Last week, I attended the Viva Women! Speed Mentoring event in Manhattan and it was everything I’ve been needing.

The concept of the event was to allow entry to mid-level employees throughout the Publicis Groupe umbrella the chance to join in an open floor to ask all of our burning career questions and receive advice from the company’s senior to C-level leaders.

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I’ve been hungry for a mentor since forever; it’s kind of embarrassing. But you can’t deny the fact we all want that one person in our life that sees our potential and seeks to pour in and invest in it. Sure, I’m still waiting for this person to come, but last night I received enough advice to last me until then… and beyond.

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I’ve attended my share of conferences, forums, and panels discussions, but these individuals that you’re about to read from shared some of the best insight I’ve heard to date. Read below and treat yourself to some of the best gems of the night:

Nick Colucci, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Health + On how to find your fit and knowing when to move on in the workplace:

Ambition is important. But it’s also important to be in the moment and that you’re doing a good job where you’re at. I knew when it was time to move on because I felt a certain level of mastery and that I was starting to contribute more than I was learning. This came at different times at different jobs; I felt that way after 18 months at one place and 5 years at another, so it’s important to feel it out. Be honest about why you want that next job; it can’t be about you, it has to be about it.

Greg Reilly, SVP, Head of NYC Office, Publicis Health Media + On work-life balance and maintaining/displaying an entrepreneurial spirit within the workplace:

I think entrepreneurship is a mindset, it’s not necessarily a “you either start a business or you don’t.” You can be entrepreneurial at your job by allowing a project to become an entrepreneurial adventure.

If you make the choice to be entrepreneurial on the side, you give up the luxury of the work-life balance; that is your work-life balance. You have to make choices and say to yourself, if I’m going to work a full-time job and then try to start something on my own, you’re basically saying that something’s gotta give and you need to be okay with what you’re going to give up on. Sacrificed. Then that becomes your life, outside of work and that’s the balance

Aleisia Gibson-Wright, SVP, Regional Client Engagement Director, MSLGROUP + On overcoming hurdles:

I was asked, what’s one things I would tell myself to get over hurdles? I simply said to myself, “It’s not me, it’s them. They’re the crazy ones, my mama raised me right.” *laughs* Just channeling that and knowing that you are who you are is important because sometimes we lose that. If you want to move up, you have to look above the work and ask, what it is that you as an individual can contribute. Find out what it is about you that makes you rise above the rest.

Kedma Brown, SVP Operations, Roar – A Publicis Groupe Solution + On work-life balance and setting boundaries:

I went to a conference and the speaker there broke it down to this: you have to separate [the things is your life] as rubber and glass. Rubber are the things in your life that if you drop the ball, it bounces back. Things that are glass, you never get back. So you have to decide which is which. Also, you set the precedent of how people treat you. If you go into work and stay until 11-12am people are going to expect you to stay at work until 11-12am. Stop doing that, stop putting yourself out here to where people think that’s what you’re going to do. Set your boundaries in the beginning.

Susan Manber, Chief Planning Officer, Digitas Health LifeBrands + On forming the right habits and the importance of listening:

No one effectively multi-tasks. I read somewhere early on that effective CEOs don’t multi-task; they focus intentionally for short periods of time, make a decision, then move on. So when people ask me how I go about juggling so many things at once, I tell them, I listen. Really listen to what people want/need. For every two things you want to say, say one thing and listen. Also, hire people who are smarter than you and get out of their way.

Special thanks to the additional mentors who were kind enough to share their time and wisdom with us! Truly amazing! I’ll carry these words with me throughout my career.

Kathy Delaney, Global Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness

Wanda Pogue, Global Planning Director, Saatchi & Saatchi

Jennifer Durante, EVP, Director of Client Services, Digitas Health LifeBrands

Jennifer Campanaro, SVP, General Manager, Heartbeat Ideas

Jennifer Shirley, EVP, General Manager, Publicis LifeBrands Medicus


What was your favorite gem/quote/piece of advice? Were there any words that touched you? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear.

Peace, peace, peace,

Aley Arion 

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Posted by:aleyarion

when i first set out to create my blog, i just wanted an outlet to balance my mundane college schedule. but over the years, it has become so much more. writing is how i process my world & the events that take place within it. through aleyarion.com, i seek to help my fellow 20-somethings, like me, working to find light when their paths seem darkened and learn from my mistakes so i can save you the trouble of repeating them. aleyarion.com is witty, vulnerable, and transparent, but most importantly, it's me, unapologetically. peace, peace, peace Aley Arion business inquiries: aleyarion@gmail.com

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