Hint: Swiping is disabled on videos, use the right arrow to advance and view images.
A mentor is someone that will guide you along the path you have chosen, someone that will help you overcome challenges and build your character, while being motivated to support you and being a positive influence on your journey.
Have you identified important individuals that have had a positive impact on your life? These individuals could be friends or advisers that you haven’t talked to in years, but they are still mentors to you. Reach out to them, thank them and start up that new dialogue. For me, it was a college professor at Ohio State in 2003, and I never realized how important he was to helping create who I am today and why I ended up in the sports tourism industry in 2012.
After nine years of working in a variety of roles in professional sports – from interning and working full-time for a Minor League Baseball team, to spending time selling sponsorships for a PGA golf tournament and then moving into event operations for a golf contractor, then finally landing in my current role at the sports commission in Columbus; I just then realized that I got to where I am because of that positive mentorship in college. I reached out to this professor, and now I regularly stay in touch, speak to his class of undergraduate and graduate students every semester and have an opportunity to mentor many of his students.
Whether you are new to your organization, the sports tourism industry or NASC; continued positive relationship building is a must. The value and importance of mentorship and staying in touch with your mentors can be mutually beneficial.
A career mentor can be found within the NASC, can be a former boss or an important individual from your years of education that helped shape you and get you to where you are today. These mentors are there for you when you are searching for new jobs or looking to overcome certain hurdles in your current position. The personal mentors you have are there to mentally support you through the challenges of a work/life balance and are there for you to get you back on the right path by picking you up in times of need.
Over time, it is just as important to stay in touch with your mentors; to keep them up to date where you are and let them know how valuable they have been in your personal or professional growth. By being a good mentee, one who is open and honest, will only strengthen this relationship.
To stay in touch with mentors, do not wait for them to reach out; but, be open to sharing exciting updates about yourself and share different accomplishments; whether it is being awarded a successful bid or speaking up at an important board meeting. Any moment of professional growth will be valuable for future successful endeavors.
To point out some important steps that mentees can take in ensuring they will receive valuable mentorship:
- Identify one individual from each step to your career path: academic, former colleague/positive influence, and current job-related individual
- Stay engaged in industry news - be educated on challenges and new trends
- Continuously stay in touch with those mentors that offer you the best support
Not all mentors offer the same kind of support, but for different scenarios you will see different impact from each mentor. Some of your job-related mentors will be supportive of your day to day job related questions; while your educational mentors may be more able to help with how to grow professionally.
A strong and positive mentor will give you the skills necessary to lead you to becoming a mentor someday, and you can start now. Think about a time when you thought you could really use some guidance; who did you reach out to? There are individuals searching for that same kind of support, and it is never too soon to lend a hand and create your own teachable moments.
I look forward to meeting the group of first time Symposium attendees in Knoxville, and all those that are new to the NASC. Reach out to those that have started you along this path.
Director of Events
Greater Columbus Sports Commission
NASC Mentoring Committee