With the AMA Houston Mentorship Program deadline fast approaching (October 9), we know you’ll enjoy real-life insight from past mentees and mentors on what it’s like to be in the program. Today, Mariam Ottun, AMA Houston volunteer and a 2016-2017 mentee, shares her experience from last year’s program:

What made you apply to become a mentee?

I applied for the program because I felt I needed a little bit of hand holding when it came to my career in marketing. I was excited for the opportunity to meet someone who was where I would like to be and help me map out how I could get there. I applied to the program twice. The first time was during my last year in undergrad, but I didn’t get in at that time. After I graduated and landed my first job I decided to apply again, and this time my application was accepted.

Who did you end up getting paired with?

They paired me with Glenn Taylor, a leadership coach and speaker who founded Skybound Coaching and Training. He is also the former CMO of the Houston Symphony. So for me, it was honestly a perfect match. I eventually want to start my own marketing consultancy; he has the practical expertise on growing a business, as well as the corporate executive experience to guide me through this path.

What were some goals you and your mentor established?

I was actively looking for new job opportunities so that was one of the main goals I set out to accomplish. Being that he started his own business, Glenn had the practical expertise that would help guide me in my own entrepreneurial endeavors. He also had the corporate leadership experience that I desired to have in the near future as well.

Did you end up meeting those goals?

I actually did. About a month after the mentorship program ended, I got a new job. I can contribute my new role to the countless number of hours that Glenn poured into me. During the 8 month program, Glenn went out of his way to connect me with the right people, help me secure informational interviews and set up tours with companies that I really wanted to work for. I couldn’t have done any of that without his guidance.

What were some things you got from the program that you weren’t expecting?

This program allowed me to get out of my comfort zone, network and put myself out there. In the program, there were many mandatory AMA events I had to go to that forced me to meet new people. It was through networking at those events that compelled me to become an AMA volunteer. That was not a part of my initial plan! However, I am so grateful because if not for the program, I would have never had the chance to connect with the right people and secure a role as a volunteer member.

Any advice to a new mentee?

Don’t be afraid to be very clear on what you desire out of the program. Write down all the goals you seek to accomplish no matter how far-fetched they seem. The whole purpose of the mentorship program is to help you grow and succeed. Also, try and take the initiative when it comes to communicating with your mentor. Remember, he/she is very busy, so the easier you make it for them to meet with you and manage expectations the better. And finally, let your mentor know how much you appreciate their help. A simple thank you note and gift card to Starbucks can go a long way.

The mission of the AMA Houston Mentorship Program is to connect young professionals interested in marketing with experienced marketing professionals for support, guidance and encouragement as they pursue a marketing career. Apply to be a mentee or mentor in this year’s program before October 9.


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