The AIGA Mentorship program supports emerging designers by pairing them with established designers in the Maine community. The program invites designers at different stages of their professional careers to share their personal experience and connect more deeply with a fellow creative.
The program takes place over three months each spring, with a kick-off event hosted in Portland in February. AIGA Mentorship accepts up to 10 pairs per year.
The AIGA Mentorship Program is self-directed. Our mentees are required to determine a set of short term goals, which their mentor can help them accomplish through one-on-one meetings.
Lessons from Mentorship: Christina and Megan
Lessons from Mentorship: Libby and Edwige
Lessons from Mentorship: Hugh and Scott
Mentorship Pilot Program
How it Works
The program kicks-off with a gathering to introduce mentor and mentees and define mentorship goals. Pairs commit to meeting at least once a month in person, but many meet more frequently. AIGA hosts a mid-gathering during March, and wraps up in May with a closing event. AIGA Mentorship encourages learning through:
Conversation: Some pairs find that they benefit from dedicating time to simply sit down—outside of work and home—and talk about aspirations, facing challenges and how to build a career within the design field.
Making: Some pairs find it easiest to learn and spark conversation through the process of making. Mentees often come to the program looking to revamp their website, acquire a new skill, or refine their resume.
Sharing Experiences: We encourage mentors to share both success and failures about your career path as well as how you tackle daily challenges of being a creative director, sustain a freelance practice, or run a studio.
Sharing Resources: We have found that mentees and mentors alike, enjoy sharing resources, including: inspiration, to business templates such as an invoice for a freelance project, to apps that help you schedule time and be productive at work.
How to Apply
Each individual needs to fill out a short application which helps identify their professional interests, availability, and goals for the program.
Mentees are recent graduates, with 1–5 years work experience and a desire to grow within the field graphic design. Mentors should have a minimum of 5 years professional design experience and a willingness to meet and work with an emerging designer.
Applicants need to supply a current resume, short statement and examples of their work. Mentees are encouraged to identify a local designer that they are interested in working with in the program. AIGA will match mentors and mentees. Once accepted, mentees pay a one-time fee of $15.00 to participate in the program.
You do not need to be a current AIGA Member to apply to the program. We do accept mentors and mentees to participate in the program more than once.
Mentors and mentees are highly encouraged to established 1-3 professional goals that can help direct their experience. Here are some goals that our past mentees have brought to the program:
- Develop a personal identity, and revamp my online portfolio, business card and resume.
- Learn how to navigate the pros and cons of a job offer.
- Build a better process for freelance work and learn how to deal with clients.
Topics frequently discussed during the program:
Online Portfolios and Personal Branding, Networking, Freelance Design, Design Inspiration, Graduate School, Honing Design Skills
How to Participate
Our 2017 Mentor Program is right around the corner and we are now accepting applications. If you’d like to participate, please contact AIGA Co-President and Mentorship Coordinator Samantha Haedrich, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past Program Partners
2016: Maine College of Art
2015: Key Bank, Maine College of Art
Are you interested in sponsoring either of these initiatives?
Please contact AIGA Treasurer Jaime Steed, at email@example.com to learn more.