Mentor Match Program Provides Professional Boost


If there comes a time when your professional career hits a wall, NATAS is here to help. The Mentor Match program can connect members at stations in smaller markets with members at stations in larger markets. Or, mentors can teach skills to mentees across a lateral plane, like from still photography to video.

“These should not be one-and-done relationships,” says Wayne Freedman, KGO ABC7 San Francisco news reporter, and mentor to a reporter from Reno station KOLO 8 News Now. “A good mentor has experience and wisdom, and should exercise patience. A successful mentee has energy, an open mind, and trust.”

SF / NorCal Chapter president Steve Shlisky enjoys the connection between professionals. “Mentor Match is not only an excellent NATAS member benefit for those looking to improve their skill sets, as a tutor I enjoy the experience as well.” Shlisky adds, “As I approach the end of my career, I share the insights acquired along the way.”

Professional still photographer Susan Bradley has been working with Shlisky for about a year. Bradley would like to branch out, expanding her repertoire to video production: “My focus as a still photographer is to see one photo,” Bradley says. “One of the biggest differences with video is to think in threes, each shot needs to have a context: a beginning, a middle, and an end.”

To offer to be a MENTOR, or apply as a MENTEE, email NATAS Executive Director Darryl Compton at
Any questions, call (415) 777-0212.

– Put “Mentor Match” in the subject line of your email.
– Besides your name and phone number, provide a brief summary of your work to date, and what you’d like to achieve.
– Add who you might like as a Mentor, what type of professional. Be as specific as possible. (If you have a person in mind, name that person, plus a second choice and a third choice.)
– Include your Member number.

The NATAS office and the Board of Governors will make suggestions for mentors to match with mentees. After they are connected, mentees can provide samples of their work (such as links to videos), and mentors can offer reactions and suggestions for improvement. Perhaps mentees can “shadow” the mentor on the job – at the station or in the field. Once a mentee narrows down target roles, the mentor can keep an eye open for an opening at their place of employment and inform the mentee about the job opportunity!

Select a Mentor from the NATAS SF / NorCal Board of Governors!

What Is Mentor Match?
Mentor Match takes television professionals who want to polish their skills and become better in their field and matches them with seasoned professionals, often in a different market, who are willing to look at their work and provide critiques and suggestions for improvement and perhaps a little encouragement.

When does Mentor Match start and how long does it last?
Professional mentorships usually last for approximately 3 months.

What are the advantages to the Mentor?
Chance to give something back, Networking

What are the advantages to the Mentee?
Professional critique of your work, Professional suggestions for improvement, Experience working with professionals, On-going training and career development, Networking

What exactly happens in this Mentorship Program?
NATAS will find mentors for mentees in the Mentor Match program, and help them set up their first meeting via email or via phone. After that the frequency of the meetings is up to the mentor and mentee.

Are there any requirements to be accepted as a Mentor?
Yes. NATAS is looking for professionals in the television industry that are recognized by their peers as excellent in their chosen field, whether they are photographers, writers, producers, on-camera talent, or in sales, accounting or management.

Are there any requirements for the level of participation?
Participation in the Mentor Match program takes into account the hectic schedule of most broadcasters and requires: 1) that the mentor set the schedule for the relationship, 2) that the mentor and mentee communicate via email, phone, or in person a minimum of once a month for the duration of the mentorship program, 3) complete a short feedback form at the end of the mentorship. We suggest that the participants arrange to meet in person at least once, but that is not an official requirement for the program.

How will the mentees and mentors be matched up?
Applicants will be matched according to their first, second, or third choice of interest, depending on the availability of mentors. After that they will be matched up based on the information given.

Do you have to be a member of NATAS to participate in Mentor Match, as either a Mentor or Mentee?
Yes. The mentorship program is a NATAS member benefit.

How do I apply to be a mentor?
Email the NATAS office. If you are not already a member, join on the Membership Page, and include your member number in the email.

How do I apply to be a mentee?
Email the NATAS office. If you are not already a member, join on the Membership Page, and include your member number in the email.

How will the program be tracked?
There will be a monthly and final report as well as an evaluation of the program.

To offer to be a MENTOR, or apply as a MENTEE, email NATAS Executive Director Darryl Compton at
Any questions, call (415) 777-0212.

Select a Mentor from the NATAS SF / NorCal Board of Governors!


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