Episode 4: Importance of Mentors with Rondell

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My guest today is Rondell Fletcher. Rondell grew up in the Los Angeles area to a single mother who was an entrepreneur and small business owner. As a teenager, Rondell was motivated to pursue basketball but didn’t get much guidance about continuing his education. Through a chance turn of events, Rondell began his college journey at Cal-Baptist University. After his first year, Rondell faced a choice about his future. He decided to leave Cal-Baptist and completed his A.A. and A.S. at East Los Angeles College (ELAC). Entrepreneurship pulled at him and Rondell dedicated himself to building success through business. Rondell is now a successful business owner with businesses in the beauty, television, construction, and produce industries. Although happy with the path he took, Rondell wonders how an academic mentor early in his life would have changed his professional life. Here is a little of his First Gen Journey. . . .

Show Notes:

Rondell makes several points about how his experiences have shaped his career path:

-       The influence of his upbringing and his experiences with entrepreneurship (01:30)

-       How his focus on basketball narrowed his vision for the future (03:20)

-       The impact of a caring professor (08:16, 10:42)

-       The lack of academic/professional mentors (12:19, 14:50, 21:20)

-       Insecurity he experienced early on when interacting with colleagues/business partners (19:08)

-       The additional benefits of college beyond career success (29:35)


Rondell’s tip for current and future First Gen college students and professionals: Seek out mentors that are living the future you envision for yourself.

Related Resources:

Mentors Play a Critical Role in Quality of College Experience

 Apply to be a Mentor Coach with America Needs You

Rondell also briefly mentioned how an internship in production helped him learn the skills he needed to move forward with his television production company (Broadcast West). That internship was hosted by the City of Commerce. If you are interested in a career in production, find out if your city has a similar opportunity.

Episode 5: Seizing Opportunities with Javier

Episode 3: Financial Limitations with Leticia