Cultivate connects emerging graphic designers with established design professionals in mentoring relationships, encouraging the future success of the design industry in our region.
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 we started Cultivate, AIGA Wisconsin’s three-month mentoring program, in order to spark new relationships for the benefit of designers in all levels of professional development.
After an initial mentoring match at the kick-off social event in mid-September, the Mentors and Mentees sit down and get to know each other. Each pair will be encouraged to set a meeting schedule, and agree on a few topics of interest to discuss and ponder over the next few months. AIGA Wisconsin as a chapter will remain in the wings as a resource, allowing the mentoring relationship to grow organically, until the “Harvest Party” when we’ll celebrate a feast of design from emerging professionals at the end of the program.
If you’re an associate level member in AIGA (4 years or fewer practice in any design community), or an AIGA recently graduated student member, you can reserve a place as a Mentee with an established professional level AIGA member in a similar field. Your Mentor will have the experience and perspective to answer questions you may not want to ask at work. A Mentor can help you focus on a career development plan, and give you the confidence and insights that will guide you for years to come. The Mentee fee is $20.
Be a Mentor
Mentorship is an indispensible part of a successful designer’s career. If you had a positive role model in the early years of your own career, you’ll probably recall how powerful that person’s influence was in your own path to discovering your strengths. Don’t doubt your potential as a role model: your professional experience and network gives you everything you need to help cultivate the career of an emerging designer. You set the schedule with your Mentee, so it’s a flexible and an easy way to give back to the design community and connect with someone who has a fresh view on the world. There is no fee for Mentors.
I hire students from my classes as interns. I teach, hire and mentor them, closely observing their progress. I stay young because I get to borrow their eyes. In fact, I get more out of it than they do. — Paula Scher