The Joys of MentoringMay 10, 2011
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
A mentor, according to dictionary.com, is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher; an influential senior sponsor or supporter. ANA recently introduced the Procurement Mentoring Program - this is a client-side community committed to improving the relationships procurement has with both internal marketing and external agencies.
The ANA Procurement Mentoring Program connects marketing procurement professionals. A group of senior-level marketing procurement professionals has volunteered to be mentors and chat one-on-one with marketing procurement professionals at other organizations, whether that is (a) at companies where the function/skill set is less mature or less accepted or (b) with more junior level marketing procurement individuals at non-competitive companies.
The goal of the program is to improve marketing procurement knowledge and expertise via shared resources, values, procurement skills, perspectives, attitudes, behaviors, best practices and lessons learned.
Over twenty people have volunteered to be procurement mentors. While the program is still relatively young, mentors and mentees alike have benefited. Mentors have enjoyed "giving back" and sharing their experiences. Mentees have been able to tap into the perspective of mentors to enhance their knowledge and ask the tough questions - those that they might not want to ask their bosses.
The ANA Procurement Mentoring Program is growing and adding mentors to keep up with the demand from mentees. More at www.ana.net/procurementmentoring.
ANA has a separate mentoring relationship with the Medill School of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Members of the ANA Integrated Marketing Committee as well as ANA staffers (like me!) are mentors to graduate students in the Integrated Marketing Communications program. My mentee is a second year student who helps manage a blog call "Vitamin IMC" - find it here at www.vitaminimc.com. This relationship has just started and I look forward to helping my mentee and learning from her as well.
I encourage you to get involved as a mentor too. There are lots of avenues for that including at your workplace, school, in your community, in a youth organization and more!
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