AUGUST 1, 2011
Mentoring: A Gift That Keeps Giving
by Kendyl Baugh Moss, ATL Mentor 2009-11
as told to Kristina Dodge
“The only thing you need to do — the only thing I want you to do — is to make sure that you take the time to help others the way I helped you.”
That was a great message, one that came my way during one of my very first jobs. I was with Conference USA, and my boss was a wonderful woman named Brenda Weare. During our stretch together, Brenda dedicated time to ensuring that I learned every part of the business.
When I left that job, I tried to thank her for everything she had done, and it was then that she made her request, encouraging me to give back in a similar way. Brenda passed away two years ago, but up until then, she was someone I could call to bounce ideas off of, someone I could count on for guidance.
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have some very outstanding mentors, and it was the idea of mentoring that really struck me during my first-ever WISE event, a luncheon of the Atlanta chapter. I was not yet a member.
As I scanned the room of seasoned veterans and young professionals, I thought about how Brenda and others had guided me — and continue to today — and embraced my responsibility to help grow the future of our women leaders in sports. I was excited to become a mentor, so much so that I actually signed up to be a mentor before I even joined the organization.
Two years in, I am grateful for the experience.
I have had the privilege of mentoring two young women. Over monthly lunches, we talked about office politics and career growth, including the challenges associated with transitioning into management. I advised on résumés, and we hashed out job opportunities as they came up. Was it a bad day at work, or truly time to move on?
I sought to create a comfort zone in which my mentees could approach me with any topic free from judgment. In doing so, our meetings took on a conversational tone, and I benefited from the discussions as much as they did. I was invigorated. The eagerness with which they approached the industry and their willingness to learn was refreshing, a reminder of the importance of new knowledge and growth, even for established professionals.
I was recently named to the chapter board, and while, as chair of the mentor program, I will not be taking on a new mentee this year, I will be overseeing the pairing of mentors and mentees and addressing participant questions and suggestions. I get to be the “Mama Mentor” of the group, so to speak, and I am excited.
For those considering mentoring, I say this: If you can make the time, it is a great opportunity to see the spark in the eyes of the people moving up in this industry. And anything you can do to help them, you feel better for it.
As Director of Community Relations at the Atlanta Falcons, Kendyl Baugh Moss is directly responsible for community initiatives, player outreach, youth football programming and sponsorship and donations. She has held roles in event marketing and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and was previously the Assistant Director of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and NCAA Final Four. Kendyl holds a M.A. in Corporate Communications from DePaul University.
(original article: http://www.wiseworks.org/handler.cfm?cat_id=30202&cat_id=42663)