By: Carmen Ramson-Herzing, IABC-MN, mentorship director

When Sue Otten asked our SW Masterminds group for volunteers to start a mentorship program, I was one of three members at the table to hesitantly raise a hand. While I loved the idea, I have a knack for over-extending myself with enthusiastic (but sometimes unrealistic) optimism for my available bandwidth. Having recently moved to Minneapolis from Chicago with my family to start a new job, I already had a full plate. But I was attending the Masterminds group in St. Louis Park to meet my people, my fellow communicators-in-arms.  So I went for it.

But I didn’t go it alone. Fellow communicators Amy Paglia and Trace Ulland joined me in giving the program thought and life. And as we planned a new kind of mentorship program, we got to know each other. And when we launched the pilot Mentoring Program last summer, I got to know my mentor, the esteemed Jim Lukaszewski, along with his great advice on becoming a more trusted strategic advisor. And as I heard back from others who participated in our pilot program, I was again rewarded by their stories of new connections made, jobs gained, and skills developed.  My participation also led to my new role on the Board of Directors of IABC Minnesota, which led to even more wonderful connections. I am grateful for all of them.  

As communicators, our worlds revolve around our connections with others. We are in the business of connecting people to information, inspiration, and each other. That’s why my participation in helping to create our new Mentoring Program has been so rewarding and so humbling. We’re helping to foster new connections to help the IABC achieve its mission to advance the skills of its members and profession. And now we are pleased to expand this free program to all members of IABC Minnesota.

This isn’t a traditional senior-junior type of program. Rather, it’s intended to allow both participants to mentor and be mentored, recognizing that every generation has something to teach and learn. Think of it as a meaningful way of networking one-on-one.

If you would like to be matched to a new connection with a fellow professional in the Minnesota IABC program, please take 30 seconds to sign up here: The deadline for the Spring 2020 match-up is March 1, 2020.

You may not have the time, but do it anyway. It’s time to invest in yourself!