Life as a DEVENEY Associate #1 Reverse Mentoring

At DEVENEY, we’re not interns, we’re Associates. We’re at a real job doing real work as part of a real team, and only fetching coffee for ourselves. DEVENEY Associates are integrated into the agency pretty quickly. I worked on my first client project on my second day in the office! The idea of jumping into real-world work can be intimidating. To ease the transition from student to working professional, Associates participate in a buddy program that pairs each of us with a full-time DEVENEY employee. Our buddies show us the ropes, give us advice, and take us out to lunch when our Tupper-Ware-enclosed dinner leftovers just aren’t cutting it. The buddy program also provides opportunities to engage in “reverse mentoring.” As the name implies, reverse mentoring is an ongoing relationship between Associates and seasoned professionals that turns the traditional mentor/mentee relationship on its head. The higher-ups around here realize that they don’t know it all, so they turn to the Associates for precious knowledge about the ever-elusive Gen Z. In other words, they want to know what the kids are into these days. They want to know how to tell stories that appeal to our generation, and sometimes, they just want to know how to make the text bigger on their iPhones. We’re happy to oblige in exchange for some real-world experience and a chance to engage with clients on a daily basis. The buddy program is one of my favorite parts of life as a DEVENEY Associate. Programs like this only work if both parties genuinely want to engage with each other and are willing to be open and trusting in order to learn. Its a great way to ensure that Associates have someone to lean on and ask questions and offers the full-time DEVENEY staff an opportunity to work with new people.