Chicago – Day 3
Day 3: Three Minutes with Loredana and Megan
Mentee Loredana Introini is the director coordinator of the Falcone Foundation, named for Judge Giovanni Falcone who was killed by the mafia in 1992. Based in Palermo, Loredana designs initiatives for young people to promote rule of law, active citizenship and opposition to organized crime.
She is paired for mentorship this week with Megan Bendis, executive vice president of publicity for Universal Pictures. Megan oversees all theatrical publicity efforts of the broadcast, print, photography and field publicity teams in Los Angeles and New York. She also coordinates joint strategic efforts with international publicity, marketing, events and promotion departments.
We took three minutes out of their busy day for a mid-point check-in.
At the Falcone Foundation, we work with students at all school levels – primary, high school and university – to raise awareness of organized crime and what the role of the ordinary citizen could be in preventing it.
The program has surprised me with all of the personal support, quality of the work, the staff, and the way you embrace the participants. It is very moving.
Working with Megan is wonderful, from both professional and personal points of view. It’s a wonderful relationship, friendly and fulfilling – I’m really pleased. We are in such different fields. What she has helped me do is be more clear about my goals.
There’s not one takeaway for me. It’s everything, especially the community feeling. The feeling that you can breathe. It’s the first time I’ve participated in something just for women.
My first impression of this week was one of curiosity. Because I’m from the film industry I wondered how I could possibly help Loredana – I honestly felt a little bit out of my league.
But when I arrived, I quickly realized how much business training was included in the curriculum – strategic planning, social media, branding, marketing, human resources and leadership. These are all areas I work with on a daily basis, so I tried to apply it to her situation.
Based on Loredana’s feedback, the social media lesson has been an important lesson for her because she had no prior experience. She recently opened a LinkedIn account before her arrival but that was it. This is an area she needs to grow in, and I think the seminar was extremely helpful this week.
This program has been invaluable to me in so many ways that I never could have anticipated. I thought I was coming here to be a Global Ambassador, a mentor. But I have learned so many notable skills to support my own career. It’s really refreshing to be outside of my comfort zone and fulfilling to meet so many amazing women.
At the beginning of the week I said “I can help with management and leadership…” but the leadership HR training session was eye-opening to me. I took copious notes and plan to implement the strategies that I learned here in my own position back home. That was just one of my highlights thus far.
My advice to future Global Ambassadors is to have an open mind even if you’re a little unsure of your own background and whether it can make a difference with your mentee’s business plan. You will make an impact no matter what, whether it’s professional or personal. Anything you can impart in terms of knowledge and experience will be helpful.
Watch the program’s YouTube playlist.
Photography: Joel Plotkin