01 March 2010

My First Blogging Round Table: Mentors

First off, I am really excited to participate in my first blogging round table. I had never even heard of such a thing until I saw Holly's blog post about it. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and I look forward to any comments you are willing to share.

Those of you reading this post may think that I am too young to be blogging about "outgrowing a mentor."However, I can confidently say that in my young 22 years, I have had already outgrown one mentor and am currently being mentored by two others. From a professional perspective, I may not have as much experience to share as some of you. However, I am definitely on my way to becoming a public relations professional and it has has been my mentors, both past and present, that have helped pushed me to become the student, leader, and young woman I am today.

As a teenager in high school, there was one particular woman in my church that took me under her wing and mentored me in different areas of my life. I looked up to her because she had gone through many of the same situations as a teenage girl that I was going through at that very time. However, I do believe that God's plan was for this woman to mentor me through a very specific season of my life. During my four years of high school, she set example of a Godly woman for me to follow and spoke truth into my life. After I moved off to college, my communication with this mentor began to fade and hardly exists anymore. We are still friends, but her role in our relationship has changed. I believe this is how it should be. I have outgrown this mentor because I am in a different place in my life now.

As a soon-to-be college graduate (May 15, 2010!!), I find myself being mentored in new ways today. I have been working for the past four summers at a Christian camp in South Texas called Camp Zephyr. I began my first summer as a "summer staffer" and have been promoted each year. This past summer, I served Camp Zephyr as the Program Coordinator. I created camp schedules, programmed and coordinated all-camp events, and served as the liaison between the executive camp staff, camp directors, and church pastors. My immediate supervisor, Shaune Martinez, who is the Associate Director at Camp Zephyr, has been some what of a mentor to me throughout my time at this camp. He has not only taught me a great deal of what I know about camp ministry, but has also given me room over the years to make mistakes. This has helped me to build a tougher skin and strengthen my skill set through both failure and success. I believe that a good mentor does not treat the person that he or she is mentoring as a puppet, but encourages and guides this person as he or she develops into the leader they are supposed to become. I plan on working at Camp Zephyr once again this summer, summer #5. I am not quite sure if this will be my last summer or not and I have no idea how long Shaune will serve at this camp before God calls him and his wife to ministry somewhere else. Someday though, I will "outgrow" Shaune as a mentor. And when this day I comes, I know that I will be able move forward in whatever profession I choose with the desire to take a chance and impart wisdom on another "summer staffer" that I believe has the potential to do great things, just as Shaune has done for me.

The other mentor in my life may not even know I see her in this light. I am currently interning at CBS News in New York City in the press office, also known as the public relations department. My immediate supervisor plays a huge role in this department and because of her experience in public relations, I am honored to be able to work under her. She is a motivator; those that work under her want to do their best because she brings out the best in people. The quality of this woman's character is noted by other executives in my office and she sets an example of how to be a solid leader in what can be a tough industry. My internship in New York will end on April 30th, and so will my mentoring under my supervisor at CBS News. However, I do not see myself necessarily "outgrowing" this mentor; not yet, anyway. At this point in time, I will have to start looking for another mentor to take the place of the one I'll leave behind in New York. I do think that a mentor is valuable, especially for young professionals like myself that are striving for success in their careers.

So there you have it, my mentors both past and present. I really do believe that it is important to surround yourself with the people you want to become because when you do this, these people push you to be better. It is through the love, encouragement, and leadership of my mentors that I am confidently pursuing my career goals and life dreams. I look forward to hearing about your mentors and beliefs for or against having a mentor. Thanks again for taking the time to read about mine.


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