Interview with a former mentee, Cristina Moniz

At the start of one’s career, it’s important to have someone to look up to; someone who can guide you and help you make well informed decisions about your career. And as a business owner, I didn’t want to simply employ staff. I wanted to mentor young graduates who were keen to forge careers in digital marketing. In 2014, Cristina Moniz joined The Good Global Group as PR and Marketing Executive, and later progressed into the role of Manager. Her role was to sell and manage PR and social media campaigns for an array of clients from varied sectors, including property, law and the arts – just to name a few.

At her interview, it was evident that she was passionate about social media marketing and was keen to develop her skills, as well as learning more about the process of running a business. It was the perfect opportunity to take her on as my mentee and share all my professional experiences with her, including my successes and failures.

On International Women’s Day, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cristina about what she learnt through my mentorship.

Cristina, what attracted you to a career in digital marketing?

At university, I studied an English Literature degree and after my first year, I couldn’t fathom what I wanted to do career wise. I knew I wanted to try out publishing, so in the summer of 2013, I did several internships at Penguin Random House, John Blake and Endeavour Press. And this was the first time I was introduced to social media marketing. Obviously, I knew what social media was, but I had no idea that it could be used for business purposes. Naturally, I wanted to learn more and took the opportunity to observe other professionals within the field and develop new skills. However, the internships were relatively short, so there was a limit on what I could learn. When I graduated in 2014, I stumbled across a PR and Marketing Executive role at The Good Global Group and knew it was a good opportunity for me to develop my digital marketing skills. A few weeks into the role, and I had fallen completely in love with social media marketing and what it could do for businesses.  

How did you feel when I suggested that I could become your mentor?

I was so pleased, Rita. Often with first jobs, you’re expected to hit the ground running without any real guidance or support. Some employers think that because you have a degree, you’ll know how to do the job automatically – and that’s often not the case. With you, you sat me down and talked me through the process and the purpose of the job. Shadowing you for those first few days was a real learning curve – it taught me the vital skills that I needed to succeed in the job.

What were you hoping to gain from my mentorship?

For me, I didn’t want to be mentored for a few days and then left to my own devices. Digital Marketing was still fairly new to me and it was going to take me a while to cultivate all the necessary skills to succeed in the job. I wanted someone who was going to invest the time to nurture me within the role and support me with any important decisions that needed to be made. And that’s exactly what you did, Rita. You mentored me for a good portion of time, and it taught me all that I needed to know, and more.

What was your experience of my mentoring? Did you see any benefits?

Hearing you share your experiences and expertise, including your successes and failures really struck a chord with me. It taught me that you can’t have success without failure, and making mistakes is all part of the process of learning. And that gave me the boost to do my job confidently – knowing that you were there to guide me through the good and the bad.  Had you not mentored me the way that you did, I believe that I would have failed at the job and not found as much fulfilment. For me, it was important to have you there to share my strengths as well as my struggles – because that’s how I learnt and got better at my job. You were kind, patient, thoughtful and professional throughout the whole process, and I couldn’t have found a better mentor than you.

Do you have any advice for other graduates looking for a mentor?

Find someone whose values align with yours and will invest the time to help you become the best that you can be at your job. It’s also important to remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Expertise in any field comes with time and experience; it’s not a process that should be rushed; it’s a process that should be nurtured. Having the right mentor can be life-changing, like it was for me. If I didn’t have Rita’s guidance and support in those early days, I wouldn’t have become the professional that I am today.