Meet Susan Quinn, a Richmond MBA Super Mentor

February 28, 2019
Quinn, president and CEO of circle S studio, began as a mentor to Richmond MBA students in 2011.

There’s a special way to describe someone like Susan Quinn: super mentor. It’s a title that makes her respected and beloved among The Richmond MBA community.

“When people know that you care deeply, relationships form, and last,” Quinn said.

Quinn, president and CEO of circle S studio, began as a mentor to Richmond MBA students in 2011 when she met Debbie Fisher, associate director of The Richmond MBA, who encouraged her to get involved.

“We instantly connected,” Quinn said. “We realized that we shared many things in common, especially the importance of giving back and being a guide to the younger generation.”

Since then, she has worked with multiple Richmond MBA students, and has continued to stay in touch with them even after their suggested mentorship time is up.

 “I’ve attended their weddings, kept up with the birth of children, and dined many times together to discuss new opportunities that they are contemplating,” Quinn said.

Quinn hosted one of the first Dinner Series with The Richmond MBA, focusing on authentic leadership. She discussed the power of inspiring others to understand new possibilities for themselves. Over the years, Quinn has created such a strong network within the Richmond community, Fisher looks to her every year to mentor a new student.

“Susan has become a close friend over the years. She constantly inspires our students to grow, and helps guide them on their professional journey,” Fisher said. “I am grateful for her continued friendship, as well as her support for our students and the program.”

Since working with the students, Quinn has reflected on her own mentors through the years, and how they inspired her to climb to president and CEO of circle S studio, a marketing and design agency in Richmond specializing in strategy, branding, creative, content marketing, web design, and digital marketing.

“I have been fortunate to have great mentors in my life,” Quinn said. “They have had my back and challenged me to look at things not just from my viewpoint, but from a wider lens. When I can be that same sounding board to others, to help them see life from a new perspective, it’s very exciting.”

She also depends on her mentees to broaden her own perspectives and continue to grow personally and professionally.

“I get to learn from a younger generation, and receive an inside look at what’s important in their world, how they consume their every day, and how they want to make a contribution for the greater good,” Quinn said. “I know I’m a better leader because of this experience.”

Katie Intihar, GB’15, met Quinn as an MBA student, and has maintained a relationship with her long past graduation.

“It’s been a couple of years now and we’re still grabbing dinner,” Intihar said. “When we first met, we completely hit it off. Like any relationship that you know is special, it happened automatically. I value her friendship, as well as mentorship. She has a lot of aspirational qualities that I would love to embody.”

Quinn says her relationship with her mentees is sacred to her, in that she knows they are guiding her as much as she is guiding them.

“We have five generations in the workforce today and the more we can create genuine relationships to better understand each other, the stronger and more vibrant we will be as we bring fresh new ideas and thinking to each other,” Quinn said.

She often looks back on that first meeting with Fisher, and is grateful she agreed to work with MBA students.

“It has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things that I have done in my professional career,” Quinn said. “We have a true circle of trust and I consider each and every one a true gem.”