Michelle Madigan (left) and Chelsea Hayes (right) cheer on the Northwestern Wildcats football team on October 18, 2019.

Chelsea Hayes, the CEO and principal consultant of an executive coaching and training firm, and Michelle Madigan, a producer at Dateline NBC and NBC News, have connected both professionally and personally since matching via the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program. Read below to learn more about their mentorship experiences.

  1. What motivated you to join the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program?

Madigan: Northwestern was incredibly influential in launching my career. I make it a priority to help students and alumni discover their own paths to success. As a mentor, I hope to support and motivate that journey.

Hayes: I am a CEO, and of course, we all have more learning to do, but owning my own company means it’s not always easy to get feedback. I was excited about meeting another Wildcat near me who had different experiences than me. Best. Decision. Ever. After matching, we connected for a quick walk and almost instantly felt like we had known each other forever. I knew we were mean to be a pair! Michelle works about 10 minutes from my house so I began to meet her during lunch breaks just to walk and talk.

  1. What have you gained, person­ally and professionally, from being part of this program?

Madigan: The Northwestern Network Mentorship Program allows me to feel connected, challenged and inspired. I often learn valuable lessons from my mentees that shape my own priorities and ambitions.

Hayes: Personally, I've gained a lifelong friend and someone I trust. I know Michelle wants the absolute best for me. Professionally, our relationship has certainly opened doors, but I must say, the most rewarding part is talking about the more personal things like family and even best practices for laundry! We realize that every single pair may not be as lucky as us with such a quick, organic connection, but we are certainly hoping Wildcats everywhere give it a try.

  1. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Madigan: If you do what you love, you’ll love what you do.

Hayes: Go after exactly what you want. Not what you think you can get. If you pursue it with a posture of learning, hard work, and integrity, you will get it.

Photo of Michelle Herman ’94 and Chelsea Hayes ’12 MS