AIGA Connecticut’s Mentorship Program

Mentorship can unite and empower Connecticut’s creative community through the sharing of knowledge and networks

Our goal is to foster productive and inspiring partnerships that allow both mentees and mentors to grow. 

We are committed to providing accessible mentorship opportunities to design students, emerging designers, and seasoned professionals. If you are looking to learn new skills, advance professionally, share your knowledge, or make a career move, we invite you to APPLY. Our Mentorship Program is free.

“The community is very helpful, gives great feedback, and has amazing events to improve all things I was looking for and more.”

– Eskarlin Godfrey, Mentorship Program Participant 

How it Works

Our Mentorship Program is a four-month commitment. Mentors and mentees will be paired based on interest, experience, and common goals. This allows for more personalized sessions and the opportunity to build an authentic and lasting relationship. We built this program to be more than a line item on a resume or an unused LinkedIn connection. 

AIGA CT will provide guidelines as a starting point, but each mentor/mentee is responsible for setting and achieving goals. These goals should be realistic, clear, and tailor-made to fit each group’s specific needs and schedules. We ask that you meet at least twice per month. Normally we would recommend in person meetings, but with Covid-19 still being a health risk we ask that all state guidelines are followed and that as a pair you make a decision that both are comfortable with. This could include video calls, chats over coffee, or one-on-one office time.

“I thought it was a great program and anyone who has the chance should apply for it.”

– Michaela Abate, Mentorship Program Participant 

APPLICATION & QUALIFICATIONS

We are proud to offer our Mentorship Program completely free of charge. Spots are limited, so make sure to apply early.

Both AIGA Members and non-Members are welcome to apply to be mentors or mentees. Deadline for 2021 applications is Friday, January 29. Then, we will match mentors with mentees based on the information provided.

 

Mentee Qualifications

To be a mentee, you must:

  • Be a design or creative professional looking to grow or be a student currently enrolled in their junior/senior year of college
  • Have sample(s) of work to show
  • Take responsibility for your own learning and proactively think about what you want to learn 
  • Be respectful, open-minded, and flexible

Mentor Qualifications

To be a mentor, you must:

  • Be a highly motivated professional in design or a related field (art/creative direction, digital marketing strategy, project management, business design, content marketing, etc.) 
  • Be passionate about continuing to learn and grow in your field
  • Be willing to participate in the program in other ways such as leading group discussions, presenting past work, etc.

Questions

Please send questions to: education@connecticut.aiga.org

 
What are the benefits of participating in the AIGA CT Mentorship Program?
Mentees will benefit from having someone with experience provide advice and guidance as well as formal and informal networking opportunities.
Mentors can develop their leadership skills by sharing their talents and unique perspectives. They will learn from someone who has different strengths and perspectives while also expanding their network into up and coming creative professionals.
 
How much time will this take?
Partnerships are actively supported by AIGA CT for four months. The time spent on deliverables is dependent on the goals and availability of the participants and unique to each group. We recommend that you meet twice a month for at least an hour at a minimum. 
 
How will I be matched?
Mentees and mentors are matched based on background and preferred experiences provided in their applications. In some cases, when exact interests cannot be matched, mentors and mentees will be contacted and asked if they would consider waiting for the next mentorship period.
 
Can I be a mentor and mentee during the same session?
Yes, a person can participate as both a mentor and a mentee during the same session.
 
How will I communicate with my mentor/mentee?  
Communication can take place via the AIGA CT sSlack Workspace, in person (following Covid-19 safety protocols), by phone, e-mail, and/or virtual meetings.
 
What will be discussed during meetings?
Mentors and mentees should articulate initial goals for the partnership. The mentoring relationship can focus on several different areas including growing skills, professional development, and/or more concrete deliverables such as a website or refreshed portfolio. Your goals and how you plan to achieve them should be a big part of your conversations.  You may also want to talk about business as a whole, client projects, how to utilize business relationships, latest trends and tutorials, etc. Never leave a meeting without confirming your next meeting.
 
What guidance is provided for mentors and mentees?
AIGA CT will provide frameworks and documents to help groups outline objectives and stay on track. We will also be available to answer questions and help navigate any sticky situations. 
 
What happens at the end of the four month program?
We celebrate! We will come together as a group, safely per CDC guidelines, and reflect on what we learned. While we will no longer be a part of facilitating your mentorship relationship we encourage all participants in the program to add each other to their professional networks. We hope you will stay in touch and still find ways to learn from each other. Mentorship is rewarding in any setting. 
 
Can I participate in the mentorship program more than once as a mentor or mentee?
Yes! Both mentors and mentees can participate in the program multiple times in multiple roles. Mentees are encouraged to help others by participating as a mentor in the future. 
 
What type of evaluation and follow-up can I expect?
AIGA CT will be checking in bi-monthly to evaluate progress and participation in the program. Communication can be expected via  the AIGA CT Slack Workspace and email.
 
 
 

Become a mentor or mentee today!