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Forget what you know about mentoring because I'm going to share a secret with you: The experience is so much more — so much better — than what you think.
Early in my career, I believed a mentor was someone who was successful in their career and could potentially help me get a J-O-B. During the last 15 years, I've lived all over the United States — from Jetmore, Kansas (population: 1,000), and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to such big cities as Dallas, Atlanta and San Diego — and at each stop, I have gained a mentor. In that time, I have also been a mentor. And what I have learned is that the takeaways are so much greater than that next step on the professional path.
Mentoring is about:
- Learning. Mentors and mentees both gain new insight through the process.
- Listening. Everyone has something to share, and you can learn from it.
- Celebrating. Both of my recent mentees went through job changes, and boy, did it feel good to share in marking their successes!
- Forging friendships. My mentors, from all over the country, are dear friends and have helped me at different stages in my life and in my career.
- Giving back! I've had incredible people help me through life, and it is my time to do the same.
Perhaps, it has been luck, or maybe, timing has been on my side, but I've hit the jackpot with mentors and mentees in my life. They have helped me grow personally and professionally, and I am forever grateful for their unlimited time, genuine support and sound guidance. Mentoring has proven to be so much more than I had imagined.
About Bridget Burke
Bridget Burke is in her fifth year at IMG College, where she serves as director of digital assets and university partnerships. Her primary role is to maintain relationships with athletic contacts and IMG sellers to help increase brand equity and site traffic and maximize revenue through digital assets. Previously, Burke had spent seven years at CBSsports.com, where she served as the online marketing liaison for 20-plus NCAA athletic departments, generating revenue through their official athletic websites. Prior to her time at CBSsports.com, Burke, a graduate of Kansas State University, worked for the Big 12 Conference in Dallas. Burke has been a member of the San Diego and Atlanta chapters of WISE. She is a three-time WISE Within Atlanta participant, first as a mentee in 2008 and then as a mentor in 2014 and 2016.
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