Perspectives From a Mentee’s Eye
by: Jennifer “Jaki” Johnson
WICT Social Media Reverse Mentoring Program
WICT recently held a pilot program in which the younger generation mentored seasoned executives on social media. As a mentor of the program, I found the opportunity to be exciting and I was curious to learn how I could make an impact on someone who had a plethora of media experience. Well, I had the chance to interview my mentee Sheri McGaughy, the Vice President of Legal at The Weather Channel about her experience and to find out if the mentor relationship really did make an impact.
Jaki: How did you feel about your experience in the mentoring program?
Sheri: It was really interesting to get your perspective, particularly on privacy and how your views differ from others in your generation. Learning what makes sense to you and how you use social media allowed me to understand your thoughts on technology. Without the “reverse” focus of this program, I might not have learned those things.
Jaki: Based on current social media trends and the setup of the reverse program, do you feel that the program complements those trends?
Sheri: Most companies are moving toward social media, so the program complements what is going on in the industry. It gives more senior people in the industry insight into a younger persons view on social media. Having that additional layer of perspective is very helpful.
Jaki: For those interested in being mentored through the program, what would be some advice you would give them to maximize on their experience?
Sheri: First, I would encourage the senior level executives to maximize the opportunities that the program offers. You must be engaged. Spend time on the program, and get to know your counterpart. Second, I would say dig deeply into topics that interest you. Third, be a mentor to your mentor as well. Find out what her goals are and make sure the mentoring is going both ways.
Jaki: As for mentors, what kind of advice would you give them to help them successfully grow their relationship with their mentee?
Sheri: Engage, as well. Provide information, find out the needs of your mentee, and fulfill those needs. Take advantage of the mentoring opportunity and try to get advice on your goals.
Jaki: If there was one thing you would want future mentors/mentees to be mindful of, what would that be?
Sheri: They should spend more time with one another. This is a short-term program, and it can be hard to find the time to spend on it. The benefits for both participants are outstanding if both parties will make a commitment to engage with each other and spend time together.
Jaki: Thank you for the interview and I truly enjoyed my experience with you.
Sheri: You welcome and it was a pleasure working with you as well, Jaki!
As you can see, the program was beneficial to both parties. I truly enjoyed mentoring Sheri! I had a blast and in the end, the mentoring experience was full circle. She mentored me along the way as well. With my interests in media law, she played an intricate part in giving me advice for law school and media law. I appreciate the program and I look forward to participating in the future!
Jennifer “Jaki” Johnson
WICT Social Media Reverse Mentoring Program Mentor