GSMP 2015 Site Visits: Pavithra Chandra at Google

By Brian Canever September 23, 2015

Pavithra Chandra of India sits one chair away from her mentor, Julie Eddleman, in Google’s back-corner office on the 19th floor of the PNC Center in downtown Cincinnati. She appears comfortable enough with the microphone we’ve placed in front of her, but wants to be ready for any incoming question and takes out a small notepad to scribble her thoughts as we recite the questions we will ask before turning on the recording equipment. Julie also has a notebook in front of her and is doing the same. In just three days together, the two are already working in tandem.

During the first Site Visit of the 2015 U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program, Drs. Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman, co-directors of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, & Society, and I, visited Pavithra and Julie to see first-hand the bond they’ve been forming as emerging leader and mentor.

Julie, a four-time participant in the program who previously mentored Cassia Damiani (2012), Daniela Castro (2013) and Paula Korsakas (2014) of Brazil, has already put together a full itinerary for the three weeks Pavithra will spend with her Google team and clients Proctor & Gamble. The itinerary includes a business trip to New York and meetings with several influential women in both companies.

“When I learned Julie would be my mentor, the introduction I got from everyone was, ‘You’re gonna be in the best and safest hands,'” Pavithra said. “I now understand where these deep feelings came from. She’s already changed my perspective, so I’m very excited about the time she’s giving me. And I can only say thanks by really trying to make a change happen when I get back to India.”

Pavithra’s work with B7 Sports, a Bangalore-based sports management company and basketball academy where she is both the founder and CEO, has already invigorated her mentor. Julie hopes to help Pavithra’s efforts reach the scales of very successful campaigns launched by P&G and Google in recent years, namely the popular “Always #Like a Girl” videos, and Google’s “Made with Code” initiative to get more elementary and junior high school girls into the technology field.

“Her spirit and dedication to changing girls lives in a difficult situation in her community is inspiring to me,” Julie said. “I’ve never been to India, so now I have an even better reason to go. These relationships made on the GSMP last for many, many years. And I hope this one with Pavi will last for the rest of our lives.”

Listen to the Center’s podcast conversation between Pavithra and Julie at the link below