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Tips on becoming a better mentor


Dear Jancy,
I have just perused your entire archive over the past couple of hours and really appreciate your passion for the industry as well as the dedication and patience you display in fielding the queries posted here.
Our local Ad club has started a mentoring program to support the post secondary PR/Ad courses available in our city. I am on the advisory committee for the local Radio and Television course at the technical school here and have had less success in establishing a mentoring program to support these students. Over the years I can’t tell you (you probably are aware) how many TV/Radio writers, producers and promotion people have started thier own boutique agencies and or gone on to work for the big guys after getting a taste for the biz in the broadcast environment.
What do you think are the most important requirements and responsibilities for those mentoring broadcast production/creative and or PR/Ad students? Alternatively, what is the very least that should be expected of potential mentors?
Thanks

intro Tips on becoming a better mentorThere’s no mentor hand book with rules. Anyone with experience has lessons worth sharing. The trick is taking the time to do so. Busy people are always time challenged and mentoring is something only a small minority will really commit to. The benefits are huge, in both directions: it’s gratifying to give guidance to people who really need it. It’s always been the sweet spot in our professional experience.

The most important quality in a mentor is to be someone who will show up. It’s hard to make the time. A mentor’s greatest value is in areas not learned on the job or at school. How to manage through politics at work. How to cope with the stresses. Helping to connect people with a network, and with potential employers through their connections. They can be a compass in an ethical dilemma. A good sounding board on many issues. They are translators of all the confusing signals new employees and students receive during the job search and early days in the work force. They can coach on interview skills and negotiating skills. Mentors can also impart lessons on their craft, of course.

Everyone has their own approach to mentoring. From a little bit of time that goes a long way to a major time commitment, it’s all valuable. It may feel like the jackpot to find a mentor in a very high place, but again, anyone with some serious experience that’s willing to share is a wonderful find.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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