We’re proud of our strong San Diego State University roots here at NST, and I’m no exception. We’re always looking for ways to give back to the university, and when I heard about the Aztec Mentor Program through SDSU’s Career Services, I thought it would be a great way I could personally get involved and help a budding young professional.
Just this month, I was matched with a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in television, film and new media production. Meet Brooke, my mentee!
Although I’m a public relations professional, not a broadcast journalist like Brooke aspires to become, we hit it off at the kick-off celebration breakfast on campus, and the next week got to work on the job shadowing part of the program. Brooke met me at a client live shot with the FOX 5 San Diego television station where she was able to watch the ins and outs of a remote broadcast. I was also able to connect her with the reporter, with whom she’ll be doing an informational interview in the near future. Success!
As we continue on our mentoring journey together, I created a list of five things I’m going to hold myself to during our time together, which directly corresponds to Brooke’s goals for the program.
- Check in with Brooke at least once per week – I want to make sure she knows that I’m here to support her and that she can rely on me, whether it’s a small question or larger task like reviewing a cover letter. I also want her to feel comfortable with asking work-life balance questions as she enters the professional arena.
- Provide opportunities for her to experience her desired career path – Allowing her to job shadow in situations that are applicable to her broadcast dreams will expose Brooke to new situations and hopefully provide a more clear understanding of what lies ahead. I also hope that understanding how public relations professionals work with broadcast journalists will give her a leg-up in the job market because she will be aware of how PR professionals can be an asset when developing stories.
- Help Brooke create a rock star “brand” for herself – Brooke communicated that she wants to figure out a way to set herself apart from other broadcast journalism job candidates. I think we can do this by getting to know each other better and having conversations about what her goals are for the future. I can also use my professional experience to make her brand story come to life through her resume and/or cover letter, which I’d love to have buttoned up by the time the program concludes.
- Introduce her to the importance of networking and building relationships – I may not have direct experience in the broadcast television field, but I work very closely with many people who do. I credit my success with media relations to building strong relationships and I’d like to help Brooke understand how cultivating relationships can be a great professional asset.
- Foster a relationship that we can continue to cultivate – I am grateful to still have a few treasured people in my life that I consider personal and professional mentors. I will do my absolute best to be available for Brooke throughout our time together and provide candid, but supportive feedback, which will hopefully give us a platform on which to build a strong relationship.
Are there actions or elements you’ve found helpful while serving as a mentor? Share them with us on our Facebook page.