Finding Mentors and Getting Value from the Relationship with Mega Jewell, Odalys Jasmine Garcia, and Jeannie Entin
To Odalys Jasmine Garcia Arce, mentorship is “Sometimes for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”
Working as LinkedIn’s events project manager and creator-host of Hella Latin@ Podcast, Jasmine understands the power behind mentorships. They’ve helped her harvest personal growth, create new professional opportunities, and most importantly, form deep and lasting relationships. However, for many young people entering the professional world, the pursuit of mentorships and early connections can seem overwhelming at times. On May 6, #FridayForum tackled the strategies behind finding mentors and the benefits of mentor/mentee relationships.
This week’s panel is three guests, all of whom are PRSA-SV members. Jeannie Entin led the conversation and shared her experience as a mentor herself. Jeannie is the PRSA-SV’s mentorship committee co-chair and has been a PR professional since 2000. Mega Jewell, vice president of social at Bospar, also joined the conversation. Mega has more than 10 years experience in communications and media. Odalys Jasmine Garcia Arce rounded out the panel.
All three guests provided varying perspectives on the world of mentorship. Yet all three agreed on one key tip: Be authentic and open-minded.
To Jasmine, being one’s true self is pivotal when first meeting a mentor. This authenticity can help foster a natural and familiar bond between a mentor and mentee. In turn, the bond makes the mentee comfortable enough to express who they are and where they are trying to go. When a mentee is able to express these simple things, it gives the mentor an understanding of how to best provide help.
The speakers also highlighted the importance of finding a mentor who you can relate to not only in career aspirations but also in personal experience. Both Mega and Jasmine are first-generation Americans and with that identity, a plethora of challenges arise. While Mega is from a Chinese-Indonesian family and Jasmine is from a Honduran-Latino family, they both grew up feeling, as Jasmine put it, “stretched between two places.” Having a mentor who could understand this positionality can be life-changing and Mega and Jasmine stressed just that.
Another tip among the guests was to be persistent. For Mega, persistence helped her connect with her first mentor, Lynette Romero of KTLA. Early in her career while working as an intern at a Los Angeles entertainment department, Mega aspired to be like Romero. Hoping to get into touch with her idol, she reached out via email and at first received no response. Despite this, she continued with the emails and offered to do simple tasks like running Romero coffee or even babysitting. Eventually, Mega connected with Romero and would continue to gain a lifelong relationship. Through this experience, Mega now wants to help her own mentees understand their own goals, learn different perspectives, and gain strategic direction.
After establishing relationships with a mentor, Jeannie underscored the importance of leveraging those connections. A hotspot for this is LinkedIn. The site can be used to reach out to mutual connections and search for people who can provide advice or even recommend you for a job.
Before Jasmine landed her job at LinkedIn, she used the site to connect with over three dozen professionals that were not initially in her network. She spent an eight-month period searching for a job and did 30 interviews at 13 companies. Eventually, she was rejected from her dream job at LinkedIn. However, one of the aforementioned LinkedIn connections she had made vouched for her, and she was able to land an interview and eventually the job.
Although mentorship has been an integral component of growing Jeannie, Mega, and Jasmine’s respective career opportunities, the three all harp back on one key lesson: Mentorships are about developing meaningful relationships more than anything else. Despite Mega’s abundant success in communications, her professional career is not necessarily how she measures her personal success. On the topic of success, Mega said, “I want to be valued by the relationships I have and have cultivated.” While mentorships are a great avenue for building a professional career, the relationships that stem from them are far more important.
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