Next Wave Mentoring Spotlight: Ryan Smartt and Carley Dobson

Ryan Smartt, senior communications manager for Capital One’s Community Affairs Team and Carley Dobson, marketing communications specialist for the Virginia Association of REALTORS® and a graduate student studying strategic public relations at VCU, were paired in the mentorship program in June 2015.

0e939ec“We meet each month for morning coffee,” Dobson said. “Ryan has helped me overcome challenges at work and most importantly helped me become more confident in my career. He not only takes interest in what I’m doing at work but also what I’m learning about in graduate school, which means a great deal to me. I am so thankful to Ryan for continually sharing his experiences with me and allowing me to learn from him.”

While Ryan is proud to work for a company like Capital One that encourages its employees to leverage their professional skills to help others in the community succeed, he also uses this opportunity to learn from Carley.

Ryan Smartt headshot 1“The level of energy, passion and curiosity she brings to each of our meetings is infectious,” Smartt said. “Carley is a sponge for information, but she has also helped me think more about my career and how I can grow professionally. That give-and-take is one of the many reasons why I look forward to our monthly chats.”

A big thank you to Ryan and Carley for sharing their experience with us. If you’re interested in participating as a mentor or mentee, contact Abby Nurnberger at or (757) 532-3306.

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