Welcome to Monday.

I had three internships during my undergraduate studies at Winthrop. The first came nearly 10 years ago at the NBC affiliate in my hometown of Greenville, S.C. I was 19 and extremely eager to become a news reporter unaware of what the cards held for me in the next decade to come. Working with the reporters and producers proved to be a challenge as they were busy building a live show. And let’s be honest, in a 24-hour news cycle, there is only a fraction of time available to spend training the intern.

Every morning I jumped in where I could and began to notice when my summer colleagues just didn’t have the time to work with me. Nothing personal, all deadlines. I soon made myself invisible because I didn’t want to become known as that annoying newsroom intern. And eventually, I only went on the road for stories if a photographer extended an invite. Luckily, I soon found a mentor in a long time photographer named Johnny B. He shot my standups, allowed me to conduct interviews in the community, and showed me how to edit stories. What felt like a challenging time soon turned into my greatest summer. My portfolio was impressive thanks to Johnny.

One day he was under pressure to cut video for a breaking news story and I could tell my repeated questions were beginning to pester him. I finally said, “Johnny, I’m sorry I keep bothering you. I know you don’t have the time, but it means a lot that you want to help me build my reel.”

For every position I hold, Johnny’s response continues to stick with me. Johnny paused his video editing and said to me, “I help you because someone once had to help me and I expect you to do the same one day.”  This moment would come full circle years later at my first producer job. I took every news intern under my wing just as Johnny did with me.

When I am in leadership positions and have an opportunity to mentor, I have to remind myself, “Someone had to help you.” It was Johnny. This summer I’m pouring my wisdom and expertise into our summer fellow Janay.

Today’s society is often driven by self-serving attitudes. Of course, you have to clap for yourself when no one else will. But it’s extremely important to recognize our mentors and uplift newcomers in any industry. If you look back over your life, you can think of at least one person who gave you a chance to succeed. No one is born an expert. And once you reach a certain level of success, you still have dues to pay.  Who are you finding time to help? Deposit your wisdom into the future.

Well, this was super long. Thanks for reading my reflection. Enjoy today’s top stories.


This newsletter is sponsored by Capital One.

Sherrell is taking #ThePLUG on the road. Catch her at Black Entrepreneurship Week in Raleigh for a Women in Business fireside chat on Wednesday.

Southbox Cuts Waste from the VC Space
Through Southbox, startups have access to software developers, lawyers and networks for generating sales, among other resources. Local startups work out of its facility in South Philadelphia rent-free.
Silicon Valley is Leaning on Black Women to Fix Diversity
In recent months, at least two big, but beleaguered, tech companies have turned to high-profile black women to help come up with solutions to their lack of diversity.
Jay-Z Is the Reluctant King of “Afrotech”
He imagines his family as a clan of tech titans who can fund startup ideas from other black businesspeople (he launched a venture capital firm targeting early-stage startups in March).
Why Christian Johnson Created Driver Watchdog
Like most parents, Johnson was terrified thinking of her teenager behind the wheel. She knew she couldn’t always be in the car with him, so the 40-year-old Buffalo native did the next best thing — she invented a product to be there virtually.
How Gebeya Creates IT Professionals and Increases Career Opportunities Across Africa
BLACK ENTERPRISE connected with Amadou Daffe, the CEO and co-founder of Gebeya, Inc., a fast and secure online marketplace that connects African IT experts with other businesses to develop technology solutions.

Get our daily newsletter delivered to your inbox when you subscribe here.