The Akron MENT

A fresh take on MENTorship

It’s no secret that who you know is often as important as what you know. But building a professional network is tough and finding a mentor to help guide the way can be a challenge.

Enter The Akron MENT: AAF-Akron’s take on mentorship. We’ve spent years building our Rolodex and now we’re ready to put our professional match-making skills to work for you. The MENT pairs eager college students or newbies with their very own seasoned ad professional for a nine-month journey to mentorship and beyond.

Portfolio help? The MENT’s got you covered. Internship advice? Absolutely. Awkward question you don’t want to ask your boss? We’re here for it. Foot in the door? Our toes are at your service. Coffee and chat? Yes, please. A life-long professional relationship? We hope so.

How does the MENTorship process work?

Let’s break it down into a few easy steps.

  1. Renew your membership or join here.

(Questions about your membership? Email membership@aafakron.com)

  1. Let us know you want to participate as either a mentor or a mentee by submitting the corresponding survey by April 1, 2024, at 11:59 pm.
  2. Once you’re signed up, sit back as AAF-Akron finds you the perfect MENT Match. You’ll get an email introducing you to your new MENT bestie soon!
  3. Stay tuned for other cool events, mentoring and networking opportunities!

What will my MENT partner and I actually do?

Well, really, you can do anything you want! This professional relationship should benefit both parties, and we hope that you will find your groove. But as your professional matchmaker, AAF-Akron has some guidelines to make sure you both get the most out of the experience.

Together:

  • Mark your calendars. Make sure you both plan to attend the MENT Launch Event on April 17th and the AAF-Akron Annual Meeting on October 17th (aka your graduation!!)
  • Set a goal(s) for the year. Make sure you’re on the same page. Your goal(s) could be as general as learning more about the industry together or as specific as completing a mock project as a team. You can have more than one if you’d like, but keep it reasonable.

Mentees:

  • Review your mentor’s body of work/website/LinkedIn/etc. It’s important to see how they got to where they are today and the kind of work they do.
  • Check in with your mentor at least once each month. This relationship goes two ways, so make sure you are also reaching out to your mentor. You can reach out via email, text, phone, Zoom, lunch, homing pigeons – whatever works for you and your mentor. (Pro Tip: ask your mentor how they prefer to be contacted!)

Mentors:

  • Check-in with your mentee at least twice a month. We’d like at least one of those check-ins to be live (in-person or Zoom). Email, text or Slack are also great to keep in touch.
  • Critique their portfolio. Getting feedback on their work is an important part of this relationship for your mentee. Please review their portfolio at least once (or more!). Give your honest feedback, but make it constructive. Then work with them to make improvements. And, if they don’t have one, talk with them about how to create one.
  • Google them. Check out your mentee’s online presence and discuss it with them. Pay special attention to their LinkedIn Profile and personal website. Constructive feedback will make them more marketable.
  • Keep the goal in mind. As the more experienced professional, we trust you to make sure your team accomplishes the goal(s) you set.

Is this going to be a lot of work?

Not at all. But, good relationships do take time and effort. Your MENT bestie shouldn’t consume your every waking minute; however, we do want to make sure that this relationship helps both creative, ad-loving geniuses grow. So, plan to spend a few hours a month growing your bond. It doesn’t have to be a slog. Read an important piece of industry news? Forward that email. See an amazing POP display? Snap a pic and send a text. Need a lunch buddy? Grab a quick bite together.

Our industry is fun, funky and full of wonderful human beings who can help each other be the best versions of themselves. Whether you’re a seasoned ad veteran looking to pass on your hard-earned lessons or an eager young talent ready to tackle the world, you just might be the breath of MENTy fresh air that somebody needs.

 

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