Mentor Profile: A PwC Volunteer Heads to the Bronx

Tamir Zinger understands the importance of mentorship. While in college, his mentor helped him make professional connections. He joined a fraternity and had the support of his brothers, many of whom were older than him. And when he started work at PwC in New York City, he relied on his colleagues to help him navigate the tough traveling schedule that consultants experience. So, when he saw an advertisement for iMentor at PwC, it quickly grabbed his attention.

“The more I learned about iMentor, the more I realized how perfect it is for working professionals like me,” said Tamir. “I’ve always been involved in community service, and I knew I enjoyed mentoring and working with high school students. I wanted to give back and be a mentor for someone, like all the mentors I’ve had in my life.”

After he applied and got matched, Tamir didn’t know what to expect from his mentee Alexander, a student at the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx. He still remembers what it was like during the early stages of their relationship—it was slightly awkward at first, but he realized that he was placing a lot of pressure on himself. Gradually, the pair chatted more through iMentor’s online platform and talked more during their monthly meetings. They slowly started connecting over sports, community service, and then the most random of things, like the fact that both their moms had Yorkies. Alexander took a particular interest in Tamir’s travels.

“I showed Alexander pictures of when I lived in Singapore, and I could tell it really sparked his interest in business, finance, and traveling,” said Tamir. "He started asking more and more about my career so I’m glad we connected on that. I realized how much he just wanted a mentor.”

Since then, Tamir and Alexander have gotten quite close. Tamir learned that his mentee’s family immigrated to the United States and that he is huge on baseball. He also discovered some of his mentee’s challenges, and the two have worked hard to overcome them. Together, they worked on developing better study habits and Alexander was able to bump up his GPA as a result. Tamir says he has always stressed interpersonal skills with his mentee.

“One thing I’ve always told Alexander is to be present. Be fully present in everything that you do, because that’s how you show others that you care. Try to raise your hand in class more and sit closer to the front,” said Tamir. “His teachers are now noticing his participation, and that’s been awesome to hear about.”

[Read another mentor profile: Sean's Mentoring Story]

In their second year, Tamir and Alexander are now navigating the college application process, which includes making school visits, taking standardized tests, and filling out forms. Tamir has worked with his mentee on breaking down large tasks piece by piece, but he has also realized that he doesn’t always know the answers.

“Alexander asked me about CUNY and SUNY schools, but since I didn’t grow up in New York I wasn’t really sure how to advise him. I learned to feel comfortable going back and doing the necessary research,” said Tamir. “This experience has also taught me how to stay motivated, and more importantly, keep others motivated. These insights have been incredibly helpful not only for our relationship, but also in my consulting career.

Both mentor and mentee eagerly await the college acceptances, and as Tamir reflects on his relationship with Alexander, he is grateful to his workplace for supporting his mentoring. Tamir is happy that his volunteering doesn’t go unnoticed, and now even recruits his other colleagues for mentorship with iMentor.

“Volunteering and giving back are a big part of PwC, and it’s huge for me to have my company’s support in my relationship with Alexander,” said Tamir. “It feels great to know that I’m making a positive impact on my community and I hope to encourage more of my colleagues to experience this.”