My favorite story to tell is how I got my career mentor. I was a nerdy nobody teenager in Shreveport, Louisiana, who dreamed of becoming a magazine editor. Atoosa Rubenstein had my dream job, and her editor’s letters made me feel seen.

After a missed opportunity meeting her at the Miss Teen USA pageant, I wrote a column for my local paper (shout-out to The Shreveport Times!) about how much she meant to me. I sent it to her in the mail thinking I’d never hear back, but then a handwritten note from her appeared in my mail box, and in it, she asked if she could be my mentor. I cried.

After years of writing emails back and forth, she invited me to intern with her at CosmoGIRL! and later Seventeen. I don’t think I would be where I was today without her support and guidance through the years. Her words and her friendship have built me up through the years. Mentors matter.

I tell this story to every college student asking for career advice, not just because it’s the best story but because I want everyone to know it’s okay to reach out to people you admire.

I recently wrote about this for and chatted with career expert Ashley Stahl about it for the piece.

You can read it HERE! I hope this inspires you to reach out to someone you admire. You never know — they just might change your life!