Finding Your Feet: Becoming A Mentor And Lessons Learned Along The Way
‘Captify Voices’ spotlights employees from across the business as they reflect on their experiences, educate and inspire action around Diversity and Inclusion.
As part of Captify’s D&I Taskforce’s mission to drive change across the advertising industry and provide equal opportunity for individuals, we’ve partnered with 2020 Change—a youth empowerment organization helping young people to realize their true potential.
2020 Change has many initiatives in place to support young people, including the Mentor Matcher program which connects young alumni with mentors across the advertising industry, helping to grow confidence and accelerate their journey into the workforce.
In our latest D&I Spotlight blog, Captify’s Elsa Murray, Lewis Ward, and Kirsten Hanafee discuss their experience of volunteering for the 2020 Change Mentor Matcher program and some of the lessons learned along the way.
What was your drive to becoming a mentor for 2020 Change?
Elsa: Mentoring allows you to learn new skills, connect with someone you otherwise wouldn’t have, and opens you up to new points of view—and I knew it would be hugely rewarding for myself and my mentee.
Lewis: I heard how beneficial it is for both parties (mentor and mentee) and I wanted to try something new that I’ve never done before.
Kirsten: I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my own experience and knowledge of starting out in the industry.
Before the first meeting with your mentee, how did you feel?
Elsa: I was really looking forward to our first session as we had a good connection in the mentor pairing session. It was also a little nerve-racking as I’d never been a mentor before, so I wanted to make sure I was doing the relevant research to help me explore talking points and activities.
Lewis: I had a pretty good idea of how I could help my mentee. The first interaction was really about building rapport, so he could feel comfortable speaking freely about what’s going on in his life and his goals.
Kirsten: I had never been a mentor before so the whole process was new to me. It was exciting to know we were given the reins to design our own mentor/mentee relationship, but as the mentor, I felt some pressure to deliver for her.
What was your most rewarding moment of mentoring?
Elsa: Seeing my mentee’s confidence build over time was incredibly rewarding. In our most recent session, she told me she would be giving a presentation to 40 people and she was looking forward to it—I was really chuffed for her.
Lewis: Seeing my mentee work on his body language and oratory skills was a great experience. We worked together on a couple of applications for assessment days and I gave him some guidance on how to present himself. After he finished the assessments, he had some excellent feedback which was great to hear.
Kirsten: My mentee and I decided to meet in person a month and a half after our last virtual session. Not only was it rewarding to finally get to meet her after 12 weeks of chatting virtually, but she told me she got her dream job right after our sessions ended…I was so proud!
If you had to pick one big lesson that you learned from this experience, what would it be?
Elsa: Preparation was key for me…having pointers and activities up your sleeve helps to open up the dialogue. As my mentee’s confidence built, I also learned to let her do as much of the talking as possible—it’s easy to feel more comfortable as the mentor doing the talking, but you should let them speak and lead the sessions.
Lewis: You have a much bigger network than you might think. Use it and introduce your mentee to as many people as possible to continue their dialogue and build their experience.
Kirsten: My advice would be to relax, listen and let the process guide you instead of having preconceived ideas of what a mentor/mentee relationship should be.
What advice would you give to those interested in being a mentor?
Elsa: It was a fantastic, educational, and gratifying experience for both of us—sign up!
Kirsten: Do it! I really enjoyed working with someone who is so hungry to learn.
Lewis: It pushes you to be creative and without a doubt, there will be a lot of positives that come from it—for both the mentee and yourself.
Interested in joining the 2020 Change Mentor Matcher program? Keep your eyes peeled for the next mentor cohort sign-up.