Story by Cindy Kane and Kamila Khasanova

Mentoring – Women supporting our next generation. Supporting young women to grow and lead takes a team. A University of South Florida (USF) team.

It is not often that a single phone call results in a job offer the day before graduation. Yet, that is exactly how Kamila Khasanova USF MBA ’20 landed her position as an account executive at Playbook Public Relations. And it is all thanks to her mentor, Cindy Kane and a connection with Sally Dee, both USF Alumni.

Cindy and Kamila began their mentor-mentee relationship through the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy (WLP) in November 2019. Every month they meet to discuss topics such as career paths, personal growth, and employment. Just before graduation, Cindy recommended Kamila to call Playbook Public Relations’ founder, Sally Dee.

Kamila: “Everybody would think that getting a job was an act of kindness that Cindy did for me by putting me in contact with Sally, however, Cindy showed her sincere interest and engagement in my professional and personal life from the first day we met. I have had multiple mentors prior to Cindy but I could not truly understand the meaning of mentorship before I started working with Cindy. She is a born leader who gives her heart in everything she does,” said Kamila. “The biggest act of kindness that I received from Cindy was dedicating her time to have deep and valuable conversations with me that helped me to secure a career I have today”.

Cindy: “Thanks to WLP for connecting me and Kamila. The timing, our personalities and drive to work together was perfect. I reached out to Sally, to see if Kamila’s skills were a fit for her business. Sally and I both have a passion for USF and helping young women succeed. My hope is we stay connected for years to come and Kamila is able to mentor a young woman in the future. We are a team and will continue to help each other. I encourage everyone to step up and find an opportunity to connect with a young person to be a mentor.”