You know those people who you make instant, natural connections with and you ask, “Where have you been all of my life?” That’s how David Hazelton and Lauren McLernon felt when they were paired in AMADC’s Marketing Mentors Network (MMN) program.

Marketing Mentors Network: David Hazelton & Lauren McLernon

You know those people who you make instant, natural connections with and you ask, “Where have you been all of my life?” That’s how David Hazelton and Lauren McLernon felt when they were paired in AMADC’s Marketing Mentors Network (MMN) program.  “I think Lauren and I were matched because she is working on goals that align with my background. When Lauren and I met, we immediately hit it off. We were laughing, telling stories, and already brainstorming how we could meet Lauren’s goals.”

And Lauren agrees – their professional backgrounds and personalities are an indisputable, fun match, firmly solidified by David’s mention of Dolly Parton at their group icebreaker. As Lauren says, “It was friends at first ‘Dolly.’”

It’s easier to open up to and grow with people who ‘get’ you. Lauren’s goals of boosting her self-confidence and shedding professional anxiety align so perfectly with David’s experience with building confidence in the workplace that it has been “blowing [Lauren’s] mind.”

And – no surprises here – David echoes Lauren’s thoughts, saying, “MMN creates a safe space to experiment and learn without the judgment and pressure that exist in the work environment.”

Meeting Mentor and Protégé Goals

To help Lauren achieve her goals, she’s taking the same approach with the mentorship as she does with her job as the social media manager for a graphic design agency: staying organized, being creative, and setting deadlines. 

“While my mentorship experience seems strict, with self-imposed deadlines and specific tasks to complete, I am having so much fun visualizing the future with David’s help,” says Lauren. “His design eye and branding experience are what I’m most excited to dive into.”

As the design director at an investment management company and an adjunct instructor of integrated marketing at West Virginia University, David is an expert in both branding and helping cultivate the next generation of marketers. 

“I got involved with MMN because of Lightning McQueen!” says David. “The Disney-Pixar movie, Cars 3, made me realize that we all get to a point in our career where it is no longer about what we can achieve for ourselves. We all have a responsibility to reach back and lift up those who are coming behind us.”

Mentorship benefits

Guess what? David and Lauren are also on the same page about the benefit of mentorship. They agree it’s invaluable to seek relevant perspectives outside of your job that provides a sense of safety, belonging, and freedom. 

“Curiosity and innovation push me forward in my career,” says Lauren. “As a protégé, mentorship helps me focus on asking productive questions, crafting professional goals, and developing my future. Mentorship offers the freedom and safety I need to shape my career.”

Learn more Marketing Mentors Network.