A Q&A with Modern Day Mentors

A Q&A with Modern Day Mentors


Assume you’ve got 10 minutes with some of the biggest names in the industry – what would you ask them? In today’s industry where networking, connecting and building relationships is the life-line of success, mentorship has never been more important. Distributing the wealth and knowledge of the industry’s top-tier CEOs, CMOs, media owners and clients with the rest of the industry only makes business better as a whole.

During Advertising Week Europe, NABS presents “Speed Mentoring,” a session that seeks to do just that. Some of the industry’s biggest names and most powerful influencers offer their advice, share their journey and divulge their secrets to success to help inform, inspire and shape the careers of industry folk at every level.

Below, a few of the NABS mentors – Rachel Forde, CEO, Mediavest, Simon Daglish, Deputy Managing Director of Commercial, ITV & NABS Chairman, and Charlie Rudd, Chief Executive, Ogilvy & Mather London and NABS Trustee – share their thoughts on why mentorship is a must, and how networking can be your most powerful tool. 

  • Why do you think mentoring is important? For the mentee and the mentor.

  • Rachel Forde: As a mentor it's always an uplifting experience listening and talking to the breadth of talent across our industry. I always come away feeling that I have learnt something too. For the mentee, as we all go through our careers, I truly believe the more people you can speak to and get a different perspective from, the better. But the overwhelming theme you will get is that no one has all the answers, so feel confident in your own skin.

    Charlie Rudd: I’d suggest everyone needs a mentor – whether they call them that or not.  Having someone, with no agenda other than your own self-interest, to encourage, advise and inspire is vital for any career. And giving really is better than receiving so do help out if you’re asked to be one.

    Simon Daglish: Every day is a school day for mentor or mentee. I love meeting new people hearing what they have to say and comparing experiences. It’s fascinating and enlightening at the same time.

  • What is one piece of advice would you offer young professionals trying to break into the industry?

  • RF: Work hard, say yes to as many opportunities as you possibly can and be a radiator not a drain! (Sorry that was three)

    CR: It’s marathon, not a sprint.  There is a lie in our industry that it’s all about speed to the next level.  Unless you’re independently wealthy, you need a long career, not a fast one.

    SD: Meet as many people as you can to get a good view points from lots of angles. Then decide which area you want to go in as they are all very different.

  • What makes the industry a great place to work?

  • RF: We work in a vibrant, creative and fun industry. Diversity is recognised as being a key driver to success, so don't be afraid to bring your own 'uniqueness' to work.

    CR: The intersection of creativity and business problems has always fascinated me.  And creativity has the most amazing power – it can come from anywhere and seem so small and intangible yet it can utterly and rapidly transform business fortunes.

    SD: Every day is different, each challenge throws up different problems and there is so much more to discover, you never stop learning and growing.

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