This past winter/spring season I made good on my New Year’s Resolution to get out and be more involved in the local design community once again. One cannot live and work in a vacuum, and Chicago has a great community: due to it’s large size, there are always events or show openings going on. By far the best event, or rather program, I have discovered so far is AIGA Chicago’s Mentorship program.
Open to members and non-members alike, the program pairs up a group of designers for a 5 month season of meetings and allows them to shape the course of their sessions.What a great way to meet others in our community!
I was lucky enough to be the leader of an amazing and inspiring group of local creatives. Our backgrounds ranged from student to seasoned professional, from in-house to agency, and from freelancer to start-up design studio principal. After some initial planning meetings, I took a page from AIGA KC’s Transitions program and invited a guest speaker to each meeting to share their knowledge on a specific topic. Topics ranged from social networking to the legalities of starting your own business to workshops on letterpress with a couple of old fashioned happy hours thrown in for good measure. But by far, the most valuable take-away from the whole season are the terrific friendships I made with everyone in the group. We still continue to meet every other week, and it is great to see a familiar face at design events around town.
On July 20, a special summer session of the Mentorship program begins. If you live in Chicago and have been looking for a way to get involved, this is definitely the way to do it. Not only that, it is by far one of the best values that AIGA brings to the Chicago design community.