The KWSM Mentorship Program: Professional Development Through Peer Training

Apr 2020

At KWSM, training goes far beyond your first week on the job. Continued education is an integral part of our organization and is vital in ensuring we provide the best service to our clients. Professional development has always been top of mind for our team; from lunch and learns to guest speakers, we love getting together to learn about our industry and stay up to date on the latest trends and resources. Last year, we developed a new form of professional development for our team – a way for us to learn from each other and share our individual expertise with our colleagues.


How It Works 


The KWSM Mentorship Program is a 12-week program during which our team is paired off into partnerships based on professional interests and expertise. The mentor shares their knowledge in a specific area of digital marketing that the mentee hopes to learn more about. In the past, these pairings have focused on topics like Photoshop, landing page development, Facebook ads, and more. Each team meets twice a month for 30-minute training sessions. In-between sessions, the mentee works on projects to sharpen their skills, and the mentor is available for any questions they may have. At the end of the 12-weeks, the entire KWSM team reconvenes, and participants present what they learned.


The Guidelines


Because these are areas we, as participants, expressed interest in, the format of the program is intentionally open-ended! We are given the power to decide what we want to work on, how we want to work together, and what we are hoping to gain from the program. It is the mentor’s responsibility to build a curriculum to follow, and both the mentor and mentee must document all meetings so progress can be tracked and learnings can be captured. Each pairing must deliver a blog post about their experience and give a 10-minute presentation. Otherwise, it is all up to us!  This gives us the freedom to determine what we really want to learn and apply it to the work we do for our clients every day.


Presentation Day


Because of the freedom that we are allotted with our partnerships, presentation day is exciting for all of those involved. While each pairing knows the topics of each presentation, most team members don’t know the details of the other participant’s programs. This adds an element of surprise, and encourages creativity and a little friendly competition. On presentation day, any KWSM team members who aren’t involved in this round of the program are given a very important job – judging the presentations. Their grading scale includes the presentation, the curriculum, the blog posts written about the experience, and the relationship between the mentor and the mentee. The winning presentation is awarded a cash prize.


What Happens Next?


The KWSM Mentorship Program is an opportunity for us to not only learn from our mentors but for us to educate each other and to get to know each other better! Many of our pairings were between team members in different offices, spanning between Orange County, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and San Diego.  


Following each session of the program, our team members continue to share what they learned on a more detailed level outside of the presentations. We have the ability to hold additional training sessions on our projects for other team members who might be interested in the same thing. During our most recent program, many partnerships developed new tools and strategies that, once rolled out, can be used by all members of our team. 


The opportunities to learn and share are endless and we’re eagerly anticipating the next chance to pair up and work with each other. 


87% of millennials say they believe professional development or career growth opportunities are very important. 

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