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April 2024
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Mia Cao, DTM

By Mary Nesfield

Mia Cao (right), and Rocky Shen

Mia Cao, a member of two clubs in Shanghai, China, was unsure of her qualifications for mentoring although she had been in Toastmasters for 18 months. But, in 2014, thanks to Rocky Shen’s perseverance, Mia agreed to take on that role. Rocky, now area director, is currently a member of three clubs, and is not the only one who has benefited from Mia’s mentoring. Mia has learned much as well—she not only polished her own skills, but also drew inspiration from Rocky. Today Mia is confident about mentoring—it’s a lifelong journey for her, and for her mentees.

What was your first impression of Mia?

I met Mia before I joined Toastmasters and was inspired by her clear thoughts and ideas as she delivered an evaluation to a speaker at a different English-speaking organization I had visited. We chatted, and as I learned more about Toastmasters and its mentoring program, I asked her to mentor me.

How has Mia helped you?

When I joined Toastmasters, Mia belonged to an advanced club, yet she reviewed each one of my speeches at least twice, and guided me in my leadership roles.

What has her mentoring helped you to accomplish?

Mia has accompanied me throughout my entire journey in Toastmasters, even as I co-founded the iRead + Bilingual Toastmasters club. That was not easy, but I jumped out of my comfort zone and stretched my communication and leadership skills.

What makes her a good mentor?

Besides reviewing my speeches and videos, Mia encouraged me when I was depressed, and even endured my insolence when I was in a bad mood. She is my most trusted friend; I can confide in her personally. And, because of my improved communication skills, I am never afraid to speak with colleagues or customers at work. I try to repay her by working hard to develop myself beyond her imagination.


Do you know an exceptional mentor who has positively influenced you? Send us a 200-word description and photo (1MB or larger) of you and your mentor.


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