Connecting Through Guru Guidance
As we embark on the eighth year of the SMPS Washington, DC chapter Guru Guidance program, it still remains one of the most popular and most valuable programs to our members. The mentoring program is intended to be mutually beneficial for both the mentor and mentee, bringing together professionals at all experience levels. The program exposes mentors and mentees to fresh perspectives, ideas, and approaches, and provides participants the opportunity to reflect on their own goals and practices.
- Allows mentors a chance to give back to both SMPS and industry colleagues
- Offers mentors recognition as subject matter experts and leaders
- Provides cross learning opportunities about other areas of the industry
- Energizes excitement around industry trends
- Assists mentors with developing personal leadership and coaching styles
- Encourages mentee to take control of their career path
- Educates the mentee on feedback acceptance, interpersonal communications, technical abilities, and leadership skills
- Provides networking contact
- Clarifies career goals and action plans
The Guru Guidance program would not be what it is today without senior leaders volunteering their time and experience. Hear from two of our long-standing program mentors below.
HGA Architects + Engineers
SMPS has helped me over the years better understand not only the hows and whys of being a successful marketing professional but also the possibilities for career growth beyond the marketing department. In this stage of my career, I should be spending much more time giving back to SMPS than letting it “give” to me, and participating in Guru Guidance is one of the most rewarding DC chapter programs. I have truly enjoyed “teaming” with nine partners since 2009. Each mentee has represented a spectrum of our industry: landscape architect, graphic designer, marketing coordinator, marketing manager, PR specialist, etc. Monthly confidential meetings provide opportunities for free discussion about successes and lessons learned, as well as collaboration on any challenges. The program has helped me better understand the needs of early- and mid-career marketing professionals and made me a better advocate for their continued success. It has also led to long-lasting friendships, which I very much appreciate.
Dianne Schachner, FSMPS
Every year I look forward to participating in the Guru Guidance program as a mentor. When I look back on my career, I remember how I wished that I had a mentor with whom I could confide and discuss my frustrations. I love helping young professionals. They open doors for me to learn about new media.
Topics that I have discussed with past mentees include:
- How to build relationships
- How to deal with aggressive behavior in superiors and colleagues
- How to meet deadlines
- Where to find important information
- How to form teams for pursuits
I offer this advice to fellow mentors – learn from today’s young professionals as they will broaden your understanding of their world and introduce you to emerging technologies in our industry. It has been a pleasure participating in the Guru Guidance program and I look forward to continuing in the years to come.
In our 2015-2016 program year, the Guru Guidance program paired 50 members in successful pairs. Hear from Jen and Caitlin on their experience and the program benefits they received from participating.
Jennifer McGovern, CPSM (Mentor)
Mid-Atlantic Regional Marketing Manager
Mentoring allows you to feel a deeper connection with the A/E/C marketing community—mentees often provide a fresh perspective on old problems and the latest trends. The Guru Guidance program provides an opportunity for all of us to push each other to raise the bar for our profession—to grow, change, and improve what we do from day to day.
Caitlin Cox (Mentee)
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Being new to the professional world, having the Guru Guidance program to match me with a mentor whose initiative and motivation matched mine was an invaluable experience to have as I launch my career.
The Guru Guidance program holds roundtables each spring that are open to all members to share mentoring topics and further discussion crossing members at all levels of experience. Be sure to look out for Guru Guidance events in 2017 and explore your possible match for next year!
Amy Cuddy, CPSM
Marketing and Business Development Associate
Ayers Saint Gross