Mentor Monday: Yan Shikhvarger

I didn't get him that coffee (=
I didn't get him that coffee (=

Mentor Monday is a series where I feature people that have helped me when I needed it, whether or not I asked for it, and whether or not they even realize it.  I am extremely thankful for these people, and would not be where I am today, or where I will be tomorrow, without them.  If you know what’s good for you, you’ll connect with these individuals as well.

Yan Shikhvarger

Where He Blogs.

His Twitter.

Many of you probably haven’t met Yan.  He was my manager when I interned at Ruder Finn Interactive.

There were a few reasons why Yan was a great mentor.  To name a few, he was always willing to help, share his talents and created a really comfortable atmosphere.  The reason I appreciate most though was his willingness to grant me with opportunities and responsibility.  This is something that every good mentor must be able to do, but many managers fail to accomplish.

As an intern, I was able to work directly on projects for clients, doing everything from creating detailed landscape and research decks to reviewing and analyzing analytics.  Never once did I feel like the coffee fetching, copy machine slave that you hear about so often with internships. The experiences i had at Ruder Finn were priceless and most of them wouldn’t be possible without Yan.

Yan was always supportive, but wasn’t afraid to give me a wtf? if I needed to step up my game.  Connect with him and you’ll see how savvy he really is.  He always has unique ideas and has a great ability to see the bigger picture, something that he showed me is extremely valuable in all business campaigns.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have worked under Yan, and would not be anywhere close to where I am today if it weren’t for him. Quite literally actually. I’ll never forget the day he asked me to check out this “twitter” thing and let him know what it is.  I came back in his office and said “uhh I don’t really get it…you post short messages about what you’re doing, or something”…and that was the day I signed up for Twitter.