The Power of Networking and Mentoring

By WomenAdvancing Archives
Cover image for  article: The Power of Networking and Mentoring

The power of networking should not be underestimated. Its affects are real and tangible. That's why WomenAdvancing is so important to me. It provides a supportive environment for women in media, marketing, advertising, tech and entertainment to form lasting friendships and potential partnerships.

I co-founded the Boston chapter because I moved back to Boston after 10 years in New York City. I knew it would be a great way to dive in and get connected. And boy (or should I say girl), was I right! The people I've met through WomenAdvancing come from different backgrounds and varying stages of their careers. The diverse community of WomenAdvancing gives them access to women in ad tech, marketing, PR, digital, social, etc., providing incredible diversity in terms of available open career opportunities. It's a rich networking pool. You never know who you might meet, become friends with, work with or form a mentoring relationship with (as the mentor or the mentee).

Entering into a mentoring relationship is good for your career. You often hear that, but here are some tangible reasons why:

It feels good to give and get.

It creates even more connections.

Your name will be passed along.

What goes around comes around.

Being a leader and a connected grower are valuable skills to have.

It's something you can add to your resume.

These days, fair or unfair, it's all about who you know.

Below are two testimonials from two members of WomenAdvancing’s Boston Chapter, Kara Aucella Jenkins, AdTheorent and Stephanie Farber, Withings. Kara and Stephanie met at WomenAdvancing receptions and formed a lasting and beneficial professional relationship. Here’s what they have to say about mentorship, networking and WomenAdvancing:

Kara Aucella Jenkins, Director, New England Mobile Sales, AdTheorent:

As a Northeastern graduate I was fortunate to take part in the co-op program, which ignited my passion for both media and mentoring. Throughout my co-op experiences, I made life-long friendships and mentors. I attribute those relationships with helping me break into the advertising field with confidence. 

Today, 15 years into my career, I still very much value the connections I’ve made throughout various jobs and experiences. When I was introduced to WomenAdvancing, I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with. I’ve always felt the need to give back -- pay it forward, in a way, to the experiences and opportunities that were presented to me during my time at Northeastern. By becoming a co-chair of the WomenAdvancing Boston Mentorship Committee, I knew I’d not only influence the group, but selfishly, I knew it would give me the opportunity to re-engage with students and women new to the workforce.

At our first WomenAdvancing Boston event, I met a Tufts undergrad student, Stephanie Farber, who at the time was only two months away from graduating. She was nervous that if she didn’t get a job, she’d have to leave Boston and move home. She and I chatted at the event, exchanged contact info and the following week met for coffee. I introduced Stephanie to various ad agencies in Boston and provided some interview coaching.  We continue to stay in touch regularly and Stephanie has since landed a great job (through a connection she made at a networking event) and is doing really well!

WomenAdvancing continues to be a fun and supportive environment where I reconnect with colleagues and develop new friendships.

Stephanie Farber, Marketing Specialist, Withings

WomenAdvancing has been a great resource for me in the past year. I joined WomenAdvancing Boston during my senior year at Tufts and it was exceptionally helpful to collect insights and advice from several successful women in the media community. The mentorship program, specifically Kara Jenkins, helped me to feel less lost and better grounded during my job hunt. In addition to the amazing support WomenAdvancing has offered, the events are always a great time, and packed with interesting people and useful discussions. Thanks WomenAdvancing for all your hard work, looking forward to future successes!

Never under estimate the power of networking. You never know who you'll meet, what connection you'll make, or who may become your mentor or mentee. And what results from those relationships is invaluable. That's what WomenAdvancing is all about. If you've been thinking about how to advance your career, I encourage you to start by networking. Have a conversation with someone you respect, find a mentor, attend an event with similarly focused professionals. I promise you that those experiences will pay off. You'll learn something new, you'll feel more empowered, you’ll make new connections and you'll have fun to boot!​

The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Media Village management or associated bloggers. Image at top courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

 

 

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