How The Program Works

The Mentorship Committee works towards identifying our community’s needs through past feedback/research and will selects a group of Mentors to help guide and grow cohorts during tailored session.

Each session will run on a selected cadence (between 6-11 weeks) and will cater up 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 will be specific to only The Mentor Program. These events can range from private workshops, studio tours, panel talks, interactive events, portfolio reviews, community engagement events, networking opportunities and more. See The Commitment for an example of Program Cadence.

Pre-Registration
Before The Mentor Program registration opens, Program Details & Mentor Line-Up information is open to the public.

  • 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, expertise, and community need.
  • We invite you to take a look at the Mentor videos posted to get a better sense of which group you are most drawn to. If you have additional questions about a specific Mentor, you can reach out to our committee.
  • There will be a range of mentor topics that all fall somewhere along the creative spectrum. We organize them into broader categories based on their similarities and their career-level requirements.
Open Registration
Registration for The Mentor Program is now open to the public.

  • Registration will open 2-3 weeks before our Spring/Fall Kickoff and can be found in Sessions
  • After you pay for the program, you will be emailed access to The Mentee Portal where you will need to Complete your Registration.
  • Please email presto@chicago.aiga.org if you have not received your confirmation email with granted access to The Mentee Portal
Post-Registration Checklist (IMPORTANT)
In order to prepare for The Mentor Program and The Kickoff Event, it is important to complete the Checklist in The Mentee Portal.

  • Complete your Registration Form located inside of The Mentee Portal.
  • Complete your Checklist located inside of The Mentee Portal.
  • In order to attend The Kickoff Event, all items on the checklist must be completed.
Mentor Selections & Decisions
How to pick your top (5) mentor choices and how you find out who your mentor is.

  • Depending on the type of Program, Mentor selections and decisions may take place either in-person or online.
  • If In-Person, Mentor selections and decisions will be submitted and announced during The Kickoff Event.
  • If Online, Mentor selections will be submitted via Completing Your Registration within The Mentee Portal and decisions will be communicated via Slack.
The Kickoff Event
The Kickoff Event is one of the most important events in the program. This event’s location will vary depending the type of program we are running (virtual, in-person, or a hybrid of both virtual & in-person).

In-Person Kickoff:

  • You’ll have the chance to meet with Mentors to learn more about them and their topic.
  • You’ll be asked to select your top 5 Mentor choices.
  • At the end of the evening, we will begin to assign participants (in order of registration) to Mentors until each Mentor has hit their Mentee capacity.
  • Once assigned to a Mentor, you will meet as a cohort that same evening to get to know each other and discuss direction for Mentor Session #1.
  • Mentees will be placed into a private group chat in Slack that will include their full cohort and Mentor.

Virtual Kickoff:

  • You will submit your Mentor choices via Completing Your Registration within The Mentee Portal .
  • You will be notified of your Mentor 1-2 days prior to The Kickoff Event via Slack.
  • Mentees will be placed into a private group chat in Slack that will include their full cohort and Mentor.
  • The Kickoff Event will take place virtually and will highlight program details, all mentors, group events, and mentee expectations.
  • At the end of The Kickoff Event, you will meet with your Mentor and cohort for your very first session.
The Program & Communications
How everything comes together and how we communicate.

  • The Mentor Program consists of Mentor Sessions, Group Events, & Digital Community Engagement.
  • Mentor Sessions are run soley by each Mentor selected.
  • Group Events are produced by The Mentor Committee based on community interest.
  • Digital Community Engagement is produced by The Mentor Committee.
  • We use Slack as our main program-wide communication platform.
  • Once in Slack, you will have access to all program participants and community channels.
  • You will use this space to discover any program-wide announcements, activities, and events such as event registration forms for private group events to private job opportunity posts.
  • You will also use Slack to communicate with your Mentor and cohort throughout the entirety of the program.
Your Mentor Sessions

  • You will be assigned to (1) Mentor and will be a Mentee within a Cohort.
  • You will have (6) Mentor Sessions across 6-11 weeks.
  • Based on your Mentor’s meeting preference, you will either meet online, in-person, or a hybrid of both online & in-person.
  • If In-Person, meeting locations will be specific to surrounding Chicago area.
  • All Mentor Sessions are lead by Mentors that focus on a topic of expertise.
  • A Mentor’s Cohort will focus on growing together in that topic of interest throughout the weeks.
  • Please note: This is not a 1:1 mentor program. See upcoming Sessions.
 

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.

The Wrap-Up Event

The Wrap-Up Event is another important event in the program. After the end of 6-11 weeks, we come back together as a community and share our experiences. It is made to help thank our Mentor’s for their time and guidance and is also a time to celebrate your completion of the program and our community’s extended growth.

Friendship & Community

After 6-11 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!

Contact

If you have questions, please email Co-VP of Mentorship, Leslie Presto at presto@chicago.aiga.org