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DMAW/EF Mentor for a Day Program: A Student Perspective

by Tevis Hannington

During my Mentor for a Day visit to the National Geographic Society, I gained a better understanding of what’s next after graduation. And a side-benefit of the program was that I got a lead for a summer internship and subsequently hired as an intern for Nexus Direct. I hope that members reading this post will realize the rewarding and exciting experience they could provide a lucky student, like myself, while having the opportunity to essentially have an all-day interview with potential interns and employees.

I elected to participate in the “Mentor for a Day” Program while taking a Database Marketing course taught by DMAW member Jim Doyle (Mailing Solutions Specialist at USPS & part-time professor at American University). While discussing my personal and industry related interests, he helped me decide to request the National Geographic Society (NGS) as the organization to be my “mentor”. NGS was not only a great choice because I had been receiving their magazine since I was five years old, but my mentor, Karen Rice-Gardiner, was just as excited as I was about the program. Karen, also of the DMAW, is the Director of Creative Services in the Marketing Services Division at NGS.

My day began with a tour of the building and an explanation of the organization’s structure. This overview was essential to keep up with introductions and conversations I had throughout the day. Karen spent time reviewing projects in various stages within the Marketing Services Division. It was great to see how these examples reinforced many things I had been learning in my marketing classes. Throughout the day, I was given the opportunity to meet almost every employee in the division and learn what they do on a daily basis. This was my favorite part of the “Mentor for a Day” Program because it assisted my career choice process.

This program truly benefits both members and students, and has the potential to show prospective members how the DMAW is working to evolve the direct marketing industry through collaboration and education. The time I’ve spent at NGS and at my current internship have raised my interest and my awareness of the impact of the direct marketing industry.


Tevis Hannington is a recent graduate of American University and an eager student of Direct Marketing.