Mentoring is a two way process. Tribal DDB's Jagmit Gabba tells us what he learned from mentoring Bernardo.

Written by

Jagmit | Mentor | Tech Lead


July 9, 2017

Why do we need mentoring in the creative industries?

We all know Da Vinci as one of the greatest artists to have ever lived and a true master of many trades, but very few of us know that he was a student of Andrea del Verrocchio. It was as Verrocchio’s apprentice that Da Vinci had the opportunity to polish and refine his gifts, and it was Verrocchio’s studio where he began his journey towards becoming a master.

It has always been this way – experience serving as a whetstone for raw talent – and throughout history, masters have taught and nurtured young minds in exchange for loyalty, enthusiasm and hard work.

Today, things aren’t too different. While we may have come a long way from the original master and apprentice dynamic, the value of nurturing young talent from the very beginning of a career is still undeniable – especially in the creative industries, where competition is tough and uniqueness a highly sought-after commodity.

My experience as a Creative Mentor Network (CMN) mentor?

Meeting, Bernardo, my mentee for the first time I could tell that he was nervous, so I broke the ice by showing him around the agency, explaining what I do and sharing the fun and creative opportunities that Tribal Worldwide offers.

Once he was a little more comfortable, we talked about what exactly he wanted to accomplish from CMN mentoring, and we agreed on some specific goals he could work towards during his time at the agency.

He wanted to be more confident meeting and talking to new people.

Over the next few weeks, I arranged meetings around the office with various specialists to give Bernardo a deeper understanding of campaigns and deployment processes. Often within the agency, we can become very isolated within our specialist fields, so this opportunity for him to be plugged into every step of the process was incredible.

On top of that, his confidence grew in the process as he spoke to so many new people about what they do.

What did I learn as a CMN mentor?

In my experience, mentoring is a two-way street: I also learned a lot.

Initially, the biggest challenge I faced was finding the most efficient way to convey my point. I knew I had the knowledge, but transferring it to Bernardo was not as easy as it seemed. 

A lot of times, I realized that the actual essence was somehow lost. It wasn’t a problem of his comprehension, but of my communication. I learned that communicating through my own stories and experiences was easier to understand.

What are the 3 best things about CMN?

  1. A stable footing not a launch into the deep end

The CMN model plays a vital role in providing the industry with fresh young talent – the lifeblood of all successful businesses – and developing their skills. With a mentor, students are also given a stable footing – not just a launch into the deep end and with the hope they’ll figure out how to float.

  1. Embracing a culture of learning

By embracing a culture of mentoring, creative companies set a stage for continuous learning and development. And a culture of learning helps talented people have healthy and progressive careers, at whatever stage, making them less likely to move elsewhere.

  1. Win-win-win

CMN’s process benefits everyone involved. Students benefit from the guidance of someone more experienced, mentors get a fresh perspective and the learning opportunity of being a mentor. The company, in turn, gets a broader skillset and more innovative ideas.

We caught up with Bernardo to ask how he found having Jag as a mentor. Here’s what he said.

CMN has really helped me have a wider understanding of the creative industries as a whole. Before I would just be thinking about one set path however my mentor Jag has really helped me see other possible paths that I could take.

I am so happy that Jag was picked to be my mentor he is an amazing person in general with a huge skillset in what he does. His knowledge in the industry is something surreal :D. He helped me meet new people within the industry that he works with to understand what they do in a business.

You can also see how dedicated he is to help me figure out the right path for me and also how dedicated he is to his work.

I think that my confidence has increased after meeting all these new people for the first time.

The best moment in my opinion was 2 weeks ago after we had our meeting with one of Jag's colleagues we went out in a group and we all ate lunch. It was fun to see how everyone is around each other and the things they talk about.

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