GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., September 9, 2022 (AWM Newsletter) –
For our September member spotlight, 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 participants.
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 cliché 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.
Why 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.
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!
Additional information and the application will be available in a few weeks. If you are a new or young professional and would like to receive an alert when the application goes live, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alliance for Women in Media is an organization for women, by women. We are committed to supporting women across all media segments, to expand networks, educate and celebrate accomplishments. Learn more about our work and mission at allwomeninmedia.org.
Email email@example.com with questions.