Career & Study Mentee

I have well over a decade of my career from NYC-11yrs in Chicago-back in my hometown of Milwaukee, WI, involved in advertising/marketing/sales careers in the radio industry; account and project management at a small Chicago film company and with national accounts for a sign company, Everbrite. My longest and most inspiring for my future goals career role was that of Director of Communications for the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association for 5 years, which gave me the non-profit experience and grass-roots event/meeting/press conference and other lobbying knowledge I wish to use directly in advocacy work, instead of anything trade association-related). I have searched for mentors throughout much of my former industries, especially any female mentors (of which I've been unsuccessful, specifically within the media i industry) who may help me find a way to pursue a deep passion and, I now feel, a real "calling," if you will, to help others. For YEARS, I've felt media criticism and education, reflected by documentaries such as Misrepresentation and America the Beautiful, should be consistently taught to young girls and young women (on up!), as well now as to boys and young men (about how we also hurt our male, as well as female youth, such as reflected in a similar documentary entitled, The Mask You Live In). I have wished to have a career in advocacy working on media/1st Amendment Rights issues, sexual exploitation-sex trafficking prevention and/or working within women's/human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, one of many AIDS prevention/ patient support organizations or Planned Parenthood in the most beneficial advocacy role(s) my background, skills sets and passions may be of the best help. Having special knowledge and interest for decades within and about mainstream media (as well as suffering traumas and other sidelining issues related to childhood media consumption and its affects on young women), I feel the particularly closest and fiercest passion for working within media education/advocacy and it's effects on women, specifically involving the disproportionate increase in eating disorders and other, comorbid mental illnesses and the deep physical and psychological, often life-long harms our current media and concurrent cultural assumptions create often insurmountable pressure and thought patterns which degrade, derail and can too often (literally) kill women's (and increasingly, men's!) personal identities and confidence, careers and/or lives. I've never personally been able to know nor connect with anyone to so much as create a personal volunteer connection to start out with, nevermind any idea or advice/assistance with how to make my advocacy passions and knowledge into ANY kind of career, despite a University of Wisconsin Journalism degree (but not a specific teaching degree and do not currently have the financial means to obtain a master's degree or other potentially-necessary advanced degree), and have spent several years recovering from PTSD, and addiction I now have first-hand knowledge about, which I am now educated to know served in my own life as ultimately unhealthy, but at the time, necessary coping skills for me to deal with some of the institutional and personal sexism, official harassment and also violence I suffered and hid well with a "mask of happiness and looking as societally-accepted 'beautiful' as I possibly could," to the detriment of both my physical and mental health, until I could no longer hide that pain nor continue living the way I previously had been, which I was indoctrinated to feel was "normal," and at its most damaging, was all "my fault." I want to take both my personal and professional experiences to work with any organization whom I can be my true, real, now stronger self with and work with a mentor who can see the value of what I KNOW in my heart I have great potential to do as far as educating, helping and speaking with/to others, regarding media literacy or similar issues to bring self-love and self-confidence up to higher levels than we allow most young girls and women to feel are adequate. Although, I haven't been able to yet find this, I refuse to believe there isn't some speaking, writing, teaching or other skill/skills sets necessary for advocacy work for which all of my related experiences (both good and bad!) can't be helpful to others like me. I welcome and am extremely excited to hear from anyone who is either specifically involved with media literacy or any of the other human rights organizations or similar ones as I mentioned above, who would extend a mentor lifeline to advise and/or potentially help me carve the proper path for myself to help others and make a permanent career remaining in non-profit work (even perhaps starting my own someday-a personal dream of mine) doing something I love -
which not only exists to advocate and educate others (2 of the 3 main tenets of an association/non-profit!), but to one day sooner than later ideally suit me for mentoring others to give back what a mentor - possibly you, who is right now reading this(?!) - first gave me! Thank you so much for your time and consideration in reading my profile! You can change assuredly more lives than solely mine with your help in any of these areas! Very best regards, Jill

What I Expect From A Mentor:

I am flexible depending on what time a good mentor can provide, based on working with her/his other work and life demands. IDEALLY, some personal contact from time to time (especially when/where it would be a good event or other function for me to potentially attend with my mentor/ at which to meet mentor to network with organizations/individuals who are involved in the work I am looking to do), as well as email\text weekly or biweekly to touch base and phone conversations when needed. After getting to know me and believe in what a mentor sees I can do best/suggests to me as first steps moving along the personal/career path I've described (or per their advice are good ways to enter into such work), recomending me for work/job opportunities to organization(s) with which they are affiliated or for other types of opportunities (volunteer, perhaps, especially where no paid work exists) and/or setting up opportunities to meet (network with) other advocates who have additional career stories and advice, and at the right time, to help me connect with a local organization for a more permanent career opportunity, if I've not been already qualified for one/none had previously existed (and/or down the road connect with certain organizations located out of state/org headquarters best suited to my long term goals which mentor has helped me strategize). I am willing to work out a mentor/mentee relationship as we go, with flexibility, based on how things go, etc. I am just excited to be part of the process and appreciate the invaluable advice and experience from which to learn!

More about this mentee:

  • Member since almost 5 years

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