career Day 2019: Mayfield alums, incredible in so many ways, offer powerful advice

More than 30 accomplished, smart, driven, empathic, creative and strategic-thinking Mayfield alumnae gathered on campus for Career Day 2019—and, yes, the superlatives are all true!
During a school-wide event on campus in late February, our alums imparted honest and invaluable career advice to their younger Mayfield sisters. These Mayfield women are lawyers, entrepreneurs, scientists, psychologists, marketers, engineers, entertainers, doctors, healthcare services leaders and more.

At one point during her introductions of the panelists, moderator Mary Michelena Monroe ’92 took a breath and said, “I’m reading these bios and these women are so incredible and have excelled in so many ways.”

Our panel of alums offered key tips.

Network, they said—especially with us. Mayfield alums want to help young women succeed, especially Mayfield students.

“It isn’t about getting a job or getting into college,” said Ms. Monroe. “It’s about making friendships, developing relationships that can help you in the future and knowing what you can help others with.”

Follow your passions and listen to those you trust.

“Listen to the guidance of those around you, which is very, very valuable...Listen to your teachers,” said Giana Korth ’06, Sr. Director of Client Strategy at Meltwater, and founder of Tampon Tribe, an organic feminine hygiene supply start-up. “It’s a combination of what you are passionate about and what you are really good at.”

She recalled a senior year conversation with her AP Calculus teacher, Melissa Tighe, who is our Math Department Chair and Director of Innovation.

“She told me I was very good at math and there’s a huge opportunity for women to get into business,” Ms. Korth said. “Long story short, I head off to Georgetown and go to their business school.”

Explore, they said. You never know where it will lead you.

“Healthcare has always been my passion,” said Tina Karamanoukian Shabanian ՚81, Regional Health Plan Officer for Southern California at Health Net of California. “I started off pre-med, biology. But in college I started to see other avenues and explore the various opportunities in healthcare.”

Be aggressive, yet kind. Don’t burn bridges. There is no substitute for hard work. Go above and beyond. Your reputation is your greatest asset. And never underestimate the power of a handwritten thank you note.

For three hours, caring words of wisdom flowed from our alums, who constitute a beloved Mayfield treasure of experience and knowledge they generously want to share with our students.

Many look back at the lessons of their Mayfield education and can mark a moment that sparked transformation.

“I have a particular memory of Cornelia Connelly Day,” said Vicki Chiang ‘96, explaining that she served at a domestic violence shelter for women and children called House of Ruth. “I remember being in a playroom for children. That was my very first tug. I thought then that social service is a place I want to be.”

These days Dr. Chiang is a psychologist and clinical director at the Institute for Girls’ Development. Her specialty is childhood and adolescence. The professional institute where she is now a leader shares a mission that she first experienced at Mayfield: “empowering girls for life,” she said.

Many thanks to the following alumnae who spoke on their career fields: 

Mayen Alcantara ’91, Senior Manager at Transportation Planning at LA Metro Art and Design
Megan Arial ’11, Musician
Alex Badie ’14, Sales and Marketing Supervisor at International Sanctuary & PURPOSE Jewelry
Marissa Osterkamp Bell ’03, Co-Founder and CEO at The Seventh Spark Co.
Erica Covarrubias Bilderbeck ’96, MFT
Sophie Brahos ’14, Executive Assistant to the CEO for Milani Cosmetics
Katie Brugman ’08, Graduate Student, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Ph.D. program at Caltech
Jennifer Campoy ’88, LCSW Psychotherapy with Teens, Young Adults and Families
Vicki Chiang ’96, Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Director of the Child and Adolescent Specialty Practice at the Institute for Girl’s Development
Alex Ciranna ’11, Scribe and Researcher at LaBioMed (an affiliate of UCLA/Harbor UCLA)
Katie Clancy ’11, Varsity Softball Coach at Mayfield Senior School
Hannah Courtney ’08, Staff Attorney at the Inner City Law Center
Kristin Dockery ’92, Freelance Television Production Manager
Angela Howell ’76, Director of Development at Mayfield Senior School
Anna Losorelli Hoyer ’07, Principal System Engineer at Northrop Grumman
Nicole Johnson ’14, Ecommerce and Digital Marketing Coordinator at ANINE BING
Julia Klein ’10, recent Duke University Law School Graduate
Giana Korth ’06, Sr. Director of Client Strategy at Meltwater and founder of Tampon Tribe
Katie Lapsys ’05 RN, Registered Nurse at Kaiser Permanente
Emily Monroe ’14, USC Law student
Lindsay Ladd ’14, Propulsion Engineer at Boeing
Peggy Eyler Legault ’74 MD, Pediatrician
Heather Underwood Lyall ’05, Senior Treasury Consultant at Wells Fargo
Jacqueline Katigbak Macabuhay ’82, Owner of Angels Watch Home Care
Mary Michelena Monroe ’82
Terry Mitchell ’77, Deputy District Attorney for the City of Los Angeles
Lauren Morales ’11, Occupational Therapist
Anna Rossi Palm ’04 MFT
Jessica Parada ’13, Creative Coordinator at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Victoria Russell ’13, Ocular Disease Evaluator at the Doheny Eye Institute
Tina Karamanoukian Shabanian '81, Regional Health Plan Officer for Southern California at Health Net of California
Liv Amend Steingart ’04, Owner of Liv Life Studios
Andrea Sweeney ’12, Theatre Director and teacher at Mayfield Senior School
Kyle Vande Beek Tabor ’11, Account Executive, Brand Content & Partnerships for the Ellen DeGeneres Show
Julia Wagner ’07, Software Engineer 4 at Bluebeam
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Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 21 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.