Have you found a great mentor? If so, what makes him/her great? Have you learned anything new about the industry?
I am incredibly lucky to have a fantastic mentor on the campaign. I met her my freshman year of college (she was a senior) and the first thing I said to her was, “how did you get to where you are today.” I treat everyday as a learning opportunity, and appreciate her insight on life and work-life.
She’s helped to teach me to not take things personally. On campaigns, we often work long hours in close proximity. The work is often stressful and is can be challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. In such conditions, we are bound to act human – to be cranky, or impatient, or curt with one another. At the beginning of the campaign, such behavior would really bother me and put me in a funk for the rest of the day. Now, I am much better at managing everyone’s mood – I’m reminded that at the end of the day we are all working for something much bigger than ourselves, something so big that we will remain united in the face of varying (and sometimes clashing) personalities.
She’s also helped me be easier to manage. Not only was I sensitize to people’s moods, but I was also sensitive to criticism. As a younger member of the team given more responsibilities than many of my peers, I was self conscious about making a mistake and often wouldn’t want to take responsibility for those mistakes. Now, I am better at owning up to my mistakes and I treat those moments more as learning opportunities.