Contributed by: Madison Gleissner, Newsletter Editor
This month we had the opportunity to interview and feature one of our Image Impact International volunteers, Brad Angevine. Please enjoy getting to know Brad and why mentoring and leading is the key to giving back with Image Impact International.
Angevine: I grew up overseas, as my dad was a diplomat, so my family lived mostly in Asia and parts of the Far East, such as the Philippines and Japan. It gave me an incredible appreciation for all of the different cultures, foods and languages around the world.
Professionally, I spent my career in marketing roles primarily for healthy food and beverage companies. I enjoyed this work and knowing that I was helping promote healthier foods to consumers.
I also learned a great deal about marketing strategy and branding, which is something that applies not only to products, but also to people and organizations.
Angevine: As I advanced in my career, I learned that probably my favorite part of my work was coaching, mentoring, and training young people as they entered the business world.
After 30+ years in the business world, I still felt that I wasn’t being fulfilled by my professional career anymore, and decided that it was the right time for me to give back to the community and share some of life learnings and expertise in a way that would help others who are attempting to start their careers.
I found Image Impact International on VolunteerMatch and felt that it was just the kind of organization that I would like to be a part of. The mentoring of first generation and disabled students is a huge need within our communities, as these students often have difficulty graduating from college and getting internships/jobs.
Angevine: Many young people don’t have the support system in place that they need to help them through college and to choose a career, as well as find a job/internship within that career field. This is especially true for first generation college students and disabled students, who often are trailblazing a new path within their families, and as a result, have a lot of pressures and responsibilities on their shoulders.
By mentoring and volunteering, we are able to offer the expertise and experience that we have developed over our careers along with our completion of college and often graduate school. Through mentoring and volunteering, we can provide a role model to these students, give them our advice, and more than anything, give them our support and encouragement.
Sometimes, it can make all the difference in the world for a student in need of support to know that they have someone on their side and someone who believes in them.
Angevine: I had several mentors in my life, and feel incredibly fortunate for all of those who helped guide me through some of the challenges and difficult paths that I experienced.
My greatest mentor was my dad, who had incredible patience, was thoughtful, and was a terrific writer. He gave me so much guidance in how to write a good term paper in high school . . . it was a skill that helped me throughout college and also helped make me successful in my marketing career, as marketing is all about communication.
My other important mentor was a boss I had early in my marketing career. She believed in me, encouraged me, and gave me challenging work . . . because she knew I could do it. Thanks to her, I accelerated my career path and built confidence in myself.
Angevine: I sometimes believe there is a certain fate or serendipity in life, and I certainly felt it when I volunteered to mentor with Image Impact International. I had volunteered to be a mentor, but was actually interested in something more and expressed that to Marisol [Rosero-Allen] when I interviewed with her. Before I knew it, I was speaking to Pamela [Judd] about becoming Chair of the Mentoring 4 Impact pilot at CUNY John Jay College, as this was a position that urgently needed to be filled. I decided to take on the role, as it sounded exciting and challenging, even though I wasn’t sure I had the right skills and background for the position.
With the support and guidance of many of the other board members and volunteers at Image Impact, including Pamela Judd, Susie Schainost, Cindy Ann Peterson, Greg Gershuny, and many others who volunteered as mentors and instructors, as well as those who served in key roles behind the scenes, we accomplished a successful pilot program of Mentoring 4 Impact.
In so doing, we successfully built curriculum for a two-semester program (16 classes), teaching subjects such as transferrable skills identification, resume writing, creating an elevator pitch, interviewing, leadership development, LinkedIn profiles, etc. We also successfully found mentor matches and provided 1-on-1 mentoring for all of our fully involved undergraduate student mentees, giving them coaching direction and advice, as well as encouragement and support to help them with their career development plans and job or internship search.
Angevine: My biggest advice is don’t try and do it alone, or “tough it out on your own.” As human beings, one of our most important attributes is the ability to learn from others. That is why, it is not surprising that many of the most successful people in the world tell us that they achieved their success with the help of others. So, reach out and get involved in a program that offers mentoring support. Usually, a formal mentoring program is better, as it will provide the support and structure that can help you the most.
And one day, when you are older, and you have accomplished some of your life goals, remember to “pay it forward.”
Brad Angevine is an experienced business leader with a 30+ year background in consumer-packaged goods (CPG) marketing and innovation. He began his career at large multinational companies, where he learned a classical consumer marketing approach. Later, he moved on to working for more entrepreneurial companies, developing deep experience in working in lean work environments. He has been an adjunct professor at LIU, teaching entrepreneurship, and has spent over 20 years interviewing students for college admission.
Brad Angevine also has served as Chief Marketing Officer for CYC (Consult Your Community), which focuses on helping college students get consulting experience while in college through working with local businesses in the college community.
Angevine has an Economics degree from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He has a long legacy of teachers and educators in his family and is an avid runner/marathoner.