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  • Writer's pictureCarly Rogers

Career advice from my UF CJC Gator to Gator Coaching Program mentor

Everyone needs a mentor, and if you learn how to network well, you will most likely end up with more than one. Mentors provide valuable insight and advice that help us navigate and avoid obstacles in our careers as well as connect with potential growth opportunities.

Of course, every mentor-mentee dynamic is different, and not everyone will receive the same advice. I recently had a call with Charles Nicolas, whom I was introduced to through the UF CJC Gator to Gator Coaching program, and he gave me such fantastic pointers and suggestions for my current job hunt that I decided to share them with you all.

Charles is a UF Telecommunications alum with experience in corporate communications, media relations, crisis and much more from industries such as food and beverage and healthcare. He is currently a co-founder and managing partner at Levee Communications, his agency in Texas.

The more I spoke with Charles, the more it became clear to me that he knows 👏🏼 his 👏🏼 stuff 👏🏼— it would be downright foolish to ignore his advice. Here are some key takeaways from my conversation with him:

General Career:

  • Solve problems early so they don’t become bigger issues later

  • Whether working with executives or peers, do your best to exceed expectations

  • Networking well is essential to future opportunities and career growth

  • Learn from each experience

  • In-house, corporate people have different responsibilities than agency people, so the learning curves may not be the same

  • Find your niches, then help fill the gaps at other organizations

Work & Office:

  • Coach others for their benefit in case you are being considered for a promotion

  • Problematic people need to be coached up and brought along too; work with them for the benefit of the entire team

  • Sit back, listen and observe your office’s dynamics to fix issues early

  • Learn how to manage different types of people and their learning and speaking styles


  • If you can make your client look good, you’ll look good

  • Learn how to deliver on expectations by going above and beyond to delight them

  • Connect trends to work you are completing, no matter how mundane it is

  • Ask for context to understand the bigger picture in order to produce more accurate and efficient work

  • Pay attention to what your clients focus on to determine their strategies and things they value


  • Writing is KEY

  • Learn how to write to different audiences (including internal)

  • Be prepared for anything, especially in crisis

  • Don’t mess up on simple things (being on time, etc.)

  • Don’t make assumptions, ASK

  • Time is your most valuable asset—learn to prioritize and narrow down your tasks to determine what you’re doing is adding value

What is the best advice you have ever received from a mentor?

NOTE: I apologize for the lack of posts this past month; August was difficult for personal reasons and I decided to take a break. I figured this short post would be the perfect way to get my blogging groove back. Thank you all for your patience.

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