Ideas fresh off the wire

You’re Never Too Old for a Guiding Hand—The Importance of Mentors In the Workplace

The real world—the scariest thing you can say to graduating seniors. Last week I had the opportunity to attend Syracuse University’s career fair for its Newhouse School of Public Communications—one of the most prestigious PR programs in the U.S., and alma mater for several Highwire pros. The suits and blouses mixed in with last night’s bar stamps made me remember how uncomfortable the transition between academia and “the real world” can be.

One of the things that has become increasingly important for new employees is working in an environment that values workplace diversity. But, despite being something all organizations strive for, the numbers proving the ineffectiveness of “trying” continue to drive headlines. From the larger tech community to venture capital, it will remain a pain point until the right programs are created and the shift happens from the top down.

Kim Hunter, President and CEO of Lagrant Communications, spoke about diversity in the workplace at the Newhouse Recruitment Dinner. One of his key points presented when discussing retention efforts once programs are put in place to make diversity in the workplace a priority was the importance of mentors.

Attending Syracuse faculty, PR professionals and more discussed the fact that coming into a workplace where others look different than you can be especially intimidating for entry-level employees. But by providing a mentor from the start, we can help diminish that intimidation and create a sense of community from the very start. Not only should employers provide a mentor or manager, they should encourage employees to seek out other mentors as they continue to grow at the company.

At Highwire, I’ve had the privilege of having great mentors guide me throughout my career. But seeking out internship programs that had a mentorship program in place wasn’t on my top list of must-have’s when job hunting as a senior in college. That was a mistake. Luckily for me, I landed at a place where mentorship and professional development are a priority for the firm.

For graduating students everywhere, I encourage you to find an organization that values mentorship. It will not only help you through your first grueling eight-hour workday, but that person might be someone you look to for the rest of your career.

And one last piece of advice—tell the local bar bouncer to stamp your wrist not hand so you can hide last night from potential employers. Welcome to the real world.

To learn more about Highwire’s internship program and review available positions, please see below.

Highwire’s Internship Program stands out in our industry. With dedicated managers and mentors supporting your growth and an immediate contributing role on real client teams, Highwire interns get the coaching and experience that builds confidence and hones PR skills. We are looking for recent graduates that are passionate about pursing a career in PR and will take the initiative to make the most of this opportunity.

Responsibilities include:

  • Attending client meetings and the art of the action item
  • Compiling media coverage into client facing clip reports
  • Researching reporters, blogs and social media sites
  • Trend research
  • Drafting pitches and press materials
  • Conducting customer interviews
  • Writing press releases and blog posts
  • Social media
  • Advanced measurement and reporting

Internship Requirements:

  • College graduate
  • An enthusiastic self-starter with a ‘can do’ attitude
  • An eye for detail and an ability to multi-task
  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Ability to navigate and master social media and social networking sites
  • Genuine interest in technology and technology companies
  • A background and/or experience in PR, journalism, English, political campaigns, technology and/or marketing is preferred

Please find our available internship positions here.