The Mentor Effect

Having taught a lot of portfolio school students, I can say that what most junior creatives want – almost more than anything else – is a good industry mentor.

And having worked in advertising agencies for a long time, I can say most junior creatives aren’t really getting what they want.

So several months ago, I started talking to junior creatives, students and creative directors about their expectations of each other. Turns out there are some gaps no one’s really addressing. That’s “The Mentor Gap,” and you can see what I mean in the SlideShare presentation below. And having a good mentor (or being one) is more than just lucking out or being a good person. There are some ramifications for entire agencies. I call that “The Mentor Effect.”

You can read the whole report here, or just watch the intro below. Since these points apply to portfolio school students, junior creatives, CDs and even agency principals, I think it’s worth discussing. So if you like what you read, feel free to tweet it, post it, share it. Thanks.

3 thoughts on “The Mentor Effect

  1. You hit the nail on the head. A good mentor is all I really wanted coming out of school. Luckily there are sites like this one to fill in a lot of the gaps.

    Ad school definitely does not supplant real experience – students NEED mentors. Even when that school gives one “real” experience – it's still very different.

    I find if you are in a sink-or-swim situation – your first TV shoot, etc – YOU MUST ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS. Don't act like you know what you're doing – because everyone will know. The only way to learn in situations like these is to fearlessly be involved. When I went on my first shoot, I remember telling everyone I met(minus the client) that it was my first shoot – and advice was welcome. Everyone was more than willing to put in their two cents.

    But seriously I can't of a better way to improve and progress than by having a good and willing mentor. great post. Love the slide show.


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