How the Program Works
The Mentor Program identifies our community’s needs and selects a group of Mentors to help guide and grow a specific session.
Each session will run for 11 weeks and will cater to 120 Mentees across 10-15 selected Mentors. Please note: This is not a 1:1 mentor program. Over the course of the program, in addition to mentor sessions, participants will have access to private curated group events that are specific to only The Mentor Program. These events range from private workshops, studio tours, panel talks, interactive events, portfolio reviews, and more.
All sessions will run during the week in the evenings from 6PM – 8PM at various locations around Chicago. Your schedule will alternate weekly between your mentor sessions and curated private program-wide group events.
See sample schedule below:
- Week 1: Kickoff Event**
- Week 2: Mentor Session #1
- Week 3: Private Mentor Program Events
- Week 4: Mentor Session #2
- Week 5: Private Mentor Program Events
- Week 6: Mentor Session #3
- Week 7: Private Mentor Program Events
- Week 8: Mentor Session #4
- Week 9: Private Mentor Program Events
- Week 10: Mentor Session #5
- Week 11: Wrap Up Event*
- We post our Mentor line-up 2-3 weeks before our Spring/Fall Kickoff so that you are able to explore your potential Mentors and their topics. Their topics are chosen based on their passion and expertise.
- We invite you to take a look at our Mentor videos and generate questions. You’ll be able to ask them questions at our Kickoff.
- There is a range of group topics that all fall somewhere along the creative spectrum. We organize them into broader categories based on their similarities and their career-level requirements.
- Registration will open 2-3 weeks before our Spring/Fall Kickoff. Please see the current session to find registration date and time.
- The earlier you register, the better chance you have at getting into your top Mentor Group choices. If your ideal group is at capacity, you may have to take your second or third choice, so please give it some thought.
Post-Registration / Preparation for Kickoff Event
- After you pay for the program, you will be emailed a link to a form to complete your registration. Your registration will not be complete until this form is filled out and sent.
- Once we receive your participation form, you will be invited to a private Slack channel. You will need to create an account before you come to our Kickoff event.
Our Kickoff Event is one of the most important events in the program.
- You’ll have the chance to meet with each Mentor to learn more about their topic.
- You’ll be asked to select your top 3 Mentor choices.
- By the end of the evening we will begin placing participants into their Mentor Groups by order of registration until each group hits it’s capacity.
- Once you’ve been placed into your Mentor Group, you will meet as a group that same evening to discuss the next following week’s plans for Mentor Session #1.
We use Slack as our main program-wide communication platform. We use this to help engage our program participants and to create support through a digital community.
- Mentees will be placed into a private Slack channel that consists of their full Mentor Group.
- You will use this space to communicate with your Mentor and fellow Mentees throughout the entire program.
- You will also use this space to discover any program-wide announcements such as sign-up forms for private group events to private job opportunity posts.
As stated above, you will have 5 Mentor Sessions across 11 weeks. Based on your Mentor’s arranged meeting location, you will meet at specific locations around Chicago. These groups are focused on a topic of expertise and passion and throughout the weeks, you’ll work as a group to grow in that topic of interest together. Please note: This is not a 1:1 mentor program.
Private Group Events
Our Group Events are private events that were curated for the Mentor Program only. These events can range from studio tours, workshops, panels, and interactive events. Both Mentors and Mentees have access to these events.
Wrap Up Event*
Our Wrap Up event is another important event in the program. After the end of 11 weeks, we come back together as a community and share our experiences. It is made to help us thank our Mentor’s for their time and guidance and and also a time to celebrate your completion of the program and our community’s extended growth.
Friendship & Community
After 11 weeks, we find a lot of our participants leaving with great connections and relationships. Check out #AIGAChiMentor to get a snapshot of the program on Instagram!
If you have questions, please email Co-VP of Programming & Strategy, Leslie Presto at email@example.com