Mentor Exchange open to applicants

For its fifth year, the AMA-run program has revamped itself, aiming to attract mid-level professionals and mentors.
mentorship exchange

For its fifth birthday, the American Marketing Association’s Toronto division’s Mentor Exchange is putting a more formal program in place to help mid-level marketing folks connect with mentors.

The program, which is currently taking applicants until July 30, will kick off with a full-day session at Schulich Executive Education Centre to help participants maximize their experience, says Barbara Smith, co-executive program director, the Mentor Exchange.

The program pairs 50 folks in the marcom industry – usually with 10+ years under their belts in some managerial role at agencies or brands – with industry veterans, such as Uwe Stueckmann, SVP marketing, Loblaw, Jack Bensimon, founder of Bensimon Byrne and Jill King, president of One Advertising.

After running some focus groups and tracking studies, they found that mentee expectations were “out of whack” with what the program delivers, says Smith. So the full-day session was designed to help manage those expectations. “They knew they wanted a mentor and needed a mentor, but they didn’t really have any idea how to take full advantage of that.”

The program was also extended from nine to 10 months. To drive applications, the program is going out with a PR and social push, as well as relying on word of mouth referrals.