Why having (and being) a mentor is key to success

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Finding someone in your life who motivates you and inspires you is crucial to your overall success. For me, Jessica has been someone in my life who I think has so much potential and I’ve been more than happy to give her endless advice. But, it’s hasn’t just been a one-way street. Being a mentor to Jessica has helped me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Whenever I give her direction, she takes it and does something so incredibly talented, inspiring me to do even more with not just my career, but also my personal life. She asks me tough questions and keeps me on my toes, ensuring I’m always trying to achieve my best self. 

Jessica wrote about me on her blog, and I wanted to share it! You can read the original post (and the rest of her talented work!) here. I’ve posted the article, in her words, below. 

Finding a career mentor can really help you figure out how to get to where you’re going. For me, Samantha Durnford has not only been a great friend but also an excellent big sister for my career.

From fine-tuning my resumé to starting a blog, Samantha has helped me gain a better understanding of what is necessary for success in the field of digital marketing and PR. Her passion and hunger for knowledge are among the many qualities that make her the perfect fit for some ‘Industry Insight’.

What are you most passionate about?

Writing — hands down. I’ve been writing ever since I was in elementary school, which is what eventually lead me to get a Journalism degree. I always wanted to write, but it’s taken me a while to figure out what type of creative writing I could do with passion and make a career out of! I think I’ve definitely figured it out now. I love writing for brands and artists, as well as thinking creatively for press releases and content marketing. It’s a different challenge every day!

How did you become a digital marketer?

Working on the media side of things at Sun Media, I realized I liked to work in lifestyle and entertainment, rather than the news. I had done a work period as a Social Media Manager prior to being an editor and I wanted to tie it all together. So, I worked at a content marketing technology start-up in Toronto and got to work with clients daily to get my foot in the door on the marketing side of things.

From there, I’ve just followed what I loved the most — which is why I reached out to Lindsay at LCPR. I had worked for her as a media contact on the other side of things and I loved what she was doing with underground techno artists and music festivals (I’m a huge techno music fan). So, I asked her to coffee and she asked me to be an intern! I feel incredibly lucky.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in digital marketing?
For me, what’s been the absolute most valuable thing is creating my own online brand and presence. My advice: Get on Twitter, gain followers, have a work-appropriate Instagram, have a blog, get your LinkedIn full of valuable content. You should have yourself set up in a way that a resume isn’t even necessary. The first thing everyone does is Google you, let’s be real!

What does your average day consist of?

Tough question! My day is such an insane mix of things. I currently wear two hats — I work at a technology start-up during the day as a Client Success Manager and then in the evenings and on weekends, I’m a PR intern for LCPR.

Today for example, I came to work and worked on client strategy for my client portfolio, I attended a marketing meeting to discuss our upcoming product launch and edit some of the work I did (we have awesome collaborative editing sessions, I love it!), and then I wrote some more e-mails and did some research on a few products and blog posts I’m working on.

In the evening, I researched an artist we’re looking to interview at LCPR for our Godzilla Disco blog, wrote up a few draft questions, worked on an artist’s media kit, and searched for clippings. I also spent some time looking for new tracks to review! Such a fun job

What do you do in your spare time?

Oh god, what spare time!? I usually spend my spare time working on my personal blog, drafting up posts and editing them. I also try and schedule posts for the week so they can be published during work hours (and so I don’t have to post them during work hours!). Scheduling content is my favourite feature of any social tool.

When I’m actually taking time to relax, I’m playing with my new labrador retriever puppy, Sadie and walking around the city before the winter hits.

One thing you can’t live without?

Tea – I drink an insane amount of tea but justify it because “at least it’s not coffee”. Specifically, I’m a DavidsTea addict. I’m a huge fangirl and have my cupboard overflowing with options.

Check out Samantha’s personal website here and make sure to follow her on Twitter.

JESSICA

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