The Media Federation of Australia’s (MFA) NGEN program is rewarding the top 8 engaged NGENers who attended a record number of learning and development webinars in 2020 with a three-month mentorship with industry leaders to further progress their personal and professional development.
NGEN is the MFA’s biggest and most established program, providing training and networking opportunities to the industry’s next generation of leaders, those with less than five years’ experience. There are currently 2,449 active NGENers from both media communications agencies and media owners, with a 58% – 42% split.
The top 8 NGENers have each been in the industry for less than two years, with three joining just this year. They are:
1st Laylaa Khan (feature image) Account Coordinator, Starcom Melbourne – joined in the industry June 2019, attended 23 sessions
Equal 2nd Christen Fernandes, SEO Assistant, Atomic 212 Melbourne – joined the industry October 2019, attended 22 sessions
Equal 2nd Octavia Bellekens, Sales Coordinator, Val Morgan Outdoor Brisbane – joined in the industry July 2019, attended 22 sessions
4th Marshall Raven, Account Coordinator, Zenith Melbourne – joined the industry January 2020, attended 21 sessions
5th Emily Dewar, Investment Coordinator, Zenith Melbourne – joined the industry January 2020, attended 19 sessions
6th Vanessa Stewart, Marketing Executive, QMS Media Melbourne – joined the industry February 2019, attended 19 sessions
7th Anthony Meighan, Programmatic Sales Coordinator, Ziff Davis Sydney – joined the industry January 2020, attended 17 sessions
8th Madeline Toso, Investment Partnerships Associate, Initiative Sydney – joined the industry April 2019, attended 17 sessions
As part of the mentor program, senior industry leaders will provide three one-hour mentor sessions to each of the top performers, spread over three months. The aim is to encourage the personal and professional development of the NGENers through the sharing of knowledge, expertise and experience.
This year the MFA re-imagined NGEN within weeks of the national shutdown in March, to ensure the NGEN community had the support they needed as they struggled with isolation and working from home. By quickly transitioning the program of workshops, masterclasses and networking opportunities online, NGEN gained the added benefit of becoming national for the first time.
Melanie Aslanidis, the MFA’s Head of NGEN, said: “2020 has been a year of adjustment for all of us, but for young people just starting their career, suddenly finding themselves working from home without the natural learning and connection that happens in the office was an added challenge. It was therefore great to see so many of them embrace NGEN, and their high engagement demonstrates how passionate they are about the growth of their careers. In this extraordinary year, we thought they deserved something more than a certificate of attendance and we’re happy to help partner them with a mentor.”
Steve Golding, Group Sales Manager at NOVA Entertainment, who is part of the MFA mentor network, said: “By being given the opportunity to mentor these young high-flyers, I know I will learn as much from them as they will from me. The next generation of our industry will shape the future. They will fundamentally change the way we operate, the way we work and the way we do business. I can’t wait to hear how these future leaders will change our world.”
Spark Foundry CEO and MFA Board director Imogen Hewitt, also a mentor, said: “Learning from other people’s experiences, good and bad, is an irreplaceable opportunity. You can shortcut to the good and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls. Personally, I have also learnt that good connections made early on can become great connections over time. Mentoring is a mutual relationship of trust and cooperation and one that, when it works best, gives back many times over to both participants.”
Laylaa Khan added: “When NGEN adapted to make the sessions online for everyone to be able to attend, it really expanded my network as I have been able to meet other people in the industry from all over Australia. As we know 2020 has taught us all to adapt, however we have been busier than ever and these NGEN sessions really allowed me to take time out of my day for myself and my learning – showing me the importance of continuing to grow in everything you do.”