The Importance of Mentors in Marketing

January 22nd, 2016

by Felicia Rowley

I think many college students, or even recent graduates, view mentors as a useful resource when entering the workforce and learning how to navigate our paths. I believe that having mentors throughout your entire life can be very beneficial, whether in your personal or professional life, and in my opinion, I believe that this relationship can be a win-win for both. That is just one reason why I decided to get involved with the collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and become an ambassador for the AMA West Michigan Chapter. I feel like I have a team of mentors available that are willing to offer valuable advice.

Since becoming involved in the AMA and having a mentor of my own in the past, I have recognized that many positive things can sprout from the mentor/mentee relationship. I’ve found it can be simplified down to two clear benefits:

  1. The mentee gains more confidence and assurance.
  2. The mentor is able to give back and offer years of experience.

Having a mentor may help to eliminate some of those bumps in the road, especially when it comes to your career and schooling. I for one, know a thing or two about this. Fortunately, I have had the pleasure and good fortune of being mentored through out my high school and college career. However, until now, I don’t think I understood the impact and importance a mentor has on a young person. I also believe that it is important for those that have had success in their chosen field to advocate for their profession and help those coming up by being a mentor.

As a first time college student in my family, it was nice to have a mentor that I could trust when talking about college and building a resume. For instance, I had no idea about internships and the importance of them until I spoke with someone who worked at a marketing agency. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday, “Get as many internships and as much experience as you can before you leave college. College doesn’t teach you what you need to know for the real world.” From then on, I sought to experience as many internships as possible and gain as much experience as I could before the end of college, and that is exactly what I’ve done. I’m on my second internship and looking to add a third for this coming summer. Additionally, I have become actively involved in both the collegiate AMA, as well as, the AMA West Michigan Chapter. To this day, I am very grateful for the time and knowledge that my mentor was willing to share with me. I don’t think I would be where I am today or accomplished as many milestones as I have, if it wasn’t for the sincere conversation and professional support I was given.

That is the beauty of having a mentor! Why go into something blind, when there are people out there who are more than willing to lend a hand and offer up some great advice. When entering into the uncertainty of a new experience it is easy to feel overwhelmed, unprepared, or stressed, but having a mentor to talk through your feelings can allow for a more confident transition from college to one’s early career. There will always be someone who has already experienced the situations that lie ahead, people who have been in your shoes, and those that hold knowledge in which you have yet to attain. Having a mentor allows you to learn from someone who has already arrived to a place in their career that you aspire to reach. So get out there, get involved, and find a mentor to help you!

You can get more information on becoming a member here or contact the AMA West Michigan to find out how you can become involved.