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!