For more than a decade, AIR’s mentorship program has helped audio rookies and career pivoters take their professional development to the next level by providing a pathway to work with seasoned producers and editors with valuable industry insight.
We feature our mentors on AIR’s digital training platform for peer-inspired learning SoundPath. Our mentors are experts in journalism, podcast development, storytelling, pitching, branding and marketing, the business of podcasting and production, budgeting, story editing, breaking into the industry, editing, investigative reporting, grant writing, and engineering skills. Booking an à la carte session is as easy as selecting a mentor who inspires you, making a payment, scheduling your session within SoundPath, and setting some goals for the session. You can expect to learn from mentors in virtual meetings and to create and maintain networking connections for the rest of your career.
Anyone can book a 60-minute remote mentoring session by making a payment and scheduling their session on SoundPath. Mentees can book as many hourly sessions as needed to meet their career goals. For some, that might be one hour; for others, it could be more. The cost of a 60-minute mentoring session ranges from $35 to $210 per hour. AIR members receive discounts on hourly mentorship sessions and there are some mentors that offer further discounts for emerging creators.
Mentorship is different from consulting, though if you’re looking for a consultant to help you launch a podcast or supercharge your marketing strategy or an editor to read and refine your work, most AIR mentors are also available for this kind of professional service. If that’s what you’re looking for don’t hesitate to reach out directly to inquire about rates for editing, consulting, or reporting.
Visit the mentor page on SoundPath to meet your mentor!
Can't Decide? Here are our recommendations
If you’re interested in Breaking Into the Industry we recommend checking out Diana Opong, Ari Saperstein, Tuck Woodstock, Ronald Young Jr., Lily Ames, Mable Chan, Mia Lobel, Chloe Prasinos, Shia Levitt and Sonia Paul for help.
If you're looking for real world advice on networking, Ronald Young Jr is your mentor. He's also your guy if you need help learning how to learn new skills on the fly and teaching yourself how to do anything.
For help with Marketing, Branding, or Audience Growth, Sheeba Joseph and Christine Kix are pros. Tuck Woodstock can help you develop your community. Hillary Frank can also help with audience engagement.
Grant Writing to fund your production? Christine Kix can review your application.
Dreaming of doing Investigative Reporting? Book a session with Jayson De Leon to learn how.
For a Cultural Sensitivity Review of your story, Christabel Nsiah-Buadi and Sonia Paul are in the know. Tuck Woodstock can help incorporate gender inclusive language into your story and how to avoid using trans story tropes.
If you are applying to a training program and need Program Application Review, Christabel Nsiah-Buadi oversees a training program and can give great advice.
If you’re determined to upgrade your Hosting, Voice Over, Interviewing Skills, try Tuck Woodstock, Mable Chan, Roifield Brown, Hillary Frank, Diana Opong, Steve Rowland, Ann Marie Awad, Karen Michel or Christine Kix.
If you need help with Executive Level Problem Solving, Mia Lobel has you covered.
Interested in learning more about Audio Project Management and Production Design? Mia Lobel, Steve Rowland, Sheeba Joseph, Jayson De Leon and Traci Tong and are experts in designing and organizing big projects.
*Please note that many of our mentors are also available to consult on your larger, corporate, or branded projects. Please reach out if a mentorship session isn't quite the right fit and you need more than what a mentorship session can provide.
Please direct all questions about the SoundPath Mentorship program to AIR's Membership & Community Liaison, Erin McGregor at [email protected].
How do I work with a mentor?
Visit SoundPath.co/mentors, read mentor profiles, and then it’s as easy as making a payment and booking a session directly with a mentor of your choosing. Be sure to check the mentor availability statement to make sure they’re available in the time period that serves you best.
How long in between mentorships do I have to wait before participating again?
You can enroll as many one-on-one sessions as you like, but you'll have to be unenrolled in your session in order to book a second session. We recommend booking one session to start and then scheduling more as needed after discussing with your mentor. If you have trouble scheduling another session please contact [email protected].
Do I have to have a specific project that I’m working on in order to benefit from mentoring?
We find that mentorships are more focused and effective if the mentee has a project or specific goals around which to frame the engagement. However, you can also ask your mentor for general career advice, receive feedback on a specific pitch or story, or even have a mentor review your portfolio. This is your chance to pick your mentors brain about all your outstanding production or industry questions.
How are mentorships conducted?
Mentorships occur remotely over video conferencing or phone calls. Mentees can select which platform (Zoom, GoogleMeet, phone) they’d like to use for the session.
I can’t decide between all of the amazing mentors! How do I choose?
It all depends on your goal. We find that mentorships are more effective when the mentee has a project or specific goals to provide a framework for your time with your mentor. This is your time to get industry insight for general career advice, receive feedback on a specific pitch or story, or even have a mentor review your portfolio. Who do you think would be best at that, and more importantly, who are you inspired by? We’ve compiled a list of recommendations for you, but if you prefer we suggest an appropriate mentor for you, email [email protected] to help you decide who to work with.
Are discounts on mentorship sessions available?
AIR members receive 25% discounted pricing for mentorship. At this time, no formal programs exist to fully subsidize mentorships. A few of our mentors including Steve Rowland, Ari Saperstein and Kyle Norris. If you require a payment plan, please email [email protected] to discuss possible options to support your participation.
How long in between mentorships do I have to wait before participating again?
You can book as many one-on-one sessions as you like. We recommend booking one session to start and then scheduling more as needed after discussing with your mentor. If you have trouble scheduling another session please contact [email protected].
What if I have trouble reaching my mentor or mentee?
Please contact AIR and direct facilitation will be provided.
I think I’d be a good mentor. How does it work?
SoundPath Mentors go through an onboarding process where they choose their own rates (current mentor rates range from $50 - $210), hours of availability, and learn about how to market your skills. SoundPath mentors will be invited to participate in panels and community events to promote their work and expertise and get in front of emerging producers. Once a month, we issue you a payment for your completed sessions by check or ACH. At this time we are not accepting applications for new mentors.
What makes a good mentor?
What did you need when you were starting out in audio? Chances are you needed access to industry professionals to walk you through pitching or feature story, guidance launching and marketing a new podcast, or someone to give you advice on how to land your next producing gig. You needed someone who cared about your success and understood the unique challenges you faced starting out in audio and who was excited to watch your career unfold. Now that you’ve got hands-on experience, you can be the mentor you needed when you were starting out. SoundPath mentors have varying experience levels and availability. Disclaimer: You don’t need to have 10+ years of experience to be a mentor! We’re interested in working with producers and editors with a variety of perspectives - whether you’re an underrepresented queer, trans, or BIPOC producer or storyteller with valuable industry insight, a veteran of the audio industry, an audio trailblazer, or an international producer, we’re searching far and wide. Your knack for the “business side” of podcasting, that skillset you learned in the newsroom or the field, or your unlikely path to sound engineering, we want to hear all about it. Your desire to share your skills and connect with emerging audio professionals is all you need to qualify. Please reach out to Program Manager and Mentorship lead Erin McGregor at [email protected] and tell me about what you are particularly good at and your unique experience as a creator. You’ll stand out if you have niche offerings rather than broad.
I know someone who is a great fit for the program. How do I tell you about them?
Erin McGregor leads the SoundPath mentorship program and is happy to take your recommendations for mentors, especially those from underrepresented voices in media (queer, trans, black, indigenous, people of color, people with disabilities, etc). Please email [email protected] with or without an introduction to your recommended mentor!