SEO manager, Chrissy Kidd is an SEO content writing mentor to Mariam Odusola and the mentorship has been an absolute success.
Chrissy talked to us about;
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Name: Chrissy Kidd
What She Does: Search Engine Optimization Manager, Content at Splunk
Her Mentee: Mariam Odusola
Noteworthy: She is a technology writer, editor, and speaker. Chrissy has been interested in technology since she turned on her family’s first computer in 1992.
Hi Chrissy, first of all, why did you decide to be a mentor at the FCDC?
I think the first thing is that a significant portion of my career was as a freelance writer and then found my way into SEO.
So I know what it’s like to be a freelancer, and I want to support people who are freelancing as much as I can.
When I was a freelancer, I found one of my clients who sort of became my best client and they ended up hiring me into a more full-time role as I went along.
It was sort of that relationship that then unlocked a lot of things for me in my career. So anything that I can do to help freelancers develop their skills, or network appropriately, a lot of it is the networking part of it, that means a lot to me.
I have always enjoyed traveling a lot and I’m very aware of opportunities for people outside of the United States.
So anything that I can do to help promote talent that is growing beyond just the United States. That means a lot to me as well.
Oh, that’s awesome. You’ve had multiple sessions with Mariam but I want to go back to the very first session because that’s always the most important session. What was your experience like with her?
I think that’s a great question. The first meeting was good.
I think both Mariam and I were maybe a little bit nervous, I don’t want to speak for Mariam.
You don’t know what to expect when you’re meeting somebody for the first time.
Obviously, a mentor-mentee relationship has a lot to do with if somebody gets along well, and when you’re only meeting people on Zoom, that can be a really good thing but it also can be a barrier for folks.
So I think in that first meeting, I just really wanted to make Mariam feel comfortable. I wanted to set this up to be a thing that she got value out of.
She had filled out the template of information so that she knew what goals she already had in mind, she had already done some of her own self-driven learning, and certifications.
So she wasn’t coming to the table with no knowledge at all. So that allowed us to not have to start talking about SEO content right away.
We spent probably half of the session if not longer getting to know each other first before we started talking about work.
That way, we could really just get to know each other. Mariam did say at the end of our initial call, that she was so glad that I was nice and welcoming because she herself was really nervous.
I think that first session, really, we both felt really positive after that, and I think that made us look forward to our next session.
The first session led to an open atmosphere, how has that been?
Yeah, we started to really get to know each other through not just the work setting, but in our, in our personal lives, too.
She’ll see my husband walk around and wave to him because he works from home, or I got to meet her brother one day because he was sitting near her.
Just understanding where we live, or where we are in our lives, and what we’re trying to do.
Mariam herself is a university student right now and she’s learning the SEO piece, just because she’s interested, and to me that signals so much self-drive.
We found some things we have in common and that made our sessions together enjoyable too.
Awesome. Okay, so now you’ve mentioned where she was at the beginning of the mentorship but what differences have you seen now that you’ve had multiple sessions with her?
I would say probably the difference, or what we revisit in each of our sessions is the level of how much learning and research should one be doing before finally, doing the thing.
There are so many opportunities online, for people to learn about a new set of skills, take training courses, and engage or network with people.
But at some point do you switch from saying, “Alright, I’ve learned enough, and now I’m ready to do”
I think there is a cap on how much learning you can do just for learning sake.
I always want to encourage people to take action and to take the next steps. So, Mariam, I think she has been really good.
Each week, we’ve set a “What action do you want to accomplish for next week?” and we’ll talk about that.
It’s in support of SEO content writing, but it’s really moving away from being only educational and moving really into like the doing of it, which will open up more opportunities for learning.
That’s wonderful. Mentorship is a two-way journey for the mentor and the mentee. What has this experience taught you?
What I get reminded of and what I like about doing this is that, despite our backgrounds, despite being from geographically different places, we have something in common.
Mariam and I talk a lot about writing and communication, and the different types of writing and communication that are out there in the world.
This is something that we’re both passionate about.
Whether that’s SEO, writing, writing for an academic purpose, or just the way we read and write in our personal lives, that’s sort of been the throughline for us.
We’re always talking about communicating and might be silly or cliche to say, but it’s these opportunities that you realize, that people don’t have to be different from us, just because we’re from different places.
Within my content program, I have some of the best writers who contribute to my program and they are not from the United States.
I believe in sharing that with people all over, I don’t believe that people in America are therefore better skilled than others.
So this is my way of putting that into practice as well. Yeah.
Awesome. My last question would be would you encourage other people to apply to be mentors at the FCDC? If yes, why?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think there are a couple of different reasons.
I’ve been doing sort of volunteer work, whether I would call it mentoring or not. I’ve been volunteering in a lot of capacities, my whole adult life.
I noticed that like in America, a lot of corporations that people work for, certainly in the technology industry, which is where I work, there’s a lot of desire to volunteer and companies encourage us to volunteer.
Anybody volunteering is good and I get a lot out of working one-on-one with people and that’s why this is really valuable to me.
This program is one way that makes it really impactful and to me, it’s really easy.
Sometimes with volunteering, it’s hard to find an opportunity, it’s hard to fit it into your schedule if it doesn’t align with the times you would need it to work, but working with the FCDC, it’s been really easy for us as well. It lets me and Mariam kind of work the way we want.
The other thing is, I think anytime you can get a chance to work with somebody who’s not from your culture or your background, I just think that’s a good thing.
I think the world could use more of that and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
If I were talking kind of to my colleagues, I think doing a mentorship like this, where you’re using the skills that you use at work, but you’re using them in sort of a mentor capacity.
I actually think that helps you better understand what you’re doing within your role at work, too.
So there are some really good reflection opportunities.
That’s awesome, so you got to know a bit more about Nigerian culture through this?
Mariam was telling me how she gets her hair done and I was like, “Tell me about it” “Like I want to know!”
Haha. That’s so cool. Thank you so much for signing up to be a mentor we really appreciate it.
Connect with Chrissy on Linkedin
View her Splunk profile.
Passionate about content and diversity, Jadesola is a content writer. In her free time, with a cup of coffee in hand, she binges on reality shows.
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