Mentor Spotlight: Loren Bornstein
Loren Bornstein, c’10 earned a bachelor’s degree from KU in sociology. Today, Bornstein works as a Customer Success Team Lead at Textio and a DEI consultant with the TransScribe.
Connect with Bornstein on KU Mentoring+.
What was a big turning point in your career journey?
A big turning point for me was realizing I work best and am happiest when working for companies who share the same values I do. And making sure I ask the right questions from the managers/people interviewing me to make sure I can, in fact, work well with them.
Who is a mentor for you, and how did they help you?
I have had and have many mentors. I define mentors as people who impart advice or wisdom–when asked for. I don’t think of mentors the same as sponsors–people who will actually advocate for you. Mentorship is kind, but action doesn’t always go along with it. I seek mentors who don’t just validate how I’m feeling, but offer up space as a sounding board so I can process, an advisor, and a networker. I can’t name just one, but a former teacher from KU still remains a solid mentor for me in a lot of ways. That’s going on 14 years now.
What advice do you have for current college students or young alumni?
Network. And by network, I mean get to know people and let them get to know you. You don’t have to go to every party, talk to every person, or be a social butterfly. Even if it’s a pizza party, some kind of game with friends, or a student group, there is value to be with and around other people. Learn to ask questions and sincerely hear the answers and be curious. Practice not just jumping in with a question or answer and waiting. It will you serve a lot to flex that muscle early. Especially if you desire to be in some kind of people leadership role. People know when you’re just trying to use them, so network with folks who share in the values you do, but also will hold you accountable and call out your crap. You want people of all ages and kinds. Assess your current network, and challenge yourself to spend time in places and with people you typically haven’t found yourself around as much. You learn better and more the more diverse your network, the people in your world. You’re only as good as your community.
Favorite KU memory?
I have SO MANY. I was an RA for almost all of my time at KU, so many are linked with the residence halls, including the long-gone McCollum Hall (RIP Big Mac). Perhaps one particular favorite was when my residents my first year as an RA ambushed me in an elevator with squirt guns as I was starting rounds going up from the bottom floor to the top floor (2nd floor lobby to 10th floor). I was unbelievably soaked and laying on the ground of the elevator while everyone was dying from laughter.
I later got back at them by chucking ice water in a bucket over the shower when they least suspected. The shenanigans never really stopped. That’s just one of many, but that one always sticks out. I loved my time at KU.