Your Career and You: “Mentoring – The ‘Gift’ That Keeps on Giving”

publication1I thought this year was going to go out peacefully. 2016 has been one hell of a year for me, and I was kind of hoping it would just quietly slink away and out of sight. But NOOoooo!

  • Bit the bullet at the beginning of the semester and formally announced my intent to retire from Curry College at the end of May 2017. “Minor” ripple upon the waters.
  • Announced my intent to step down from a couple of PRSA volunteer positions…don’t plan to stop participating in either the Society or the activities; just want to make room for younger members to get into the game.
  • Wore a heart monitor for a month…now THAT’s a ton of fun…best I can tell, nothing has come of it other than an annoying rash where the electrodes were placed.
  • Visited with the local Social Security Administration folks to get retirement stuff on the gummint side underway.

Yeah…fun December so far.


I’ve also had more than a half-dozen in-person meetings and Skype chats this month…and more on the books…with current and former Curry College Communication majors, most of whom also were/are part of the PR Concentration “Dark Side.”

Enthusiasm. Optimism. Confidence. A bit of nervousness. These are common traits that we all have shared as we’ve charted our respective paths.

But one thing also has come through with each encounter…these young men and women are going to make a name for themselves whatever they ultimately wind up doing.

And each time I chatted with these young professionals who I am honored to also call “friends,” I came away reinvigorated myself…confident that whatever it is that I choose to do in the next chapter of my own life will be a success.

That’s the beauty of what I’ve been doing for the past 15-ish years. I have been given the opportunity to learn with and learn from an amazing assortment of undergrad and graduate students…each of whom has brought his or her own take on life into our conversations. I may not have always agreed with that perspective, but, as Voltaire is said to have said, “I disagree with every word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Public relations was and continues to be my passion…helping others address challenges as well as opportunities successfully. Teaching has been a personally and professionally rewarding extension of that passion. I have been allowed to help young men and women…future professionals…come to grips with the daunting challenge of “what will I do when I graduate?” and position themselves for future success.

And the opportunity to serve as a mentor to the budding rockstars has blossomed into an unexpected and deeply appreciated relationship with those who, like myself some 40-plus years ago, are just now embarking on their own life’s voyage.

The beauty of this is that the “rewards” keep flowing in. Everything from “I got a new job!” to “Here’s a picture of my new baby!” to “I’ve been promoted to xxxxx.” In each case, the sheer joy and pride of the sender gives me a little shiver of happiness, and I turn to my next task feeling a little bit better about everything.

Yes…teacher…mentor…friend. The “gift” that keeps on giving.


About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 20 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in careers, Communication, Curry College, feedback, mentoring, PR, PR students, PRSA, public relations, Public Relations Society of America and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Your Career and You: “Mentoring – The ‘Gift’ That Keeps on Giving”

  1. Simon Oh says:

    It’s been a great honor to have known you for these last four years, Kirk. I especially appreciate your willingness to periodically providing expert resume review — the latest of which is probably due sometime next year, when you’re free. All the best in closing out this chapter of your life and happy retirement!


    • kirkhazlett says:

      The honor is mutual, Simon. I remember when I first met you and was immediately impressed by your earnestness, your enthusiasm, and your natural curiosity. I’m very glad our paths crossed and continue to do so!

      Ready to review when the resume’s ready! Happy Holidays!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Howard Sholkin says:


    I wish you the best in your next phase. I will join you a little down the road but I will volunteer for a long time.


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