Leadership / 05.27.20
The INTIX Mentor Program: Changing in the Time of Great Change
“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that timing is everything, and that’s why we are actively making changes to our program now.”
So says Duncan Moss, Associate Director of Ticket Operations for the Ravinia Festival. The program he is referring to is the INTIX Mentor Program, of which he is co-chair. Currently, the INTIX Mentor Program is indeed being redesigned to streamline the matching process between mentors and mentees.
“Our goal is to make it easier to connect and to connect even more frequently than before,” Moss says. “We need this program more than ever because it’s not that we can’t get through this alone, but rather we shouldn’t get through this alone. We’re also changing the time commitment structure to a quarterly concept that will allow mentors and mentees to be engaged when they are most available and to opt out when they are not. This will allow open pathways for communication throughout the entire year for a mentee, greater access to mentors and gives them a greater wealth of knowledge to work with by having the ability to match with a new mentor each quarter.”
Equally excited for the changes is the program’s other co-chair, Ami Johnson. An Event Assistant at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Arizona, Johnson says, “These relationships that are formed in the Mentor Program bring support and a sense of community in these times of uncertainty. Of course, it always has provided that, but it’s so important right now to know that you are not alone. Everyone is facing a hardship like never before, whether it be with our employment, our events, our venues or our business as a whole. We need each other to lean on and provide hope and support. That’s why mentor programs exist!”
Moss agrees that the pandemic era makes mentorship an especially valuable resource. He maintains that the most important thing coming out of this global crisis is “connections.” Now, more than ever, the world is connecting faster and more frequently than before. “And we’re not even face to face, but rather virtually,” he says. “We’ve found the niche of connection to be utterly important in the success of our industry, as we can see with the large number of people joining the weekly INTIX Wednesday Wisdom Zoom meetings, bouncing ideas off each other and allowing mentors to talk about past experiences and how they’ve overcome challenges by turning them into positives. We are not alone in our industry at this time, but rather united.”
Anja Arvo, Vice Chair of the INTIX Mentor Program and Pre-Sales Manager for Red61, says that even those mentors who have been furloughed can still provide valuable insights via the program. After all, what better way to stay busy than talking about what you already know? “On the bright side, they have more time now to focus on helping others,” Arvo says. “And for them, they get to stay up on what others are struggling with in the industry. They’ll have things to bring back to their organization once this is over.”
She continues, “The Mentor Program is of particular importance for someone who is going through an experience they’ve never gone through before. For instance, there are a lot of INTIX members who have never worked remotely from a home office before. You would have access to some members who’ve been working remotely for years.”
The ticketing industry is large and covers so many facets of live entertainment that it is almost a necessity to have mentorship offered to each other to help the business thrive. No matter what type of vertical or industry segment you work in, there is a good chance that your work is overlapping with others in the industry, and it brings up the question: “Who knows better than your colleagues?”
“Mentorship is the perfect way to learn more about your own job and assigned duties while connecting with someone else in the industry who overlaps those assigned duties and can answer the questions you have about each of those,” Moss says. “There’s nothing more valuable than having a mentor give you the bricks to build a road, and you using those bricks to pave that road and move forward.”
“Mentorship in the ticketing industry is important because experience is priceless,” Johnson says. “I know personally, it helps me knowing I’m not alone in my worry and anxiety. Especially in the ticketing and live event industry, our future and the transition into the future are unknown paths. But it makes it easier going down that path together.”
Looking ahead, all three professionals interviewed for this article expressed their hope that the INTIX Mentor Program will be a beacon shining ever brighter during such dark and uncertain times. “I didn’t have someone specific that I would consider a mentor,” Johnson says. “I think that is why I wanted to get involved in helping this program grow. I’ve seen that relationship benefit so many in their careers, and I’d love to be a small part of helping that connection happen and then grow.”
“I’ve been lucky to have multiple mentors in my career, and they’ve all shared a common philosophy: ‘It’s okay to have a heart,’” Moss says. “In all the work I do, I never undercut my values. And I make sure that when I make important decisions, I take all aspects into account. We live in a hard and fast world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stop and think.”
Arvo concluded by praising one of her own mentors, INTIX President and CEO Maureen Andersen. “There’s a quote of hers that I still use to this day, and I think it can apply to the pandemic, as well. ‘It’s not a race, it’s a marathon.’ We really are in a very unknown marathon. We don’t know where the finish line is. So, it’s our responsibility as the industry to stay the course and get through and win the marathon — whenever it may end!”
If you want to participate in the INTIX Mentor Program, please reach out to email@example.com to share your interest.
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Tags: Memberships , Leadership , COVID-19 , Coronavirus