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Volume 26 No. 139
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Importance Of Mentors Proves Critical Throughout Sports Business

The panel shared stories of how different relationships have helped their individual career paths
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
The panel shared stories of how different relationships have helped their individual career paths
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
The panel shared stories of how different relationships have helped their individual career paths
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN

Finding the right mentor can be the difference in a career in sports, but that relationship can take many different forms and come about in many different ways. At the ’19 Game Changers conference, GumGum Sports Sales Dir Katie Carew, and Hawks and State Farm Arena Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Nzinga Shaw paired up with their mentors, NHL Exec VP/Club & Business Affairs Susan Cohig and NFL Jets Senior Advisor Neil Glat, to discuss how their relationships have shaped their careers. Shaw and Glat are a pairing of opposites, her a black woman, him a white man. But she said, “When you are around someone that is completely opposite of yourself, you start to think about problems very differently than you naturally would. And so that pushes you out of your comfort zone into a place that forces your mind to become active.”

TIME MANAGEMENT: Carew said her best advice for a strong mentor relationship is simply, “ask.” She said, “Be able to ask yourself if you want a mentor and if you have time to have a mentor." Cohig said something that has stuck with her is that “when you're advancing in your career and you're having success, it's really important to send the elevator down and bring others up with you.” Glat talked about the importance of not only passing on mentorship, but being open to receiving it no matter where one is in their career. Glat: “I'm happy to have plenty of relationships where I'm the mentee, plenty of relationships where I'm the mentor, so I don't view it as a zero sum game. It's just a question of finding the additional time and spending the time. Most of those relationships, if both people are willing to spend the time and be open, will be mutually beneficial.”