Last fall, I agreed to serve as a mentor with WISE Within. I began the program with an open mind, hoping that I could help a female executive grow in her career by imparting some of the wisdom gleaned during my 26 years in the business. What occurred over the months that followed was a very gratifying experience.
I have always been a firm believer that you continue to absorb knowledge and learn throughout your career and throughout life in general. That proved very true in my time with WISE Within. I had the privilege of serving as a mentor to a public relations executive who had a wealth of experience, but who was interested in learning how to grow and develop her passions and interests into a position that would best match up with those interests. I had known her previously, which made getting started quite easy.
During the course of our in-person meetings and phone conversations, I got a strong sense that this was a cohesive relationship — not one-sided, but rather a mentoring experience for both of us. The give-and-take allowed us to share ideas and gave me an opportunity to provide as much input as I wanted while gaining terrific insights from her as well.
But the dialogue did not end there. The WISE Within group sessions provided another platform from which to learn from and interact with others in the industry. The group sessions were well-organized and informative. Gwen Woods was a terrific facilitator who kept everyone focused and engaged, which is not an easy task. What was especially helpful during these events was the opportunity to listen to the thoughts and ideas of a group of individuals from all levels of experience and job positions. There was no way anyone could have walked out of one of those group sessions without taking with them several nuggets of information they could use within their own careers.
WISE Within truly was one of the easiest things to say yes to. I was helped early in my career by several mentors in the sports industry, including Mike Cohen and Irving Rudd, two stalwarts of the sports public relations industry. What I learned from them was to listen and observe and to cull your publicity campaign around what you see and hear. I believe that was good advice back then and solid advice now. WISE Within program participants — mentees and mentors alike — will learn things they will use for the rest of their careers.
That's the mark of a great program worth joining, one I'm proud I did.