Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gina Garrubbo, EVP at BlogHer, Speaks to AWNY’s Mentoring Community

On August 18th, the AWNY Mentoring Community met for breakfast at Yahoo! Chair of the AWNY Mentoring Committee and President of TRY Coaching, Terry Yoffe, gave the opening words and introduced our special guest, Gina Garrubbo, EVP at BlogHer. Committee member, Cheryl Darmanin, Senior Director of Account Management at Yahoo! prompted Gina with questions about how mentoring has shaped her successful career.

Gina spoke of two different types of mentors. The kind that supports you in the traditional sense and the kind that pushes you to your limits through tough love. Both have played a significant role in how Gina approaches both corporate life and motherhood. One of her biggest suggestions to finding happiness as you climb the corporate ladder was to choose your bosses carefully by always working for people who share your values. She also told the group about the importance of involving your children in your work life by showing them what your work is all about and sometimes even having them visit the office.

As described on Blogher.com, since 2005, BlogHer's mission has been "to create opportunities for women who blog to gain exposure, education, community and economic empowerment." In a recent article in Ad Age about the record-breaking BlogHer 2010 Convention, Gina was quoted saying, "[The BlogHer woman] wants to know what's happening. [Marketers] have to give her greater value, they have to be authentic, and they have to listen to her. If the brand brings something of value to this woman, she will love that brand and advocate for that brand -- in her words, in her way."

Thank you Gina Garrubbo for the gift of your time and advice. Keep up the excellent work at BlogHer!

*For more information on being a member of AWNY and participating in the 2011 Mentoring Program, visit AWNY.org or call the offices at 212-221-7969.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Save the Date for the AWNY Mentoring Program Leadership Breakfast on August 18th by Vicky Sullivan

AWNY’s mentoring program is all about celebrating today’s industry leaders while cultivating the leaders of tomorrow. For this reason, we have selected one of the most ground-breaking women in the communications industry to address our mentoring community at our upcoming breakfast at Yahoo! on Wednesday August 18th. Gina Garrubbo, fellow AWNY member and Executive Vice President of BlogHer, Inc, the largest community of women who blog, with a publishing network of 2,500 blogs and a reach of 21 million unique visitors per month, will be speaking about her professional philosophy and how it relates to mentoring.

This is an excellent opportunity to hear one woman’s story about how mentoring helped her become an innovative and influential women in the industry. You will also have the chance to exchange ideas and experiences with other mentors and mentees within AWNY’s growing mentoring community. Hope to see you there.

*Please note that this event is open only to AWNY members actively participating in the mentoring program. If you are interested in joining AWNY and being a part of the 2011 mentoring program please visit http://www.awny.org/

Monday, June 28, 2010

Get on Par with your Mentor/Mentee this Summer

Looking for someplace new and exciting to go for your next meeting with your mentor or mentee? The sport of golf has long been associated with closing business deals and career success. On July 28th from 6-8 p.m. AWNY will be holding our Annual Golf Clinic at Chelsea Piers sponsored by TRAFFIQ. For this month’s mentoring meeting, take a break from the coffee shop or your usual meeting place and attend AWNY’s premier summer networking event as a mentoring pair. No previous golf experience is required. We will also be holding a raffle with coveted prizes generously donated by companies such as the PGA Tour and The Wall Street Journal. Every attendee will leave with a gift bag full of free swag.

Signup on the AWNY website: http://www.awny.org/module-Pagesetter-viewpub-tid-3-pid-74.html!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Members' Suggestions: Modern Mentoring Q & A

Ruby Gottlieb, Director of Learning & Development Initiatives at Horizon Media Inc., shared with us an article recently published in The New York Times Jobs section on how the modern mentee has gone from being a silent partner to a contributor of ideas and even a reverse mentor. Here is an excerpt:

A Modern Mentor Is a Listener, Too by Eilene Zimmerman
Published on June 4 2010 in The New York Times

Traditionally, a mentor has been someone senior to you who helps you build skills and make connections. Although that definition generally still holds, the boundaries have changed somewhat, says Lois J. Zachary, president of Leadership Development Services in Phoenix and author of “The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You.”

“The mentee or protégé has gone from being a passive learner — where the mentoring is done to you as you sit at the foot of the master — to an active learner who directs the process,” Ms. Zachary says. “It’s much more collaborative now; there is more precision and structure.”
Click Here to

If you would like to share ideas and suggestions with the AWNY Mentoring Program, please email us at awnymentoring@gmail.com.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Young Executive V.I.P. Silent Auction is the Perfect Opportunity for Mentees to Network, Bid, and Win by Vicky Sullivan

The 13th Annual Young Executive V.I.P. Silent Auction will be held on May 13th from 6-9 p.m. at USA Today. This is one of our most talked about and anticipated AWNY fundraising events of the season. It is a great opportunity for young executives new to the industry to network with their peers and bid on time with some of the most accomplished high level advertising executives. Be sure to check out our list of 60+ participating V.I.P.s. Tickets are $25 for members and $35 for guests and can be purchased online. We encourage all of our mentees to attend this event. There will be raffle drawings for awesome prizes such as a Tiffany necklace, a Martha Stewart gift basket, and much more. All attendees will receive a gift bag.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don’t be Another Vendor: Become The Trusted Advisor by Vicky Sullivan

I recently came across a must-read book for anyone looking to succeed in a client related field entitled The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford. This book was a recommended to me by the Managing Director at 360i when I was an intern at the company and it changed the way I approach business. The simple concept of genuine trust is the ultimate solution to winning a client's business, keeping it, and getting glowing recommendations. It can result in rewards such as higher job security/pay and happier working conditions. No matter where you are in your career, I guarantee that this book and its 5-step process will change the very way you approach your business relationships.

Perhaps, the most successful way of doing business is reminiscent of a simpler time. In the old days, the people you would do business with on a daily basis would be the same people you would consider your personal friends or trusted advisers. For example, you would go to your local pharmacist or grocer with a personal crisis unrelated to their business. This is the ideal way to be viewed by your clients. The revolutionary knowledge found in The Trusted Advisor will help you achieve this goal.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Best of the Best Business Books for the Ages

A newsletter from TheLadders.com recently resurfaced a 2008 article by Dan Coughlin featuring his list of most important business books. Here is an excerpt:

Best of the Best Business Books for the Ages
Filed on December 8, 2008 on TheLadders.com

I decided to choose ten topics (ok, actually fourteen), select one book for each topic and then provide a brief explanation as to why I selected it.

Less is More by Jason Jennings. Jason is the master at finding companies that are truly productive, narrowing his list to the absolute best of the best and then immersing himself into... Click Here to Read More...

If you would like to share ideas and suggestions with the AWNY Mentoring Program, please email us at awnymentoring@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Taking it to the Next Level by Lori Wigler

A topic Beth and I have discussed is motivating a team and leading key people to the next level in their careers. While some things are easy to measure (e.g. understanding media and using tools), it’s difficult to teach someone how to think “big picture”, to be “strategic”, and to think from a “holistic brand perspective”. I've been struggling with this task as I prepare my Account Executive for the next level. Beth gave me great suggestions and I recently put one to immediate use with a twist!

If a team member's work is not up to par or has errors, rather than fixing it for them or pointing out the issues, inform the employee that it isn't client ready. Direct the employee to spend more time with the project to find the mistakes. For example, I recently set up time with my Account Executive for something I call “Supervisor School”. I gathered a few recently completed emails or projects which I had revised. We spent about an hour going through four examples and talked about why I made revisions from a bigger picture perspective. Some of my key rules:
  • Always ask why: we often are working at such a fast pace that we become task oriented vs. thinking about the big picture. You should attain the objective and end goal for each project. This will ensure the employee is always thinking about the next steps and will ask the right questions.

  • 5 W’s (who, what, where, when, why & how): think back to elementary school--does the final project address all of these key points clearly? For example, who is the consumer/demo? What is the objective? How will we achieve it? These are basics, but are imperative for discussions.

  • Get back to the clients' initial requests: have we answered it in the simplest terms? For example, we were asked for cancellation dollars and the AE provided a very detailed spreadsheet that highlighted by quarter, media type, etc. However, it failed to include a bottom line. While all the details were pertinent, we could have provided this as back-up and simply provided the bottom line amount to most efficiently answer the initial question.

This process helped set the precedence for my Account Executive of what the next level entails. I also made her aware that in the future, she should expect that I wouldn’t fix her work and instead have her spend more time with it. This process allowed me to set up my expectations upfront. My AE’s reaction to “Supervisor School” was incredibly positive. It was clear that I was invested in her growth and wanted to see her succeed. I have seen immediate positive changes in her work.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Mentor by Vicky Sullivan

There are no right or wrong questions to ask your mentor, but here are some guidelines that many help further develop a meaningful and productive conversation:

1. How did you get where you are today? Chances are you would like to someday be where your mentor currently is in their career. Hearing their story can often help you in writing your own.

2. What qualities do you look for in the people you hire? Someday at an interview, you will probably find yourself face-to-face with someone very similar to your mentor. Get the scoop on what these people are really looking for in a casual setting.

3. What do you see are upcoming trends in the industry? Since your mentor probably has more experience than you, it’s good to hear in advance what you might be facing in the future.

4. I am looking to _____ (e.g. switch my career from account management to account planning.) If you were me, what would you place your attention on and what are some pitfalls you would avoid? You mentor is there to guide you. Therefore, use your mentor's experience and knowledge to plan your own career advancement. I'm sure they wish they knew what they know now when they were in your shoes.

5. How should I approach my boss about _____? When you want to propose a new idea or tell your boss about an issue, it is often not what you say, but how you say it. You mentor’s previous experiences will help you find the superlative approach allowing you to arrive at the best solution.

6. What do you like most about your career? This could be a valuable question especially if you are thinking about switching careers or are not sure about what your next step should be. Your mentor could be a source of great insight into another area of the industry.

7. What characteristics or skills set you apart from your peers and enabled you to be so successful so quickly? Membership in AWNY is all about developing skills that will help advance your career quickly and more effectively. Who better to learn this from than your mentor?

8. How do you manage work/life balance? With a demanding career, it sometimes seems impossible to separate your job from your personal life. Your mentor probably has some tricks up their sleeve as to how to get the most out of your personal time.

9. How was your weekend? Getting to know your mentor on a personal level through their hobbies and interests is a very significant part of the mentor to mentee relationship. Feel free to form both a friendship and professional relationship with your mentor and sharing stories can help strengthen the bond.

10. When do you want to meet next? Both you and your mentor probably have very busy schedules so it is very important to plan ahead in order to stay on the same page. Do not let your time with your mentor lapse. If you can not meet set 15 minutes aside one day to speak over the phone.

More References:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Joining AWNY for Mentoring by Lori Wigler

My name is Lori, I’m 33 years old, have been working in media for about 9 years and have been happily working at the same company for over 7. While I have had great managers, I never connected with an official mentor. I joined AWNY this year based on a co-worker’s recommendation of the AWNY mentorship program.

After applying to the mentoring program, I soon received a helpful welcome package with my mentor, Beth Egan’s, resume. I was overwhelmed by Beth’s success in the industry. She is currently a Managing Partner at Mediaedge, but once held a position similar to where I am in my career now. The similarity gave me an immediate sense of connection to her and made my long-term goals seem realistic. I asked around and was thrilled at the reaction when I mentioned Beth’s name. I was told she was “real”, “great to work with” and a “great person”. While I’ll always make my own judgments about people, her great reputation just furthered my excitement about starting our mentor/mentee relationship.

Beth and I first met at the AWNY kick-off breakfast. I was standing in line to get coffee and although I had no idea what she looked like, I instantly smiled at the woman getting in line behind me. It was Beth! Although I had some pre-conceived notions about top management at other agencies, Beth seemed the complete opposite of all of those things- we made plans to have lunch the following week near my office and we arrived at the same time- 15 minutes early.

We both admitted that we’re new to a mentor/mentee relationship and we weren’t exactly sure how to structure our conversations. This actually made me feel comfortable just speaking, without a set agenda. Beth was a great listener and she even wrote down some things to send me following our lunch. I’ll share the outcome of our meetings soon...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Members' Suggestions: Professional Skills Article

Lynn Zalokar, Membership Manager of AWNY, shared with us an article recently published on MSN Careers that talks about professional skills everyone should learn. Here is an excerpt:

What They Should Have Taught You in School
Filed on Feburary 24, 2010 on MSN Careers with Career Builder

From not knowing how to balance a checkbook to handling a tough boss, many schools don't teach their students how to deal with basic issues they will encounter in their career. We asked employees and employers what skills they wish were taught in schools to see what they thought were the most glaring omissions. Click Here to Read More...

If you would like to share ideas and suggestions with the AWNY Mentoring Program, please email us at awnymentoring@gmail.com.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Recommendation for Monthly Meetings by Shahnaz Shroff

How Remarkable Women Lead is not only a remarkable read but also a great framework to shape your mentoring relationship for the year.

The recommended Centered Leadership model includes five basic elements: meaning, framing, connecting, engaging and energizing. These elements are explained using personal stories shared by more than one hundred female leaders who were interviewed over the course of five years. Food for thought and idea generation, these elements can help structure conversations during monthly mentoring meetings.

I highly recommend this book as it is inspirational in tone and offers practical advice that might help empower both new and experienced female leaders.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Members' Suggestions: Mentoring Article on Financial Times

Ruby Gottlieb, Director of Learning & Development Initiatives at Horizon Media Inc., shared with us an article recently published in Financial Times that talks about mentoring and its application in all situations. Here is an excerpt:

The Careerist: Mentoring by Rhymer Rigby
Published on January 24 2010 in Financial Times

Viewers of The X Factor television talent show in the UK will be used to hearing judges like Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole talk about “mentoring” their new acts. Indeed, whether you are dealing with boy bands or bankers, there is more to mentoring than just pep talks and pointing out directions to the nearest pub. Click Here to Read More...

If you would like to share ideas and suggestions with the AWNY Mentoring Program, please email us at awnymentoring@gmail.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ask AWNY: The Money Issue

Q. Dear AWNY,
This is my first year being a mentor, and I was wondering if it’s customary for mentors to pay the bill when they meet up with their mentees. Thanks!

A. As a mentor, you are already sharing valuable time with your mentee, giving them one-on-one attention and guidance, so please don’t feel any pressure to grab the check every time you meet. Going dutch is the norm, especially for mentors who are just a few years senior. Some pairs take turns- then every other month one person gets to be treated!

On the flip side, if you want to celebrate your mentee’s personal victory at a fun, new restaurant or your favorite wine bar, you can insist on paying if you’re comfortable doing so.

One rule of thumb is to stick to casual spots if you want to keep things simple--grab coffee and something sweet at your favorite coffee shop so you can always pay with a few singles and still have change for the tip jar.

Whatever the setting, when you keep the focus on your mentee’s professional progress, it will help you build a relationship of trust and gratitude more than anything else!

Ask AWNY features questions sent in by the Mentoring Program community! Send your anonymous mentoring questions to awnymentoring@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Starting the day off with a Mentoring Breakfast: A Recap by Vicky Sullivan

Thank you to everyone who came to our 2010 Mentoring Kick-Off Breakfast on Tuesday Feb. 4th! This year we paired 113 mentors and mentees (the most ever!) and had over 100 attendees during the event. Members networked and mingled, and Terry Yoffe of TRY Coaching, LLC and Chair of the Mentoring Program Committee, started by addressing the importance of mentoring and how one can get the most out of the program.

As a new programming format, the crowd was split in half between mentors and mentees and regrouped in separate rooms to address mentoring roles and questions. The mentors’ discussion was lead by Terry, while the mentee's discussion was lead by Cheryl Darmanin, Senior Director of Account Management at Yahoo! and Mentoring Committee Member. The mentors compared how they meet and communicate with their mentees. Lyle Landon recommended using www.meetup.com which is a social network geared toward setting up offline meetings. Others recommended meeting your mentee for breakfast before work since most NYC restaurants are quietest in the morning.

Meanwhile in the mentee room, some mentees expressed concern about how their employers would react (and if it is acceptable) to participation in an outside mentoring program. Cheryl reassured that multiple mentors from different areas of the business are perfectly acceptable and employers should support AWNY’s participants in their desire to further their careers through mentoring. She also stated that their participation might inspire their companies to create an internal mentoring program. One of the biggest suggestions was to have a plan/timeline outlining your goals between you and your mentor.

Books on professional development were also suggested throughout the breakfast. They included: StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, a book devoted to developing your strengths and finding your top 5 talents, How Remarkable Women Lead co-authored by Joanna Barsh, Geoffrey Lewis, and Susie Cranston which creates a model of work and life for women leaders, and Basic Black by Cathie Black, who is president of Hearst Magazines and one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business in 2006 http://awnymentoring.blogspot.com/search?q=Basic+Black

The crowd rejoined at the end of the event for a video demonstration of the AWNY blog was given by Amy Lam, Digital Marketing Manager at Direct Brands. This video is available for viewing at:

There will be two other free exclusive mentoring events in the Spring and in the Fall and check back for more in-depth book reviews! Watch for emails or sign up for the RSS feed today!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Digital Tools That Help Mentoring Communication by Amy Lam & Vicky Sullivan

We have come to rely on certain digital tools to efficiently manage our communication with our mentoring partners. Here are 4 free tools that we think everyone should be familiar with and how we personally use them:

  1. Google Calendar is a virtual day planner similar to Microsoft Outlook.

    How Amy Uses It: "I like to send meeting requests so my partner not only gets a reminder (that syncs with other applications, e.g. Outlook), but I have the peace of mind when I get a confirmation email stating that they've accepted the meeting. My friends and I also allow schedule sharing so when we make plans, we automatically know each others' availabilities."

  2. Google Reader compiles digital content from different sources all into one place.

    How Amy Uses It: "I set alerts for my mentors' names and companies so I get up-to-date news and gain further insight on their professional environment. I'm also always curious about what people choose to pay attention to or where people get their news so this tool conveniently allows me to receive (and share!) resources from other Google users."

  3. Skype provides phone service from anywhere in the world using the Internet (as a side note, they provide instant messaging, file transfer and video conferencing as well).

    How Amy Uses It:
    "I actually haven't used it yet in a mentoring situation, BUT it was potentially a great way to talk with my mentor when she was traveling outside the U.S. last year. The calling service is free, but the drawback is that both you and the other user must register in order to use it together."

  4. LinkedIn is a social network geared toward professional and career development.

    How Vicky Uses It: "It was a great resource for researching my mentor before I met him. I found out where he went to school, where he has worked and what mutual connections we had--even how he looked like so I knew who to look for in my initial mentoring meeting. You can also ask your mentor for a recommendation on LinkedIn and use it as a reference source."
Amy Lam is an online marketing manager at Direct Brands, Inc., responsible for enhancing brand experiences and generating conversions through all Bookspan's e-commerce sites.

Vicky Sullivan is the New Media Manager at Advertising Women of New York.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Staging the 1st Meeting: Tips for Mentors and Mentees by Vicky Sullivan

With only a few weeks until the Kick-Off Breakfast on February 2nd at Yahoo!, all newly matched mentors and mentees should have contacted each other and sent an RSVP to the AWNY office via email in regards to the breakfast. The idea is for mentors and mentees to have met prior to the kick-off event. This first meeting can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of this preliminary encounter:

  1. Be Professional: Though this is a mostly casual get-together, you are still meeting with someone in your industry so it is still a semi-professional meeting.
  2. Meet Half Way: Meeting at a place that serves food or coffee is always a great icebreaker. Starbucks is a good option and there is one on almost every street corner in the city. If lunchtime is convenient, meet for lunch. However, with the craziness and unpredictability of the New York workday, meeting before or after work might be a better option. Try meeting at a central location; somewhere in between where you both work. If you do not have time to meet set aside time to speak over the phone.
  3. Prepare: Before you even contact your mentor or mentee ask yourself what you are looking to get out of this. What would you like to achieve during your time together.
  4. Make a Connection: As far as conversation goes, have fun. Though it may be helpful to talk about job-related topics, making a personal connection is what this meeting is really about. However, make sure you think of a few conversation starters before you arrive at your first meeting. Simple questions such as:
    - What made you want to join AWNY?
    - Where did you go to school?
    - Tell me more about what you do.
  5. Set Goals: The mentor and mentee are both at different stages in their career. Each should look to and make the other aware of how they plan to use this program to further their career.

    Good luck and don’t forget to Learn Share Grow.

    You can now find AWNY on Twitter: http://bit.ly/7IjiEv and Facebook: http://bit.ly/4UVE3b

Thursday, January 7, 2010

AWNY's 2010 Mentoring Kick-Off Breakfast

AWNY's Mentoring Kick-Off breakfast will be held on Tuesday, February 2nd. Come learn how to make the most of your mentoring partnership, network with others in the program and meet the mentoring committee! We have changed the programming format this year so please read all the details below. See you soon!
  • What: AWNY's Mentoring Kick-Off Breakfast*
  • When: Tuesday, February 2nd
    7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. (Breakfast served at 7:45 a.m.)
  • Location: Yahoo, Inc.
    1065 Avenue of the Americas (Entrance is on West 40th Street), 12th floor
    Times Square Conference Room
  • RSVP: by Friday, January 29th to the AWNY office at (212) 221-7969
  • Program: All sessions start promptly at 8:00 a.m.
    Intro Session for Mentees
    Q & A Session for Mentors
    The entire group will gather together for any further questions at 8:30 a.m.

*Complimentary for AWNY 2010 mentoring program participants. Attendance is limited. Due to strict security and space limitations, sorry no walk-ins.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 AWNY Mentoring Program Community by Terry Yoffe, Mentoring Program Chair

And what a year 2010 promises to be. This year we have paired 113 mentees and 113 mentors, the most paired since the mentoring program began 13 years ago.

When we started this program no one ever dreamed that it would have evolved into what it is today. The numbers speak for themselves which is a true testament to AWNY, its members and the dedication of those people that help create the best program ever year in and year out.

Each year the mentoring committee looks back and assesses what we did well and where we can improve and then we go to work, making it happen. Two years ago we created our AWNY mentoring blog because we felt that there was a need for community within our program and what better way to bring mentees and mentors together than through a blog. We have been perfecting it each year and in the coming year we will have many wonderful stories, suggestions, resources and information to share with you.

This year we have changed our application forms, making it easier for both mentees and mentors to be more specific about who they would like to be paired with. And this year we are offering Reverse Mentoring to those that would like to share knowledge; a young professional sharing the newest and latest technology information with a more senior professional.
And even our Kick Off breakfast on Tuesday, February 2nd will have a different format than past years. This year we are going to separate the mentees and mentors and have a Q&A for each group so that mentees can get better acquainted with the program and the mentors can learn more about their roles.

Yes, 2010 is promising to be a championship year for the AWNY Mentoring Program because each of you has made it happen with your continued support of our community and each year we are reaching new heights.

On behalf of the entire Mentoring Committee and Program I want to say THANK YOU for reaching out and giving of your expertise, experience, time and energy, whether you are a mentee or mentor, to truly making a difference.

In closing, I will remind you of our tag line: LEARN, SHARE, GROW and that is what I hope for each of you this coming year.

With Appreciation and Gratitude,

Terry Yoffe & the Entire Mentoring Committee