Emerging Marketers Q&A: Kristie Atkins and Brittany Gann
Whether you’re a mentor or a mentee, the benefits of mentoring are undeniable. The Australian Marketing Institute’s Emerging Marketers Mentoring Program offers a comprehensive 7-month guided program which provides participants with a unique opportunity to learn new skills, build their professional network and further their careers.
Today, we’re excited to share a Q&A from last year’s program participants, Kristie Atkins and Brittany Gann.
What did you learn from your experience in the program?
Brittany: I have learnt the importance of networking. I was very lucky to have been matched with a mentor who possessed a vast network of colleagues and friendships which highlighted the benefits of this. Transitioning from my post-graduate degree into full-time positions and being part of this program gave me the confidence to pursue different opportunities.
Kristie: Brittany is and always was going to be successful. She has the ideal mix of intellectual smarts and soft skills. My experience with her showed that being a sounding board is a critical part of the mentor-mentee relationship. It was the main thing Brittany needed. She had all the answers but sometimes it’s good to scenario plan (think about what other ramifications the choices you make may have).
Why do you think mentoring is important for the career of marketers?
Brittany: Continued self-development is of utmost importance for the career of marketers due to the profession’s ever-changing nature. I have found mentoring to be one of the most important foundational aspects within the youth of my career and one that I plan on continuing. Mentoring allows for an outside perspective for encouragement, advice or a sounding board.
Kristie: No matter how experienced you are, having the right support around you is critical. We’d all love to think we know everything, but it’s never the case!
What were you hoping to gain from joining the mentoring program?
Brittany: At the beginning of the program I was confused about which path within the marketing sphere would not only be most suited to my skillset, but where my passions laid. The program allowed me to learn about different aspects of marketing and develop my personal skills which lead to me being in a position I am extremely happy with.
Kristie: I feel like a dual winner here! Not only did I get the privilege of getting to know Brittany and to support her in her journey including into her first role in a media agency but now she’s landed a new role in my customer acquisition and retention marketing business. We’re so excited to have her and she’s off to an amazing start!
If you were applying for the program today, what advice would you give to yourself?
Brittany: I would be over-prepared walking into my first meeting with my mentor. I would take a further look into what avenues of marketing I wanted to tackle as well as companies and individuals I aspire to be like. I would also encourage anyone applying to walk in with confidence and an open mind. This makes you feel more relaxed and is beneficial for the relationship.
How did you work together to get the most value out of the mentoring relationship?
Brittany: Kristie and I worked together with complete transparency around all aspects of my early career and long-term plans. We were able to discuss possible avenues that could assist in facilitating my short and long-term goals. Entering the program, I was eager to get started with my career however I was confused about the specificities of the role I wanted to dive into. Coffee and teams catchups with recruiters as well as members of Kristie’s network served me best. Kristie and I also had weekly / fortnightly catchups to discuss wins and challenges. I was extremely lucky to have a mentor who was not only generous with her time to the program but also with our partnership.
Kristie: Brittany is smart, organised, clever, witty and fun. I feel privileged to have been able to support her on her journey. I am sure one day all of us will have her as our future boss!
What do you think are the biggest challenges in navigating a career in marketing?
Brittany: Starting my career with an open mind and the knowledge of needing to work hard to prove my worth. Beginning in the pandemic proved to be a large learning curve as several opportunities were not what they seemed to be. Although this experience presented its own emotional and mental battles, my mentorship encouraged me to continue learning and take the opportunity to expand my network.
Kristie: When you have the right combination of technical and soft skills in a market like the current one, there is always going to be an opportunity for you. However making the right choices, when you have multiple options, can be very tough. A lot of us feel like if we don’t quickly dive into something we might miss out. Yet before you do that, do your due diligence and ensure the company, the industry, the opportunity, the environment and all the other key factors are the right fit for you.
Did you have any funny moments during the program you’d like to share?
Brittany: A mentorship existing largely online due to the pandemic presents continual moments of comedic relief. As well as technological issues, being an extrovert, I was overly excited to talk to Kristie whenever I had the opportunity. I will continue to be grateful for the extra push and kindness Kristie continues to provide. I not only strive to be the best marketer I can be because of her teachings but because I hope to pay this forward.
Kristie: As two big bubbly personalities, no one else probably would’ve got a word in edgewise when we got going! I am super excited to see where Brittany’s career takes her and look forward to continuing to support her throughout her journey.
Applications for Mentees and Mentors are closing on 27 March for the 2022 Emerging Marketers Mentoring Program.
The AMI Emerging Marketers Mentoring Program provides aspiring emerging marketers with an opportunity to connect with senior marketing professionals, get valuable insight into the industry and develop their skills to give them a competitive edge in their careers. Our mentors are Certified Practising Marketers who work across marketing and communications, advertising, media, and professional services.