Spotlight Archive - FWSIM Speed Mentoring

FWSIM Speed Mentoring – virtual program for college and high school students interested in STEM

As part of SIM National’s STEM Outreach week (November 2-6, 2020), members of FWSIM hosted a virtual 60-minute Speed Mentoring session for high school and college students. The event took place on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. As part of this session, students were placed in virtual rooms and were matched with a rotating group of FWSIM mentors to discuss career choices, college majors, job interviews, “day in the life”, etc.

Attendance consisted of over a dozen mentors and mentees, each. Students’ majors and fields of interest consisted of: Computer Science, Neuroscience, Biotechnology and Cyber-security. It was a very interactive session where students expressed interest in: 

  • How does one go about getting an internship?
  • How does one gain experience while attending college?
  • What should a student look for when selecting a college?
  • What challenges did the mentors face during their careers and how did they develop their careers to where they are today?
  • How does one gain practical experience along with theoretical?
  • How does one choose from the vast variety of specialties in technology?
  • What is it like to be a woman in STEM?

Per a post-session survey of the students in attendance, the mentees unanimously found the event useful.  Overall, the session was well received by both mentors and mentees!

“It was a great experience, and I would be happy to participate in a future event. I was very impressed with the students that attended and the questions they asked.  I had no idea what I wanted to pursue when I was their age...”

-Christine Whalley


Much thanks to the all the FWSIM members who volunteered their time to be a mentor: 

  • David Colville, ex VP and CIO, Nestle Waters North America
  • Mario diNatale, Head of Platform Security, ZeroNorth
  • Mary Donohue, Risk and Controls Program Manager, Credit Suisse
  • Matthew Krieger, VP, Technology, Cober, Inc.
  • Mark Mathias, Founder and President, Remarkable STEAM
  • Kamran Qamar, CTO, Digital Swiss Gold
  • Jeff Sandler, Sr. Engagement Manager, AXA XL
  • Nick Socci, Sr. Director, Project Operations, PMO, Freedom Mortgage
  • John Solder, VP Global Head of Sales/Solution Engineering, Cutover
  • Lucy Tancredi, SVP, Cognitive Computing, FactSet Research Systems
  • Montos Vakirtzis, Sr. Director, Commercial Systems, Neptune Retail Solutions
  • Christine Whalley, Director, Barnard College
  • Mike Ziltzer, Sr. Director, Enterprise Data, Bus. Intelligence & Analytics, Stryker


A very special thank you to Joan Tancredi for coordinating all of the logistics needed to make this session happen!


Lucy Tancredi, member of the FWSIM Executive Committee, facilitates the chapter’s Outreach programs that span, but are not limited to hack-a-thons, coding clubs, science workshops and fairs, panel discussions, mentoring sessions, etc. Such events empower children and teens and instill in them a passion for technology, demonstrating how technology can be used to solve real world problems, as well as being a lot of fun.


Participating in a STEM Outreach program is beneficial to all. Your participation will be a rewarding way to give back to the community while encouraging students to explore a career in technology and become tomorrow’s leaders.


If you are interested in learning more about FWSIM’s STEM Outreach programs, please contact Lucy at


Written by Montos Vakirtzis