Why Mentoring Matters

Why Mentoring Matters

It’s a wonderful way to give back and help others grow and learn!

Why Mentoring Matters

L-R Becca Berkenstadt, Alyssa Burns

I know the importance of having – and being – a mentor.

I’ve been told throughout my career in marketing and communications how vital a mentoring program could be to my career, but none of the companies I worked for – including Edelman Worldwide and Kraft Foods – offered one.

Fortunately, the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago’s Mentorship Program filled that gap for me.  After serving as president of PWCC four years ago, the following year I become a mentor in PWCC’s mentorship program.  Currently I’m co-chair of the Mentorship Program, along with the extraordinary Kate Solis Silva, whose energy, enthusiasm and spirit make her a tremendous partner.  I’m thrilled that the mentorship program has grown year-over-year.  When the mentorship program started five years ago, there were seven mentor/mentee matches. We grew to 27 matches this year.

I currently have two mentees of my own — Becca Berkenstadt and Pallavi Goodman.  They specifically asked me to be their mentor. This was humbling to me.

When I first mentored three years ago, the biggest surprise was how much I learned from my mentee.  I didn’t realize at the time how beneficial mentoring could be for both parties.  This continues with both of the mentees I have today.  They never cease to amaze me with their enthusiasm, willingness to learn and their unending drive to be successful.  They truly are remarkable.

The mentoring relationship is built on mutual trust, respect and communication.  One of the most important skills I can give my mentees is the capacity to believe in and be kind to themselves.  My goal was to guide my mentees and let them make their own choices.  I wanted to encourage them to capitalize on their own strengths.

Mentoring is so more than the transfer of advice, knowledge and insights.  It’s much more satisfying than that.  It’s a wonderful way to give back and help people grow and learn.

I really love mentoring.  It has life-long benefits. Developing these professional relationships can be life-changing.  I know it’s changed mine.  I am honored to be a part of the PWCC Mentorship program and thankful to have the opportunity to see my mentees grow and flourish.  Not only have they become women I admire and respect, but they’ve become my friends.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Alyssa Burns is a writer, connector and advisor. She works with entrepreneurs and small business owners to create powerful content that tells a story, resonates with readers, and increases sales.