In the September 2022 issue of “A Minute with Membership,”
AWM’s members-only newsletter, we hear from two of the 2021 AWM Connects
mentees about their experience with the inaugural mentorship program, what they
are doing now, and the advice they would give to future AWM connects
AWM Connects is a virtual mentoring program that will connect young/new professionals with senior level executives throughout television, radio, and digital media. The inaugural event was held in December 2021 and we are excited to announce that it will be back on December 14, 2022! If you would like to receive an alert when the 2022 AWM Connects information goes live, please email email@example.com.
How did the 2021 AWM Connects program have an impact on your
career and/or your outlook on your career path?
ALEX RAZO: While it was a wonderful experience getting to
meet and learn from the mentors, what made the program extra special was also
connecting to the fellow mentees. Meeting women who are currently going through
similar experiences was cathartic and helped reignite my love of broadcasting
at a time when I really needed the boost.
LINDSAY GUENTZEL: Prior to applying for the 2021 AWM
Connects program, I felt kind of lost. The pandemic combined with a new ADHD
diagnosis — add in an intense couple of years in Minnesota where I live and
work in news – I wasn’t sure what I even wanted anymore. Even just applying
felt like a shot in the dark. So, when I found out I was accepted into the
program, I was elated. It felt like someone had looked at all the work I’ve
done, most of which I had either forgotten about or had been too hesitant to
promote, and thought I was good enough.
And then to meet my mentor and have her ask questions about my
career and to have her be genuinely engaged. It was so energizing. It was such
an awesome reminder of the power we have to inspire people by simply being
present. And it was the reminder I needed to keep pushing myself, to keep going
after my own goals and aspirations. As cliche as it might sound, it made me
feel like I belong, that my talents and my skills belong.
What new endeavors have you undertaken since the AWM Connects
program in December 2021?
RAZO: While I’ve continued to maintain the high
standards and ratings for both of my shows, I will also be given the
opportunity to join one of our reporters as he begins production on the latest
installment in his documentary series for the station and iHeartMedia.
GUENTZEL: In May of 2022, I launched Refocused with
Lindsay Guentzel, a podcast collaboration with ADHD Online, a telemedicine
healthcare company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan that provides ADHD
assessments, medication management and teletherapy. My own ADHD diagnosis was
truly life-changing, the answer to a question I had been looking for my entire
life but didn’t even know. So, to be able to combine my love of storytelling in
a way that’s helping people, it’s overwhelming in the best way. I do still have
career goals that aren’t tied to my ADHD, but it feels like every role I’ve had
over the last 15 years was meant to prepare me for this. That this is what I’m
meant to do.
are organizations like the Alliance for Women in Media important today?
RAZO: I think
organizations like the Alliance for Women in Media are important because it’s
wonderful to have a sense of community. Every person I’ve met and interacted
with in and through the organization has been kind, forthcoming and very
willing to help.
GUENTZEL: We’re finally seeing results after years
and years of talking about the importance of representation. Organizations like
Alliance for Women in Media, along with this mentorship program, help speed up
those timelines for change. They also work to increase accountability and
transparency and they instill a sense of community and support for people
working in jobs that have been under fire for the last six or seven years.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in
participating in the next AWM Connects mentorship program?
RAZO: Don’t be afraid to ask questions…it may feel
intimidating to speak with the mentors, but they WANT to talk to you! Also,
connect to your fellow mentees…it’s just as rewarding connecting with them as
it is with the mentors.
GUENTZEL: Know what you are looking for before you head
in. And by that, I mean, be able to give your mentor a list of actual things
you need help with. Need your demo looked at? Have the file in a Dropbox folder
so you can forward it immediately. Have a specific organization you want to
work for but don’t have a foot in the door? Tell them. Don’t hold anything
back. Outside of asking for $1 million dollars and expecting to get it, go in
thinking the sky’s the limit. Because for your mentor, that truly might be the
case. And you do not get enough time in the mentorship – or in life – to be
demure. Get after it.
RAZO: Alex has over 5 years of radio and
broadcasting experience. After graduating from Cal State Northridge in 2017,
she began working for KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles as a producer. KFI is one of
the most listened to news-talk radio stations in the country and serves all of
Southern California. Alex started her career there as an intern for the morning
show while as a student, and after being hired part-time was promoted to being
the full-time producer of both morning shows (Wake Up Call and the Bill Handel
Show) only a few months later.
GUENTZEL: My name is Lindsay Guentzel and I’m the host
and producer of Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel, a podcast collaboration with
ADHD Online that explores the often-misunderstood world of attention-deficit
hyperactivity disorder. I really like to work and I’m incredibly ambitious so a
lot of time, there’s no distinct line showing where work ends and my life
begins. But when I do take a break, I enjoy running, eating delicious food
(preferably cooked for me, although I do love having the time to try new
recipes at home), attending sporting events outdoors in nice weather, and
anything crafty and creative.
RAZO: Radio, television, communications, video and
audio editing, news writing and editing, research, media relations,
programming, field producing, digital and social media management.
GUENTZEL: Radio, television, content creation,
audio, producing, journalism, on-air talent, writing, and media relations.
For more information about “A Minute with Membership,” AWM membership, or with suggestions for future member spotlights, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.