5 ways to make the most out of your PressPad mentor/host experience
The opportunity to gain journalistic experience through an internship is a great way to explore the exciting world of the media industry. However, the opportunity to gain a wide range of insight and industry advice from your PressPad mentor and host is something that should be taken advantage of throughout your stay. It is important to remember that each and every one of our PressPad host and guest experiences can be completely different – and each professional relationship including expectations and arrangements should be established at the beginning of your stay.
We have created a list of ways in which you can make the most out of your professional relationship with your PressPad mentor and host.
Plan ahead of your meetings or professional commitments
It is important to plan ahead of your meetings (if applicable) with your mentor/host and to make sure that you have at least a brief outline of what you wish to discuss. This may include questions you wish to be answered, or topics that you believe they may be able to help you with. It is always helpful to establish how long each meeting will last too, as your mentor may not have a great deal of time, so it is essential to plan your questions accordingly based on your time frame. Planning will enable you to make the most out of the time you have dedicated with your mentor, and will encourage you to stay on track and cover the topics you wish to discuss.
Know exactly what you wish to gain from your professional relationship
It is important to establish what you wish to gain from your professional relationship with your mentor/host – such as the skills and areas of expertise you would like to strengthen. However, it is crucial that you are mindful and realistic as everything on your list may not be attainable (but of course, you can strive towards) in this set time frame. Each and every one of our PressPad professional relationships can differ based on a variety of factors and ultimately varies from person to person. Your mentor may be able to devote a great amount of time and energy daily to you, or it may be a weekly/less frequent arrangement.
The goal-setting and your personalised plan of action will be established at the beginning of your working relationship with your PressPad mentor/host. During this time you will be able to establish boundaries of your arrangement. Of course this can also change throughout the course of your placement as your relationship develops and strengthens based on both of your working hours.
Focus and listen
To make the most out of your meetings and sessions it is important to focus and listen to your mentor. Ensuring you are present and are maintaining focus within the meetings will help you make the most out of the time allocated and will allow you to communicate effectively if you do not understand a topic of conversation. Focus and keep track of the career and industry advice provided that you can utilise during your internship, so that you can choose which areas you would like to focus on more in your sessions.
A good mentoring relationship involves asking plenty of questions, which will enable your mentor to teach and advise you based on their own experience and skill set. Of course, your mentor will not have the answer to every question but they will try and provide a great amount of support in a variety of areas. Whether it is industry specific advice, problem-solving, or general industry questions, they are there to help and guide you in the right direction. You can also keep track of the questions and answers in your notepad or phone if you feel as if you may forget. This will help you avoid time-wasting and will enable you to focus and arrange your scheduled time with your mentor effectively.
Take on actions after each mentoring meeting/session
A successful mentee takes on actions after each mentoring session in order to apply this knowledge in the workplace effectively and to prepare for the next meeting. By taking on actions which can be achieved through devising an action plan will allow you to ultimately make the most out of each and every opportunity with your mentor and host.
The opportunity to learn from an industry professional is an exciting way to gain experience-based insight on the media industry. We hope that you benefit greatly from the knowledge and skills acquired from your professional relationship with your mentor and host and that this professional relationship will last a lifetime. Even if not, it will still positively shape you professionally, enable you to become a successful journalist, and begin the next chapter of your career.
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