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From mentee to mentor – an interesting change of pace.

I’ve talked about how important it is to find a mentor, in fact, it happens to be one of my favorite topics. Without the handful of people that are invested in my success, I’m not entirely sure that I’d be where I am today.

I can tell you that without Penelope Trunk, my resume would be boring and plain. Actually, without Penelope, I wouldn’t be sitting where I am right now, because I wouldn’t have gone to SXSW, I wouldn’t have met the people that I met, and I wouldn’t have seemingly stumbled into the amazing opportunities I’ve had since SXSW. So thank you, Penelope.

Without Aaron Strout, I might not understand the business world nearly as much, and I might have fallen down a couple times if he hadn’t been right there with an answer when I needed it. I remember when I met Aaron – we were at the Mashable party at SXSW and I dragged him away from his group to do an interview with me for my blog. Shortly thereafter, he became one of my favorites, responding quickly, concisely and always having great advice.

Without Bryan LeMonds, I would have only had Penelope’s version of my resume, and I’d still think that the point of PR is what I was taught in school, not the very simple answer of “making people realize why they matter”. Meeting him shaped my trip at SXSW, and he gave me a new outlook on the industry.

Without Adam Keats, I’d still be in Florida, probably still bartending and content with half-assing the job search (okay we know that isn’t true, but I’d still be in Florida, for sure). Adam is a man of his word, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to be working with him in my time at Weber Shandwick. I remember when I met Adam, I was rambling like an idiot about what I wanted to do when I graduated, why I love social media and PR, blah blah blah, and he said “funny, that’s what we do everyday where I work”. And the rest, as they say, is history.

So, to be approached by not just one, but three students in PR in the past couple weeks is really exciting, and definitely a change of pace. This time around, I’m the one deciding when and how to respond. I’m the one with answers, and if I don’t have the answer, I have a bunch of people I can call on to get it.

I’m taking all of my mentor-mentee experiences and rolling them into one so I can do a bang-up job at mentoring these up-and-comers. This makes me want to call my mentors and ask them a million questions. While I know there are a lot of PR students out there, there are very few that actually seek out advice, let alone students that follow up. Of course I’m happy to help because I was there not even a year ago, hungry for knowledge and guidance. And I still am. It’s interesting, being the one answering the same questions that I had a year ago. That’s how I know these students are going to do big things. They have the same drive that I did, and I turned out okay.

::note to self, thank mentors and hug them::

It’s amazing how fast my world has turned around from when I started out on this journey. But that’s another post on its own. 

Do you have mentors? Are you a mentor? Have you learned qualities from your mentors that you pass down to the people you are mentoring? What is your biggest piece of advice for mentors? For those seeking a mentor?

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