After several successful years of AIGA Minnesota’s MNtor Program (a.k.a. The Mentorship Project), we decided to take time off to re-evaluate how the program serves our members and we’re relaunching the program with a new, integrated format. The refreshed Mentor Program will be merged into the regular event programming. The target mentee groups will include Emerging and Mid-Career Designers, Solopreneurs, and Students.
The September 2013 Luncheon was a joint program hosted by the Expert, In-House, and Emerging Designer committees. These groups collaborated with the Luncheons Committee to help attendees take advantage of the wisdom of experienced designers during a noontime career conversation. During registration, attendees could preference a table topic (Student, Emerging, Mid-Career, Solopreneur, Studio Owner, In-House, Related Field/Role) and planners did their best to situate participants with a mentor-led group that could address mentees’ topics. Attendees exchanged business cards and ideas with their designated mentor and peers at the event, and were encouraged to continue networking after the event.
Additional possibilities for the refreshed MNtor Program:
- Reverse Mentorships—younger designers guide experienced designers in new technology
- E-mentorship—a Google group that shares tips via email
- Mentor on Call—experienced designers listed and available for a call from students
- Questions Over Coffee or Wisdom Over Wine—informal before- or after-work gatherings
- Speed Dating Roundtables—speedy meet-and-greet, swap business cards, move to next table
- Experienced Designer Portfolio Reviews featuring a national presenter
- Shark Tank—mentees make their elevator pitch to mentors and get critiques
- Career Advice Panel (first event held as a “So…Design Therapy” program in April 2013)
- Mentors Only—experienced designer mentors to converse with peers
We invite your ideas on how to develop mentorship opportunities within our chapter’s regular programming. Please send suggestions or your interest in volunteering to Micah Manganiello, Director of Career Practice.