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.

Mentor Program Partner

Designation Logo
Designation, the leading UX/UI design bootcamp, is the 2018 partner for the AIGA Chicago Mentor Program.


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. Mentor groups are comprised of professionals from a spectrum of creative fields and career levels. Our past leaders have included professionals from interaction designers to illustration, copywriters to creative directors, UX and UI designers, and anything in between.

Past sessions have included studio tours, designer talks, workshops, and portfolio reviews. Check out #AIGAChiMentor to get a snapshot of the program on Instagram.


How it works

Sessions of the mentor program are held over the course of 10 weeks on Tuesday evenings. The program meets each week, alternating between your individual mentor groups that have an average of 8-10 participants, and our all-group events open to all Fall 2018 participants.

Our all-group sessions include: a font workshop with Chank Diesel of Chank Fonts; a UX content strategy workshop with Cynthia Gelper; a studio tour; a portfolio review at Digitas; and a wrap-up party to celebrate. We will also have a floating mentor, Loren Greiff from a recruiting background to offer tips on job searches and interviews.

The program is $25 for AIGA members, $50 non-members, and $10 for student members. There is also a hidden cost: your time! We ask that you commit your time to the full 10-weeks to make for the best experience for your whole group.

Participants work in groups comprising a spectrum of creative fields and career levels, organized by shared interest. At our kickoff session, you will hear from the mentors and choose your top three group choices, then assigned by order of registration for the event until each group hits capacity. Here are this session’s topics and mentors:


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 focus on how to give and receive constructive criticism, portfolios, resumes, and cover letters to help you hit the ground running.


CMY-Kickstart Your Design Career

Finishing school? Looking for a career change? Learn the ins and outs of getting your design career off the ground at light speed.


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. From pricing to getting yourself out there, you’ll walk away ready to work for yourself.

  • Ade Hogue, Art Director at Ade Hogue Designer


UX Design Ins and Outs

Interested in learning about User Experience? Or are you a working professional in UX looking to advance your skills? We will have various UX-focused themes from basic UX skills, design thinking and team collaborations to choose from based on your experience level.


Product Design

What is Product Design (UX/UI)? With a hands-on introduction, you’ll learn what product designers do, apply some of the tools and methods they use to solve real product problems, and leave with some cool work to show for it.



Design at Scale

Do you want to learn how to think systematically, create a design system, and work with cross-functional teammates? In this group you’ll learn how to build consistent systems and to facilitate collaboration on your teams.


Self-Care for Creatives

Looking to find ways to thrive in the creative industry, both mentally and emotionally? This group will discuss useful methods that can help you overcome creative roadblocks in your personal and professional life.


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

70% of people deal with feeling like a fraud or unworthy of success in their careers. This is especially debilitating as we regularly share our ideas and advocate for our work. In these sessions, we’ll focus on how to leverage imposter syndrome to become better designers.


Making the Leap to an Art Director

How does a designer transition into an Art Director role? How is this title different across different companies? This group will help you make that jump successfully.


Collaborate on a Group Project

Work together with a group of designers to make something awesome! Together you’ll write a creative brief, design, and produce a project in either a digital or print medium. This could be a great addition to your portfolio, a great chance to work with a group of designers, make new connections and make a few friends. Bring your ideas and your creative energy. Groups projects are exhibited at session wrap up party.



How to get involved

Our Fall 2018 program is currently in session. If you’d like to get involved as a mentor or mentee for the Spring 2019 Mentor Program, 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