Published 31st Mar 2023
Mentor Jagruti Mistry
Senior Director; Head of Corporate Communications for Middle East and North Africa MENA at Visa
Why did you agree to being a mentor?
I agreed to be a mentor because I’ve benefited from having access to someone who’s been through similar experiences or who’s had a different perspective from me and I think all of us have something to share which can help others. Mentorships can be short or long term, and I was open to seeing if my perspectives could help a peer.
How do you feel this benefits you personally and professionally?
Like I said, this experience was two-way. I felt that a lot of what I deal with at work crossed cultures quite well. Professionally, as a people leader, this opportunity gave me visibility to how professional women in comms are dealing with challenges and difficult execs and this helps me when I think of talent attraction and retention.
How do you believe your mentee has benefitted from this journey?
I would like to think Clara benefited mostly from being able to have open conversations and from the realization that despite geographical / cultural differences, many of the issues we deal with are similar, and sometimes we have to take a step back and look at our challenges from a macro perspective to find our solutions. We shared our journeys as new mums and that helped to create a very friendly relationship.
Would you be a mentor again?
I’d definitely do this again!
Mentee Dr Clara Herdeanu
Head of Communications @ Xayn
Why did you apply to be a mentee? What are you looking to achieve from this programme?
When I first applied to the GWPR Empower programme, my main expectation was to further develop on a professional level – and now I can definitely say that the programme has fulfilled my expectations. The leadership sessions by renowned experts, in-depth chats with my mentor Jagruti Mistry as well as the exchange with my fellow mentees have given me more insights, further perspectives and even more motivation to build on my leadership and management skills.
What’s been your standout moment this year as a mentee?
More than just one single standout moment this year as a mentee, I highly appreciated the professional exchange and the opportunity to connect with other highly skilled PR experts from all over the world. In addition, the sessions with my mentor have been very insightful and helpful. The Empower programme has definitely been a unique opportunity for me to plan and build my career.
On a more personal level, a standout moment for me was the fact that my mentor and I are both not only PR professionals but also mothers – and therefore, can relate to a lot of challenges mothers still face in the work space.
Why would you advise others to apply to be a mentee?
My advice to others is to fully take advantage of all the classes by international renowned experts and the meetings with your mentor but also to connect with the other mentees. This is an inspiring international network of PR experts that you can build on. It is an excellent opportunity to discuss PR challenges across borders and to learn from other experienced experts.
How are you using your learnings as a mentee within your career?
The Empower programme has helped me to stop chasing the chicken and start mending the fence. Often as a PR professional, you’re so caught up with your day-to-day challenges that it is difficult to keep up with the bigger questions of personal and professional growth. Therefore, I’ve been using the insights from the leadership sessions as well as the mentor chats to reflect upon mid- and long-term challenges.