COPRSA Match Program: Q&A with Brian Hammel

By Shannon Jack
COPRSA Communications Committee Chair

Whether you’re a young PR pro or a tenured expert, you’ve probably had a mentor (or three) along the way who was instrumental to your success. When you work in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry like public relations, it helps to have a mentor--someone who can teach you, offer guidance and share their insights. That’s why Central Ohio PRSA is launching a new program to help build connections among students and professionals in the area!

I sat down with Brian Hammel, Central Ohio PRSA Liaison Committee Chair, to discuss the 2020 Match Program and the key details that make this mentorship initiative so special.

Q: What is the COPRSA Match Program and how does it work?

A: The Match Program is a new initiative to help facilitate meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships between students and professionals in the Central Ohio area. After submitting interest via the Google Form (one for students and one for professionals), the COPRSA Liaison Committee will ‘match’ students and professionals based on their feedback, interests and goals. Initially, we’ll make email introductions and offer a variety of ways for students to foster the connection through coffee meetings, workplace tours, resume reviews and more. By strategically matching students and professionals, we hope the mentorship experience will be more impactful. 

Q: What inspired the Liaison Committee to start this program? What do you hope to accomplish?

A: The Match Program is designed to benefit the needs of students based on feedback we received in previous years. We know students and professionals are eager for connection, so we identified ways to optimize their experiences. By pairing students with PR professionals who work in an industry that interests them, we hope to ease the initial anxiety some students might feel and pair professionals with a mentee who is engaged and excited to learn.

Q: Why are mentor/mentee relationships so important for both students and professionals?

A: The overall relationship is critical for both students and professionals alike. Each person will get as much out of the program as they give--if not more! Mentorship is an opportunity for students to learn and build relationships early in their careers. Mentors not only have an opportunity to stay connected with the next generation of PR talent, but they are able to share their experiences and perspectives with those looking to follow in their footsteps. 

Q: How have mentor/mentee relationships helped you grow personally and professionally?

A: I have a handful of professionals--some I've worked for in internships, others I've connected with through PRSSA/PRSA--who have guided me through various stages of my career. They were my first calls when I was debating job offers or internship selections, and they always provided first-person accounts of what it's like to work in the field. My mentors have given me so much, and I'm excited to pay it forward for the next generation.

If you’re a COPRSA professional interested in serving as a mentor for the 2020 Match Program, please fill out this form by Feb. 28. For additional questions and information, email Brian Hammel at [email protected].

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