By Bethany Aguad
I am glad to be back as STC Florida chapter president after completing two years on the STC board. As I think about what I hope to see in the future for our chapter, I can’t help but reflect on how I got to where I am in STC and the pivotal role mentoring played in my journey.
My First Mentor
Many of you have heard the story of how I first joined STC. At the urging of Dr. Applen, I attended the annual STC Florida leadership retreat and I was blessed to sit next to Dan Voss. After only a few minutes of chatting, Dan asked me to serve as co-manager of the mentoring program with him.
Our journey as mentor and mentee is well-chronicled through our many projects, presentations, and the mentors and mentees paired up through the program! If you want to read more about that experience, I highly recommend the article we wrote for the India chapter’s newsletter STC Student Mentoring Programs: Investing in the Future.
I learned so much from Dan that few jobs would have taught me: how to storyboard a presentation, juggle school/work/volunteer projects, become a leader in our chapter, and speak up in meetings. I can’t thank Dan enough for investing his time in me as a student and giving me the support I needed to grow.
Lessons Learned as a Mentor
As I transitioned from mentee to mentor, I worried that I needed to have all of the answers to life’s questions and that I still have a lot of growing as a professional myself. Never for a moment have I regretted my decision to step up. With each mentee, I have developed a unique relationship. I know the experience I can share like working in a fast-paced corporate environment, handling projects with shifting deadlines, and setting expectations with management and coworkers. However, what I appreciate most is what my mentees have taught me:
- How to handle differences in generational communication styles
- How to embrace diversity and inclusion
- How to tackle new technology
- And so much more!
Be a Mentor!
If you have ever considered sharing your experience in technical communication with a student, there’s no better time than now! The Florida Chapter of STC, in conjunction with UCF, is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 annual mentoring program, pairing veterans from the front lines of the industry with talented technical communication students. Our program will be fully virtual this year, with our kickoff for the program where you meet your mentee planned for the end of October on Zoom.
If you are a tech comm veteran, I encourage you to join as a mentor to:
- Gain personal satisfaction helping others reach their potential
- Enhance coaching, feedback, and leadership skills
- Get help on projects
- Gain exposure to new perspectives and new media
- Expand professional networks
If you are interested, please fill out our Mentor Application!