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The AIGA Chicago Mentorship Program is a place where creatives from across disciplines gather to share insights, experiences and resources. It’s a great place to make new connections, exchange inspiration and even collaborate on a project or two.

 

What it is

The mentorship program is an amazing way to get involved in Chicago’s rich design community and help make it even stronger. Past sessions have included studio tours, designer talks, workshops, and portfolio reviews. Head over to tumblr to see more of our past events. Or read about one of our mentor’s past experience here.

Mentor groups are comprised of professionals from a spectrum of creative fields and career levels. Our past participants have included professionals from interaction designers to illustration, and from students to creative directors.

 

How it works

Sessions of the mentor program are held over the course of 10 weeks on Wednesday evenings. The program meets each week, alternating between events with the entire program and your individual mentor groups that have an average of 8-10 participants.

The cost to participate? Your time! The program is free for AIGA members and non-members alike, but we ask that you commit your time to the full 10-weeks to make for the best experience for your whole group.

At the kickoff event, mentees choose to join one of six groups within the program, each focusing on something different:

Portfolio Improvement
Looking for a job or just looking to polish up your portfolio? If you need another set of eyes on your work, this is the group for you. We work on portfolios, resumes, and cover letters.

Professional Development
Feeling good about your portfolio, but looking to improve your workplace and professional skills? Join our professional development group, which works on skills like presenting your work, communication, and salary negotiation.

Be a Better Freelancer
This group, led by a working freelancer, helps those currently freelancing build better skills, or those looking to freelance with ways to get started.

Collaborate on a Group Project
If you want to work together with a group of designers to make something awesome, join us! We work together to write a creative brief, design, and produce a project. Past groups projects have been exhibited at session wrap up parties.

Advancing as a UX Professional
With so many designers new to this role, we have added this in-demand group for 2017! Both new and seasoned practitioners will work through the UX process together to create a solution for a complex problem, ending the program with a new case study.

Learning Leadership Skills
As you advance in your career and find yourself in a role leading and managing others, how do you ensure you are making a positive impact on your team? This group will help those climbing the ladder, or who are already there, in putting their best foot forward.

 

How to get involved

Our Fall 2017 Mentor Program will be open for registration in late August, and kicks off on September 13. If you’d like to get involved, let us know! We’ll add your name to the notification list for the next round. You can always keep up with the program via Facebook and Instagram (that’s where we’ll announce the next kick-off date).

Get in touch
Have questions? Hit up Mentorship Chair, Jen Lemerand, at lemerand
@chicago.aiga.org.

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