Tuesday 19 July marked the launch event of the NSW Emerging Marketers program, generously sponsored by our academic partner and host of the evening, Macquarie University. As the AMI Marketing Coordinator and first-time mentee of the program, I had to say that prior to the event I was both anxious and excited. Firstly, because behind the scenes, being a part of the planning of the event showed me just how much time, energy and dedication was needed to pull everything together. And secondly because the feeling of anticipation of wondering who my mentor would be was almost too much to bear.
Mentoring is more than just giving back to the community
Upon entering the room, the excitement from all those present was almost palpable. Before the mentee/mentor matches were announced, I had the chance to walk around the room and talk to some of the mentors about why they had decided to take part. One of the biggest surprises was that some of them were perhaps just as, if not more, excited than I was at the prospect of being matched with someone. Mentoring, it turns out, is more than just giving back to the marketing community and helping younger marketers, it also presents the chance to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Mentoring is about the chance to create something together. It’s about synergy.
The mentor/mentee relationship is not only beneficial to mentees, it helps broaden the perspective of seasoned marketers who have a completely different view of the world. One such mentor remarked that, ”As a Gen X marketer, sometimes I forget that not everyone sees the world in the same way as I do. Marketing products and services to millennials and Gen Z requires a completely different approach to how I would have gone about it. Speaking with younger marketers makes you realise that marketing really is evolving so quickly with new trends, technologies and ways of thinking. I love being able to compare marketing approaches with younger marketers who have the insights to tell me that my idea won’t work on their generation.”
Why did I decide to be a mentee?
While I’m very lucky to be mentored on a daily basis by AMI CEO, Lee Tonitto, and other senior marketers in AMI HQ, I wanted a mentor so I could sit down and have a frank conversation. I want to know how to overcome those obstacles to get to where I want to be in my career. Should I specialise in a certain area or work on developing a broader skill set first? Should I follow my passion or explore other areas that hold interest? How can I choose between internal marketing and culture, customer experience, content marketing or strategy? You see, as an emerging marketer, everything is new and it’s so hard to know where to focus. There are endless opportunities to grow and learn and contribute to your workplace. But the question remains, how to choose?
For mentors, emerging marketers seem to have an abundance of passion and energy. To mentees, their mentors appear to have reached their career goals. But the thing is, when you realise your goals, unless you set new ones then it doesn’t matter how far you climb that ladder or how far you push yourself, if you suddenly stop learning then you stop developing in your career. When a mentor and a mentee come together to learn from each other and create new ideas, that’s when true synergy happens.
Written by Alyce Brierley, recent Master of Marketing Graduate (BGS) from University of Sydney, Mentee and Marketing Coordinator at AMI