In the big pic­ture, AIGA Colorado itself is men­tor­ship. Our diverse pro­grams share a com­mon thread of learn­ing and con­nec­tion for those seek­ing to improve and develop their knowl­edge and prac­tice of design. Mentorship in the smaller pic­ture means help­ing our mem­bers to meet and exchange ideas in one-on-one or small group set­tings. Overall, the vision of men­tor­ship is to raise the qual­ity of our col­lec­tive knowl­edge and thereby enhance the impact of design in Colorado and beyond.

Since men­tor­ship is an ongo­ing process across the arc of a designer’s career, no mat­ter where we are on our jour­ney, we have some­thing to teach and some­thing new to learn. Consider devel­op­ing your lead­er­ship skills by shar­ing your tal­ents or unique per­spec­tive on design as a men­tor. You may also wish to learn a thing or two from some­one who has dif­fer­ent strengths, so the mentee role can be help­ful. Give them both a try — there are experts and begin­ners inside all of us!

Mentorship for Professional Members

With estab­lished careers design, these mem­bers know that to be a pro­fes­sional means to be con­stantly learn­ing. In a dynamic field like design, refu­el­ing is key, and design pros can con­nect and share expe­ri­ences in a pro­gram called Well Seasoned: A Members-Only Business Series. This small-group gath­er­ing is only open to pro­fes­sional mem­bers and fea­tures a focused topic, good eats, and good con­ver­sa­tion among peers. Look for the series twice a year, in Spring and Fall.

Another men­tor­ship resource for pro­fes­sion­als is our monthly Buzz speaker series for inde­pen­dent design­ers. Topics cover the nitty gritty of the free­lance life, from taxes, to time and client management.

Mentorship for Associate Members and College Students

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. For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact our Co-Education Directors or Mentorship Director.

Design stu­dents can access many other learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties through their stu­dent chap­ters and AIGA Colorado edu­ca­tional events includ­ing Design Smash—a design com­pe­ti­tion where stu­dents problem-solve design chal­lenges in view of an audi­ence, The Review—an annual port­fo­lio cri­tique and great place to rub elbows with local pro­fes­sion­als, and the Robert Taylor Scholarship, an oppor­tu­nity to put your port­fo­lio in the Colorado spot­light and com­pete for tuition fund­ing. For more infor­ma­tion on all edu­ca­tional pro­grams, con­tact our Co-Education Directors. For schol­ar­ship infor­ma­tion, con­tact our Scholarship Director.

Even if you’re rel­a­tively new to the design pro­fes­sion, con­sider build­ing your lead­er­ship skills becom­ing a men­tor in our Giving Voice pro­gram for teens. Share what inspired you fol­low this career path and daz­zle them with some skills you’ve mas­tered so far.

Mentorship for Colorado Teens

Every sum­mer, AIGA Colorado part­ners up 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 men­tored rela­tion­ship 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, and some­times work­shop a project together.

Where else can I look for a men­tor or find other pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment opportunities?

Our best advice is get out there, be proac­tive about net­work­ing and grow­ing, and vol­un­teer. Keep up-to-date about men­tor­ship and the lat­est AIGA Colorado offer­ings, local design hap­pen­ings, and cre­ative oppor­tu­ni­ties on our news page.

For gen­eral men­tor­ship ques­tions or com­ments, or to get involved, please con­tact our Mentorship Director. We wel­come your ideas and support!

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