Updates, and The Act of Mentoring Others

It’s been a while since my last post in this blog! A lot of things has happened, and I’m glad to say that I’ve just completed by master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, which I’ve been working toward in the last two years while working full-time. Completing the program with flying colors and pushing myself to continue pursuing intellectual curiosities even while working a demanding job in the media industry that is notorious for keeping long hours, is an achievement I’m proud of!

This is my first time logging in to this blog since graduation about two months ago, and I’m looking forward to spending more time maintaining this blog and posting consistently again. I’m glad that I started this blog when I did, in the early stages of my career, even when things weren’t perfect. I thought then that my dream jobs were out of reach, that those jobs are made for certain kinds of people that excluded someone like myself… but if my early 20s self in Los Angeles could only dream of where she could be a few years later, never would she have dreamt about the luck and circumstance that has made its way into her life in Chicago. Oh, those were the days, where jobs were far and few in between, and it took a few years of being part of the workforce that I am realizing nobody’s early career days are perfect. It took a good amount of determination to get to where I am, and I feel there is still much more to do! I look forward to what’s in store for me in the future.

I was inspired to update this blog today because I want to spend time again commemorating the moments that make this life amazing. I had the pleasure of chatting with a soon-to-be graduate of my master’s program, who wanted to meet up for coffee to learn about my experience, gain some advice, and ask the questions she has while job searching. She had great work experience, even if it’s still limited because she’s just starting out. She’s ahead of others who are trying to break into the industry, but the whole job search process is daunting for her. Yes, it can be nerve-wracking, but I think she’s on the way to a job and all she needs is the confidence to know she will get one soon and firm belief that no matter what she will succeed in this process. This makes a difference. Confidence is contagious and can be generously passed on.

I remember being in her shoes when I was starting out, seeking people who inspire me and from whom I wanted to gain insights to help me with my career decisions. Most people obliged to meet with me, and I am grateful for every single one of them, for they asked nothing in return but were very generous of their time. They have no idea how much those meetings meant for me. Now that I have the opportunity to mentor, I realize that it is the pleasure of a mentor to meet with a mentee, even when mentees feel that the mentors are doing them such a great favor for the mere act of meeting with them. Sure, it takes effort, but the effort on the mentor’s part is small compared to the outcome on the mentee’s life. I would venture to say that if it were not for the people who took interest in me, I couldn’t even envision reaching the position that I’m in, nor would I be able to extend my ambitions to their current lengths. I am glad that the mentors that I had stayed true to themselves, because authenticity in the face of superficiality that litter this industry, warmth when many prefer being terse, and assertiveness even in difficult situations, have all made the difference in my admiration of my mentors.

And because of the kindness of those people who gave me time and advice, the expression of my appreciation is found in returning back to the world what they had given me. I’ve met with so many wonderful students, young professionals, and even people who are a few years older, to chat about career strategies, work experience and plans for the future. It’s an honor to made an impact on someone’s life and be seen as a role model by others. For this, I am motivated to succeed, and to do things right, because I’m responsible for setting an example.

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