Published 26th Feb 2023
Mentor Linda Descano
Executive Vice President @ Red Havas US
Why did you agree to being a mentor?
I agreed to be a mentor because I fundamentally believe all of us, regardless of where we are professionally, benefit from mentoring and it’s important to ‘walk your talk’ by making time to give and not just receive. Secondly, I believe those of us who’ve been in the workforce have an obligation to share our experiences with others and help them navigate roadblocks with greater ease—so, it’s about paying it forward.
How do you feel this benefits you personally and professionally?
Mentoring allows me to expand my professional network, examine issues and topics through the lens of someone else, and potentially learn something new. Inevitably I come away from the experience with new perspectives and ideas, a better appreciation for how others may approach a topic, and most often with a lifelong friend and colleague.
How do you believe your mentee has benefitted from this journey?
I hope my mentee found my insights to be valuable and given them some additional tools to use for handling leadership and other business issues that they face. I also hope they were inspired to pay it forward and mentor others.
Would you be a mentor again?
Mentee Caroline York
Marketing Director @ Gusto Collective, Hong Kong SAR
Why did you apply to be a mentee?
I applied as a mentee since I was not classically trained as a PR specialist and thought it would be a great community to learn from. I was particularly looking forward to the exchanges with a renowned industry mentor who can help me with my career growth.
What are you looking to achieve from this programme?
With the programme, I was hoping to exchange insights with other PR practitioners, and become part of a strong, supportive women-community that can uplift one another. I found it particularly useful that our group of Mentees are very helpful with their contacts and we can connect with one another through this shared experience.
What’s been your standout moment this year as a mentee?
The standout moment would be to learn from Nancy Ruscheinski, she truly had a remarkable career and gave a lot of insight into working in-house for an agency. In addition, I found her ability to laterally switch positions within the same firm to be very inspiring as it cultivates growth in less of a linear manner but more in the scope and breadth of knowledge.
Why would you advise others to apply to be a mentee?
It was a wonderful journey with a strong community of women who are also striving towards their own respective career goals. Be inspired by others and share your own learnings, together I think the shared experiences help to give a multi-faceted perspective within the industry and can surely expedite your career. How are you using your learnings as a mentee within your career? I am able to leverage the new connections, i.e. ask my mentor and the other GWPR mentees for advice and they can act as a soundboard for ideas, solutions to overcome my current challenges. Likewise, I am also able to better understand the strengths and work that the other mentees are involved in, as a result there are true business opportunities that can also arise within this community.