Mentees

Reverb is a 31 day writing exercise where daily prompts allow people to reflect on closing the year and planning the one to come.  

[Help:  Did someone ask you for help and how did it play out?]

I’ve had the opportunity to connect with a number of students and young pros about breaking into the PR industry and working their way up. I always say I may only be a few steps ahead, but I’m happy to share the knowledge that I’ve picked up along the way. 

People reach out to me through Twitter, blogging, my Alma Mater and friends of friends. I’m willing to put in the time to help people because of the all the mentors that have given me their time. The PR industry is definitely of the “pay it forward” mindset. 

Throughout the calls and emails I’m often left feeling that I wish I could do more. When I’d end a phone call I would wonder, did I do enough? Anyone that knows me knows that I can talk. Because of that I’d invite the person to review their notes from the call and to come back with follow up questions. I was open to an ongoing dialogue, which didn’t always happen. 

Enter Payal Shukla. We connected via social media about our love for the Illini and public relations. She eagerly accepted my offer for a guest blog post and we started having regular phone calls. 

I’m honored to be your mentor, Payal. Our chats help me to reflect on my experiences, learning more about the industry and myself in the process. It’s flattering to know my advice resonated with you to incorporate it into your job pursuits. Your interest in my work keeps me motivated – to be the best professional I can be and to maintain my “student always” mentality. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you. 

What makes a stellar mentee? Ambition, interest, hard work and the ability to take constructive criticism. 

How has being a mentor helped you? What have you gained as a mentee? 

 

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The Start of 2012

Reverb is a 31 day writing exercise where daily prompts allow people to reflect on closing the year and planning the one to come. I participated in the project in 2010, looking forward to seeing it’s changed and how I’ve changed. Here goes. 

[Where it began: Review and reflect – how did 2012 begin for you? Tell us how the year kicked off; start your renewal by beginning again.]

2012 kicked off with a move across the country. I had never lived outside the state of Illinois and something inside me was ready to make a major move. I also left my first job for a new one in this new city of mine. 

The start of this year feels almost a lifetime away – I’ve moved to a new city, started a new job, made new friends and had completely new experiences in the process. And yet, I cannot believe how quickly 2013 snuck up on me. Amidst all the new I’ve tried to remain the same girl and I’m looking forward to reflecting throughout the month to come. 

How did 2012 start for you?

The_adventure_begins

 

Our friend Sandy

Subway entrances shut down 

Lines at an unopened Starbucks 

Bars as the go-to for charging electronics 

iPhones hanging from the ceiling 

 

Yeah, we’re looking at you Sandra Dee. 

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Say yes.

Since moving to New York City I have tried saying yes to everything. In fact, one of my “NYC Goals” I wrote back in January was: 

Say yes. 

To invitations. 

Even when I think I will get lost. 

To challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. 

I focused on doing. After long days I made an effort to see friends and attend events. I proved this question right – “In 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, will I remember the nights I stayed in or will I remember the outings and people I experienced them with?” 

I raised my hand at work. I got in line with this idea, “People who love their jobs won’t work a day in their lives.” 

Two examples include: 

One weeknight my pal Addison invited me to meet his friend visiting NYC. I was looking forward to a night to recoup at my apartment, but instead chose to say yes. Turns out we would see the city in style (aka in Addison’s rented BMW). For the first time the makeup of Manhattan was starting to make sense. (Be thankful you have a map app on your SuperPhone people!) And, for the record, cruising NYC in a BMW is never a bad choice.

I joined an internal company organization committed to equaling the ratio of men and women in leadership positions and helping women of all levels on their way to the top. By saying yes to the opportunity to join the planning committee, I’ve been fortunate to work with stellar colleagues across the company – people I would not interact with through my typical workload. I’m also seeing change and continued dialogues take place as a result of my actions. 

What were the outcomes of your best “yes’s”? This week let “yes” win out over “no.” You just might surprise yourself. 

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What kind of time is it?

“In some Eastern, Polynesian and Micronesian communities, the people don’t tell you what time it is—they tell you what kind of time it is. Feast time. Fishing time. Helping time. Spirit time. Loving time. Lazy time. Children time. Old-people time. Moon time. Dream time. Each time of the day or week elicits a different way of seeing, feeling, walking, talking and responding to an important facet of life. This week, try planning your days and nights according to your dreams and ideals, not just your watch.”

I love this passage from the book How many days of the week can be extraordinary? In the PR world, we track and bill our time by 15 minute increments based on account work and it’s easy to let this creep into my day-to-day. This week I’m striving to look past the clock when making time. Can you do the same? 

 

What kind of time is it?

“In some Eastern, Polynesian and Micronesian communities, the people don’t tell you what time it is—they tell you what kind of time it is. Feast time. Fishing time. Helping time. Spirit time. Loving time. Lazy time. Children time. Old-people time. Moon time. Dream time. Each time of the day or wee elicits a different way of seeing, feeling, walking, talking and responding to an important facet of life. This week, try planning your days and nights according to your dreams and ideals, not just your watch.”

I love this passage from the book How many days of the week can be extraordinary? In the PR world, we track and bill our time by 15 minute increments based on account work and it’s easy to let this creep into my day-to-day. This week I’m striving to look past the clock when making time. Can you do the same? 

Defining Conversations

One year ago I was en route to New York City preparing for 16 interviews over the course of the following two days. Hello overwhelming feat!

I did A LOT of talking throughout my interview process, but two conversations defined this particular week in my life. One came a few days before I left for NYC when the interviews weren’t falling into place as easily as I had hoped. I was primarily traveling to participate in informational interviews – as a way to get my foot in the door with these out-of-state agencies. I was concerned that I didn’t have what it took to land my dream job. My homeboy Britten put me (aka Humpty Dumpty) back together again. He reminded me not only how far I’d come, but that I was ready to kick butt and take names.

The second conversation came at the end of “Interview Day One” as I caught up with my good friend and colleague Cory. Cory was a constant in my ongoing quest to live the NYC dream. I believe she was still in the office late that night as I explained to her how exciting and mentally challenging the day had been, but she never once tried to cut the conversation. She listened to me as I talked about each agency and envisioned myself there while describing the smart people I interviewed with and the unique accounts they led. In reflecting with Cory, the part that stood out to me the most was how grateful I felt for being able to do the interview process all over again for a second day.

Think about one of those conversations you remember as if it were yesterday. Receiving a job offer? Someone saying “I love you”?

Now, think about how far you’ve come since that conversation. 

Friendship at first tweet

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

What about friendship at first tweet? 

Rich_tweet
This Twitter interaction happened hours before I even met Richard Boehmcke. Somehow fate (or in our case, social media) was telling us we would be friends.

So what happens when first meetings, like in the case with Rich, take place even before you get the first handshake? There are countless people I’ve met online before in person (and so many more that online is all we’ve got). 

I’ve written about first impressions before and I still believe a lot goes into making a good one. These are the four key components I believe make a great first impression: 

-Strong handshake
-Solid eye contact 
-Something to share
-Something to ask

When it comes to social media introductions the first two skip the physical component and instead relate to how attentive and engaged you are with the meeting. Consider your best conversations. All a good conversation takes is having a topic you want to share and being genuinely interested in what the other person has to say. 

During introductions what catches your attention?