In a time when relational role models can’t meet face-to-face emerges a new podcast: Mentor Moments.
As an advice-cast, Mentor Moments gives listeners the chance to gain insight from different executives every week. Upcoming guests include some big local names, like TopGolf CEO Dolf Berle, Cawley Partners CEO Bill Cawley, Vouch CEO Christiana Yebra, and several more.
The podcast was started by Young Leaders for Change, a DFW-based 501(C)3 nonprofit dedicated to empowering young adults in personal development, professional development, and service-learning through a variety of experiential programs and initiatives. Launching Sept. 15, Mentor Moments represents Young Leaders for Change’s latest enterprise to evoke ambition in youth.
Mentoring makes the professional personal, according to Young Leaders for Change Executive Director Alex Quian. The recent Cornell graduate would know, as Quian has had a mentor to whom he credits much of his success.
“In 2016, I was hired for what was supposed to be a three-month summer internship,” Quian says. “Through this internship I met my mentor and without him, I do not think I would have ever been on a path towards entrepreneurship. Those three months have since turned into four years, in which I’ve had the privilege to continue this journey and work on a variety of projects that gave me real-world experience that many of my peers did not have.”
Quian’s experience with maintaining a role model relationship spurred him to produce and self-fund a podcast that simulates the classic motivation of looking up to a leader—a feat that is especially necessary in 2020.
“We know that a podcast can’t replace one-on-one, in-person time with a mentor,” Quian says. “But we do hope that the guests on the show and the questions we ask them provide the audience with practical advice that they can apply to their daily lives as they navigate career growth in a COVID-19 world.”
In the myriad of COVID-induced challenges, one hurdle is that countless young adults are missing out on internships and career opportunities, making it even trickier to have the opportunity to be mentored.
Adversities of the present moment considered, University of Pennsylvania research indicates that quality mentoring can lead to more promotions, profits, and prospects.
Quian’s mentor, Greg Weatherford II, who works as the director of Community Engagement & Special Projects at Southern Methodist University, underscores the severity of the pandemic’s effect on folk’s professional trajectories. However, rather than throwing his hands up in defeat, Weatherford has a hopeful outlook.
“I believe that one possible silver lining in this mass disruption is that from it will come mass opportunity,” Weatherford says. “I encourage everyone to do three things: explore possible new careers that may be options to you, examine skills that you could improve upon or gain during this time, and finally, don’t be afraid to be bold and go for new opportunities that you may not have been able to pursue before.”
Reflecting on the symbiotic dynamic of mentoring, Weatherford says that guidance is a two-way street on the avenue of professional self-actualization.
“I like to encourage my mentees to believe they can play a part in solving complex issues,” Weatherford says. “I challenge them to stay alert on current societal problems taking place. From there, we have great conversations about possible ways they can play a part in bringing about positive change and ideas to make a difference.”
Listeners can find Mentor Moments on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Pandora.
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