Susan J. Farese, Honored to be a Mentor in the SDSU Aztec Mentor Program

Sharing Guidance and Wisdom as a Mentor

by

Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN,  SJF Communications

I am pleased to be a Mentor for my 2nd year in  San Diego State University‘s ‘Aztec Mentor Program‘ (AMP). This year I have two Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA) Communications students for both semesters. Last year I mentored one Senior (Communications) and one Junior (Public Health) student during the Fall, 2016 semester and three graduating senior mentees (Communications, Health Communications and Finance/Entrepreneurship) for the Spring, 2017  semester.  The Communications student was my mentee for the entire year.

Here are two links from recent feature articles by Erik Good, about my experiences in the SDSU Aztec Mentor Program:   http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=76775 and https://amp.sdsu.edu/pages/2962?src=tab

I believe in mentoring as well as being mentored!

Time has certainly flown since I was introduced to my own first ‘mentor’. I distinctly remember the time (after working about a year or so) as a newly graduated Ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps in 1978 in San Diego. Needless to say…I was stressed out with what we now call ‘burnout’ (which was not even a term used then) in my very first job after graduating college! As a staff/charge nurse on the open bay male general medicine floor, I endured grueling rotating shifts and dealt with serious illnesses and on several occasions deaths of active duty, dependent and/or retired males at my young age. I suppose I had a certain look of ‘being overwhelmed’ one day. Upon rounds to the unit, my supervisor said to me “By the end of the day, I want to know how much leave (vacation) you’re taking and where you want to work when you return”. I stared at her in disbelief for a few seconds, thought about it, planned that leave and afterwards transferred to Cardiothoracic Surgery Step Down unit. That job switch and my Supervisor’s insight, caring and seriously ‘looking out for me’ changed my professional life. I was then able to navigate my career by being in control. Plus, I gained respect for having a Mentor and have learned immensely from many of them over the years!

Flash forward to 38 years later! That Mentor ultimately inspired me to take control of my professional career as a nurse, actor, author, writer, consultant & entrepreneur. I have also had several Mentors in my life since then!

My diversified career has been quite interesting and evolving over the past ‘almost’ 40 years. Besides clinical, management/administrative, education/staff development roles in Nursing during time as a Military Nurse (U.S. Navy – 3 years and Army Nurse Corps-9 years, attaining the rank of Major), I also worked in medical research. My masters degree is in adult primary health which prepared me as a Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist. As an entrepreneur I have provided public speaking, continuing education, legal nurse consulting, public relations, marketing, acting and coaching.

During Fall, 2016, as a parent of an SDSU Freshman, I received an email from the Office of New Student and Parent Programs, Career Services and the Office of Alumni Engagement Career Services, inquiring if I would be interested in being a Mentor in the AMP. I quickly made the decision to embark on this journey (completed my AMP profile which asked for education, career positions and so on) and  have enjoyed my time in this mutually fulfilling program.  Since then I was interviewed by Diane Marin (SDSU Alumni and Career Development and Administrator of AMP),  and Eric Good, (Public Affairs Communication Specialist, SDSU) with article links above.  I have been fortunate to be connected to our daughter’s campus in such a unique way, plus was able to give back – and hopefully enrich and guide the students towards success in their futures, as students and as they enter into the working world.

How does it all work?

First of all, each student that selects me as their Mentor presents different personalities, majors, goals and challenges. I am a proponent of meeting in person on campus for our sessions, usually an hour long, several times a month.  We review resumes and Linked In profiles. We discuss the importance of networking in their prospective fields. I prep them on the common sense and procedure of attending career fairs. We research possible graduate degree programs. We explore employment options with job searches and discuss negotiating salaries, raises etc. much more during the semester(s). I also provide emotional support and guidance for them throughout the semester and especially during their final “stressful” Spring semester nearing  graduation (and they prevail)!

It is thoroughly enriching for me as well. My experience in Nursing, PR/Marketing/ Communications and the Arts enabled me to feel confident as a role model for them and their enthusiasm, diligence and commitment persisted!

I wish them all well!

Here are some more articles about the Aztec Mentorship Program:

http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news_story.aspx?sid=76246

https://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/mentoring.aspx

http://www.sdsualumni.org/s/997/rd16/interior.aspx?sid=997&gid=1&pgid=3077

A photo with my two Mentees from this past Fall, 2017 Semester

Left to right:
From Fall Semester, 2017: Alexa (Mentee), Susan (Mentor), and Delaney (Mentee)

 

Some photos and testimonials from last year’s Mentees:

 

Left to Right: Susan with Mentee (now a graduate) from Spring, 2017: Kaitlin; Major: Health Communication. Photo credit: Erik Good

“Getting involved my last semester at SDSU was great because my mentor, Susan, prepared me to stay on top of job searches, reviewed my resume, and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and attend events that Career Services had put together,”  – Kaitlin Woods

Testimonial for SJF Communications via San Diego State University (SDSU) Health Communications Student, Kaitlin Woods

Left to right: Susan with with Mentee (now 2017 SDSU graduate and now pursuing graduate degree) Alexandra; Major: Communications. Photo credit: Erik Good

“Susan was my mentor throughout my Fall 2016 semester at San Diego State University. Having Susan mentor me was by far one of the best decisions I’ve made. She has propelled me to reach new levels of my potential and widen my understanding about the communications field. Susan is a wonderful asset to any student, individual or agency and I could not recommend her wisdom enough. I am blessed with the opportunity to know her and have her as my mentor”.- Alexandra Talaro

Testimonial for SJF Communications via San Diego State University (SDSU) Communications Student Alexandra Talaro

 

Left to right: with Spring, 2017 Mentee (now 2017 SDSU graduate) James; Major: Finance with Minor: Entrepreneurship with Susan. Courtesy Photo.

“The Aztec Mentorship Program has been an enlightening process for me. Not only has it allowed me to reach out to various alumni in different industries I am interested in, but has created opportunity to foster an invaluable mentorship.

Overall, my best experience was with Susan Farese, a local entrepreneur with many experiences, particularly in the entertainment industry. I learned a few lessons after being matched as a mentee with Susan but lessons are still being learned as we still stay in touch. Resume development, entrepreneurship tips, and networking opportunities have been the focus of the mentorship. Susan helped me develop a technique of developing the perfect resume based upon which jobs I am searching for rather than sending out a general resume out to all jobs. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I learned from Susan’s experiences and mistakes in running her own PR firm. She spoke to me about my different entrepreneurial opportunities and gave insight to possible issues I may run into. Even after the program ended, Susan recently helped me get my first gig doing lighting and sound production for a local play!

Honestly the best part about my experience was the specific attention given to me about how I can best further myself. After a few sessions, Susan understood what I really needed to learn to get the best out of the program and that only happens when mentors are dedicated to extending real life knowledge and experience to mentees.” – James Ranon

Testimonial for SJF Communications via San Diego State University (SDSU) Finance/Entrepreneurship Student

Are you a Mentor?

Do you have a story about your favorite mentor?

Do you need a Mentor?

 

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An afternoon at Mission San Juan Capistrano

Have you visited Mission San Juan Capistrano?

Here are some photos from a recent afternoon visit!

Such gorgeous flowers and stunning serene surroundings…even a hummingbird!

Simply click on a photo and enjoy one, some or all!

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Thanks for visiting SJF Communications

Discovering Art in Nature at Torrey Pines State Beach

 

Torrey Pines State Beach (below Torrey Pines State Reserve), is one of my favorite “go to”places in San Diego.

Why? Because it is always different, each time I visit. I always seem to “see” art in nature…

The sandstone bluff rock formations and cliffs are majestic and magnificent. The amazing ocean with constantly changing tides speaks for itself. Nature abounds with animals and birds. I just marvel at the beauty. I also try bring my camera and snap away at what I see before me. Plus the extra added value of exercise as I stroll along the beach.

Last week, I spotted a few treasures which I captured photographically. I saw the blue Velella Vellela jellyfish (also called ‘by the wind sailors’ due to their resembling a sailboat), the pelicans continuously flew by back and forth in formation (although there are always a few stragglers ‘doing their own thing’), an egret graced the sand at the shoreline and then flew away (which I was fortunate to take a few photos of). Also of note, a peregrine falcon which was perched high above (several photographers had their long lenses prepped and were telling me how the falcon “Dad’ was so greedy and wouldn’t share food with his partner for her and the babies). I certainly hope this changes and those ‘babies’ thrive soon and the female gets more nourishment!

An amazing find of the day, I almost stepped upon. It was my first encounter with a juvenile eared grebe. It was sitting alone on the beach near the shoreline. Its striking orange eye captivated me. It was just sitting there…It looked healthy yet something didn’t seem “right” since it was ‘picking’ at it’s feathers every few seconds. Before I left, I called the ranger station and reported it. They arrived and said they would not be able to do anything themselves, but would call the “bird people”, I hope they did…

Do you see art in nature? Do you enjoy breathing in the ocean air? Do you reflect on how fortunate we are to be able to see so many wonderful species and celebrate gifts of the earth? I highly encourage you to if you can.

Thanks for stopping by at SJF Communications! Please feel free to “like”, “subscribe” “comment”, and “share”!

 

 

 

 

Testimonial for SJF Communications via Nancy Locke Capers, CEO, Rag Lady Productions, Producer/Director, “The Geeze & Me”

 

“Susan J. Farese, of SJF Communications,  was recently the publicist/marketing director, for our  musical,  The Geeze & Me, which had a world premiere in San Diego, March 31 – April 29, 2017.  Beginning September, 2016, Susan was responsible for planning, executing and ensuring that all communications initiatives were implemented.  Her efforts included writing/editing and distributing press releases, posting show information for online calendars, creating event and group Facebook pages, writing blog interview posts, writing/sending email marketing materials, and maintaining social media channels and networks daily attention as well as coordinating theatre reviewers/critics attendance, setting up print, media, and/or in-person interviews, including television/radio appearances, promotion videos, and other PR content.

These tasks included responsibility for identifying and creating content, consulting on appropriate messaging when necessary, increasing the size of our social media networks, and working with authors/director/producers to help spread the word about us in media venues.

Susan focused her efforts on Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, Linked In, Mail Chimp Campaigns, Instagram as well as word of mouth; she knew precisely how these platforms differed and what approaches worked best for a given site. She has a firm grasp of what types of materials are appropriate for our audience.  Susan has proven to be self-directed, reliable, and responsible as well as creative and unfailingly knowledgeable! She demonstrates excellent judgment in knowing when to consult and when to be self-directed.  Her enthusiasm for our production appeared to never wane. Always available to consult, she was early for production meetings and ably directed her knowledge in a way that was always either appropriate or fantastic. She’s been a tremendous asset to Rag Lady Productions.  Highly recommend her”.

-Nancy Locke Capers, CEO, Rag Lady Productions

Testimonial for SJF Communications via Nancy Locke Capers, CEO, Rag Lady Productions, Producer/Director, “The Geeze & Me”