Mentoring can make a world of difference in your career. Learn how one SHSMD member, Megan Stinchcomb, Marketing Strategy Manager at Nemours Children’s Health System, learned invaluable new soft skills through the SHSMD mentorship program under her mentor, Rose Glenn, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for Michigan Medicine.
Why did you join the mentorship program?
Health care marketing is its own niche and the SHSMD mentorship program offered a unique opportunity to tap into the expertise of someone who understands our field from both the “health care” and “marketing” perspectives.
It also afforded me the chance to take “me time” to grow as a professional with someone who understands my work, yet who isn’t a business partner or a stakeholder impacted by my projects. The opportunity to engage with a senior health care marketing executive willing to help a mentee like me with whole-person growth, as opposed to situation-specific growth, is invaluable.
Finally, in our COVID-19 era, social distancing doesn’t disrupt mentorship -- participating in the SHSMD mentorship program is a professional growth opportunity that remains open and accessible.
What was your initial goal that you wanted the mentor to help out with?
As marketers, we cannot achieve our big strategic goals all alone: we need stakeholder support.
I sought a SHSMD mentor who could help me grow skills in conveying the value of health care marketing to business partners, particularly colleagues who work on the clinical side and may have outdated ideas about marketing tactics and strategies.
My SHSMD mentor is helping me with soft skills development, such as how to present certain ideas as well as how to use qualitative and quantitative information to bolster my case for marketing support.
What has been the most valuable part of mentorship?
Candidly, beyond the transfer of knowledge itself, the most valuable part of the SHSMD mentorship opportunity is the confidence boost.
My SHSMD mentor is a busy and talented marketing executive who is taking time out of her day to help me grow — that is both kind and flattering. In return, her support encourages me to up my game, both in our mentoring sessions and when I am at work, because I value her mentorship and want to make it a meaningful experience for both of us.
What are the benefits of mentorship?
There are innumerable benefits of mentorship — including expanding your professional network, testing out ideas, practicing skills you may be less confident in (such as giving presentations) and just learning from the perspective of someone who’s “been there, done that.”
One of the biggest benefits for me is the accountability to my SHSMD mentor — our work days can get so busy that it’s easy to push professional development aside, but with my mentor I stick to our plan because I don’t want to let her down.
Did your goals shift during the mentorship?
I started thinking about ideas differently based on the conversations my mentor and I were having and that led me to broaden my goals.
For example, my mentor and I discussed aligning marketing’s goals with the broader goals of a health care organization, and that in turn helped me to take a less siloed approach when thinking about my individual marketing projects.
What advice would you give to those interested in the mentorship program?
Please see sidebar with mentorship tips.
Do you want to develop your career and skills this way? Do you want to help guide others?
Megan Stinchcomb, MPA
Marketing Strategy Manager
Nemours Children’s Health System
Tips for Seeking a SHSMD Mentor
Commit to self-reflection.
SHSMD mentors come from a variety of professional backgrounds and can offer guidance from both external and internal perspectives. Mentees can be matched with seasoned professionals from outside health care systems (consulting firms, ad agencies, digital entrepreneurs) and inside (health care systems, hospitals, physician practices). Having an understanding of your own career goals and areas for self-improvement will help you to identify a SHSMD mentor who’s the best fit for truly helping you to grow as a professional.
Don’t be afraid to ask.
While leaders are incredibly busy, being asked to serve as someone’s mentor is a tremendous compliment. Even in the off chance that someone doesn’t have the time to mentor you, it doesn’t hurt to ask — and the courage you took to make the ask can still help you to build a positive relationship with that person. One of the great things about the SHSMD mentorship program is that participants have already signed on to serve as mentors and are waiting to be paired with a mentee, so don’t be shy!
Preparing for each meeting (such as by creating an agenda in advance or using the SHSMD mentorship templates) can convey to your mentor that you value his or her time and are doing your part to make the meeting productive. It also will allow the mentor time to reflect on your questions and how best to address them in a meaningful way. Plus, a little preparation will help ensure both of you get to cover more ground during each mentoring session.
Set some ground rules at the start of your mentoring relationship — such as establishing a regular meeting plan and holding yourself to it, or following up on your mentor’s tips and suggestions before your next session. Revisiting agreed upon goals and objectives every so often can help ensure you are on track.
Pay it forward.
Like most things in life, the more effort you put into your mentoring relationship, the more you will get out of it. SHSMD mentors graciously give of their time and talent to help you develop. As you grow from that relationship, use your enhanced skills and knowledge to help others grow, too. We’re all in this together!