From Mentorship to My Favorite Work Perk: Lessons I’ve Learned as a Developing Professional

Sponsored by Pear Therapeutics

Nina Pittas

Photo courtesy of Pear Therapeutics.

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Fairygodboss
May 22, 2024 at 10:45AM UTC

Nina Pittas joined Pear Therapeutics as an intern in June 2021 after she graduated with a Biomedical Engineering degree from Tufts University. This was only the first step in her journey at Pear. “After my internship, I transitioned to a full-time employee as an Associate Product Manager,” she tells Fairygodboss. “I work on our provider experience team, which I love. While one of our company values is to Innovate for Patients, because our products require a prescription, providers are invaluable to our product and it’s so important that we build our processes with their workflows in mind.”

We recently reached out to Pittas to learn more about her journey and the role mentorship played in her success. Read on for top advice for others starting out on their career journeys!

The role of mentorship in the life of a young professional.

When starting out in the professional world, mentorship is very important. And that’s certainly been true for Pittas. “My experience as a mentee has been instrumental to my growth and success as a Product Manager,” she shares. This is because mentorship is especially important when working at a growth-stage company while early in your career. “I’m able to work on many important areas that have a direct impact on our users,” Pittas explains, “but a lot of the work that needs to be done is strategy focused, and it can be hard to contribute with little experience in the field.”

To help with this challenge, Pittas relies on the supportive mentorship she has found at Pear. “My mentor has been really helpful in teaching me how to turn small ideas or experiences into projects that I can own and that can make a meaningful difference in the way our company runs,” she says. 

Pittas’ mentor has also helped her prioritize her personal health and wellbeing by encouraging her to take time for herself. “My mentor suggested that when I’m feeling overwhelmed with meetings or work to go on a walk,” notes Pittas. “Our office is located in downtown Boston near the Aquarium, so whenever I feel like I need a break from work, I walk over to the outdoor seal tank and hang out with the seals. I love doing this because I’m getting a breath of fresh air, moving my body and I love seeing the kids that are so excited to see the seals. It reminds me of the simple pleasures of life.”

Mentorship as a whole is highly encouraged throughout Pear, which holds a formal mentoring program twice a year. As Pittas notes, mentorship programs like Pear’s help produce lasting relationships that help all participants grow.

Advice on finding balance (not work-life balance).

One of the top pieces of advice Pittas has comes from the most influential person in her professional life — her dad. “He taught me not to say ‘work-life balance’. This makes it seem like our work is not part of our life, when it is,” Pittas tells us. “We spend at least eight hours a day doing work and to say ‘work-life balance’ is to disregard those eight hours as being part of our life. Instead, he has taught me to say ‘work/non-work balance’. While it’s a bit of a mouthful, I agree with him. Life encompasses everything you do, including work, so, by saying ‘work/non-work balance’ you are acknowledging that work is part of life, but not your whole life.” This view on balance has helped Pittas succeed as a young professional. 

My favorite perk at Pear Therapeutics.

In addition to the strong mentorship program and supportive culture, what is Pittas’ favorite thing about working at Pear? Well, she tells us that it’s how her coworkers come together and get lunch every Wednesday. “This allows me and my coworkers to gather in a conference room and eat lunch together,” she shares. “For many of my peers and me, this is our first job and working remotely has been isolating, so I love that once a week this lunch lures everyone into the office, and we’re able to share an hour together decompressing from work.”



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