The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, recognizing the need to fast-track new technical talent in the broadcast technical environment, created the SBE Mentor Program in 2016. The program partners a new engineer with a more-seasoned professional, which allows the more-experienced person to share his or her gained knowledge, both empirical and practical, with someone new to the field. The freshman mentee has a way to gain inside knowledge and understanding that could otherwise take years to accumulate.
As the Mentor Program has grown, the need for mentors has increased. While one-on-one mentors provide a broad base of information to the mentees, there are times when mentees need guidance in an area that is more specific than the mentor might be able to provide. With this, the SBE Mentor program introduces a new level of mentorship: The Subject Matter Expert (SME).
The new level proves that “Everyone Can Be a Mentor” by involving SBE members in any level of their career to offer their specialized expertise. SMEs offer knowledge in a specific area of expertise and can offer guidance to a colleague with less experience in that area. SMEs provide support to one-on-one Mentors and offer specific knowledge that may be outside the primary Mentor’s experience.
Like primary Mentors, SMEs must be current SBE members and in the profession of broadcast engineering. They must have a willingness to share their knowledge and a positive attitude toward help with the professional development of others.
SBE Mentor Committee Chair Tony Dimsdale, CBRE, notes, “Adding Subject Matter Experts to the Mentor Program allows those who want to share their knowledge in a specific area with others learning the technology. No one expects a primary Mentor to know everything, and having access to a panel of SMEs means the education process for the mentee can continue to grow.”