AIGA Chapter Mentorship Programs
AIGA chapters around the country are committed to providing mentorship programs to local high school students, college students, emerging designers and seasoned professionals.
For all career levels
The AIGA Chicago Mentorship Program welcomes individuals of all career levels and from all creative fields. Individuals meet regularly during a two-to-four-month period and share resources, experiences and may even collaborate on projects. Each group decides on their own what they want to accomplish based on the theme for that session.
For college students and emerging designers
The goal of the AIGA Alaska Mentoring Program is for students to learn how to take a project from concept to completion, then be able present their final work. The mentor program will run from the Fall Kickoff event until the Student Portfolio Review in the Spring where students will present their projects. There will be at least two informal check-in points during the program to help make sure projects are on track. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet regularly.
Whether you’re still in design school or you’re just starting out in the market, AIGA Arizona’s mentorship program can put you in touch with a local expert mentor who is willing to share what they’ve learned over the years so you don’t have to make the same mistakes over again. Mentor events also include the “Dinner with a Legend” series as well as lectures and events at local colleges and universities.
AIGA Atlanta’s mentoring program "Rise Up," founded in 2015, pairs emerging designers and students with established design professionals. The goal of the program is to empower individuals and strengthen the bonds in the design community.
AIGA Cincinnati Mentoring is a regional program that is designed to inspire career growth and professional success for college students through the advice and guidance of experienced mentors. Students who participate are interested in furthering their knowledge of design and setting career goals. Professionals who participate generously share their expertise and advice. Both mentors and mentees will learn and grow together.
Emerge pairs seasoned professionals with design students and newbies to the field. This program presents the opportunity to build lasting relationships and foster the professional success of emerging designers—all while having a great time! Emerge sessions take place twice a year, during the spring and fall.
Members with less than four years of experience and college students often begin their careers navigating design disciplines to find the best fit. To help in this search, AIGA Colorado mentorship roundtable events match up local professionals with small groups of students and emerging designers for a short-term mentoring experience that kicks off with a getting-to-know-you event.
Inkubator is a collaborative work and meeting place for designers, providing educational programs related to the print industry as well as one-to-one mentorship from experienced design professionals. Participants of Inkubator’s mentorship program produce issues of the award-winning Abstract Magazine, a free local arts and culture magazine created in collaboration with emerging writers, photographers and illustrators.
Design Loop partners 10 lucky emerging designers with 10 proven design professionals over a four-month period. It’s good old-fashioned career growth, streamlined. The goal is for participants to end up with more than a line-item on a resume and a LinkedIn connection—a meaningful, insightful partnership.
Admit it. When you first started your career, you had no idea what you were doing. If you were lucky, you had a mentor with energy, experience, and advice who helped make those first shaky steps into the professional world a little less intimidating. Well, now's your chance to be on the other side of the table and share what you've learned with students looking for some guidance. Maybe you're paying it forward in hopes of giving a student the opportunity you had. Or maybe you're taking a chance to become the kind of mentor you would've wanted. Either way, you can make a difference in a design student's education by joining the Mixed Mentor program with the AIGA Boise State Student Group this year. Mentors will be paired with a Boise State design student and will meet at least once a month to exchange ideas, get feedback, or however else you chose to help your student succeed.
AIGA Iowa has partnered with a local non-profit, the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines, on a student mentor program. This program will help connect creative professionals and students in the central Iowa area and is geared toward students majoring in the fields of advertising, marketing and design. We are thrilled to offer students this valuable resource and provide professional designers with the opportunity to give back to the community.
AIGA Orange County
The AIGA Orange county mentorship program pairs seasoned creatives across a wide variety of occupations and industries with the next generation of talent, whether they be students or emerging professionals. The goal is to share insights, offer career advice, exchange inspiration and collaborate to elevate our industry as a whole.
In the AIGA Orlando Mentorship program talented students work closely and diligently for four months, under the guidance of the local design professional they're paired with, to create a self-promotional project. The final projects are showcased in a capstone exhibition called SPOT, and the two best are chosen—one by the public and one by a panel of judges.
AIGA Philadelphia’s Mentorship Program pairs seasoned working professionals with emerging designers just starting out in their careers. In this nine-month one-on-one partnership, matched pairs work together to create their own unique program based on the needs and interests of the mentee and tempered by the mentor’s experience.
AIGA Saint Louis
AIGA Saint Louis Mentor Match is an educational program that matches students and emerging designers with local design professionals and champions. With our Mentor Match you have the opportunity to develop a business relationship with your connected mentor or mentee who can share tips of the trade, lessons learned and offer feedback on the mentee’s work.
AIGA San Diego
The AIGA San Diego Mentor Program is a three-month mentoring program designed to fertilize the career growth and professional success of emerging designers. This program is currently available to AIGA members only.
AIGA Washington, DC
SHINE, a peer-to-peer mentoring program, is designed to fertilize the career growth and professional success of emerging designers. Starting with a kick-off event in early January, mentors and mentees come together and work hand-in-hand to identify the mentee’s career goals and aspirations. Over the next four months, mentors provide advice and guidance as they show their mentees the ropes.
Recent graduates and emerging designers, like all new professionals, need to tap into the strength of their communities in order to grow. That’s why AIGA Wisconsin started Cultivate, a three-month mentoring program designed to spark new relationships for the benefit of designers in all levels of professional development. The idea: bring together mentees and mentors in a relaxed once-a-month setting. Mentees come prepared with questions, portfolios and ideas. Mentors come with answers, experience and confidential professionalism.
For high school students
AIGA Arizona coordinates a special mentorship initiative with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale to provide a series of after-school workshops that introduce young people to the fundamentals of visual communication and design. Design leaders from the local community spark students’ imaginations, give examples of how design principles can be applied in their everyday lives and speak about design as a career path.
Youth Design is a unique summer internship and mentoring program that introduces urban public high school teens to the creative economy through paid internships with professional design mentors. Youth Design students make valuable contributions to their mentoring workplaces through a hands-on learning experience that shapes their educational and professional paths.
Every summer, AIGA Colorado partners with VSA Colorado/Access Gallery to pair up designers with teens for a poster project called Giving Voice. The partnership provides opportunities for teens with disabilities to explore graphic arts as career through mentor relationships with local graphic designers. In addition to Giving Voice, AIGA Colorado shares the world of design with teens by bringing design professionals into classrooms as guest speakers who share about their careers in design.
Shout is a high school design studio that encourages students to use the creative process to develop a project that will make their community better. The program pairs professional designers and college design students with high school students during a four-day program.
AIGA New York
The AIGA/NY Mentoring Program has been providing creative professionals with the opportunity to make a difference in the life of an ambitious young artist for over 15 years. The program kicks off in the fall and gives professionals the chance to work with talented students from the New York City High School of Art and Design.
AIGA Seattle’s Link program connects area high school students with artists and creative professionals to encourage expression, creativity and self-esteem through innovative workshops and mentorship over a nine month period. Every third Saturday of the month, students complete artwork that demonstrates an understanding of the medium presented by a guest artist. Seniors participate in a portfolio-building workshop to create a professional presentation of their work. Finally, the AIGA Link Program awards scholarships to qualified graduating seniors at an end of year Gallery Show.
AIGA Washington, DC
The AIGA Washington, DC Mentoring Speaker Series brings DC metro designers and creatives to a local high school once a month to share their work, process and experience.