Oral Histories

Alan Marks

Interview Segments on Topic: Mentors

Alan Marks Biography

Alan Marks is senior vice president of corporate communications for eBay Inc., and is responsible for leading communications strategy for all areas of the company, which includes business and consumer media relations, employee communications, executive positioning and issues and reputation management. Prior to joining eBay, Marks was at Nike Inc., Gap, Inc., and Avon Products. He began his career as a journalist.


INTERVIEWER: How important would you say mentoring is to the fostering of ethical decision making in the workplace?

MARKS: I think again, it’s critically important. I think mentoring, in general, if you’re looking to develop a strong, robust career, one thing you should always do in all stages of your career is develop mentoring relationships. And not just one, you should always be looking at people you can learn from, and reach out to people in diverse fields and different backgrounds, because that’s where the richness of learning comes in. I think part of that mentoring relationship is how do you deal with that ethical situation? Have you ever had a situation that was a tough, ethical dilemma for you? How did you respond to that? What kind of decision did you make? In hindsight, would you have done something differently? And being able to do that, if you’ve got the opportunity to work in a global environment, being able to build those relationships in different cultures, and understand different cultural perspectives on how decisions get made and how business gets done in different parts of the world, is critically important as well.