I believe that finding and having a mentor is one of the greatest things you can have. During college I always had questions for the students older than me. These were people who taught me computer shortcuts, provided tutorials, told me to join Twitter, and were great role models to look up to. (hannah, dustin, mike & justin THANK YOU!) When I started at the ad agency my creative director Dan kicked my butt in pushing my creative limits and forcing me to learn InDesign. All those people, combined with a huge drive to succeed made me the designer I am today.
But after chatting with a lot of designers my age or students going through their first internship I'm finding that they aren't getting the same push as I got and aren't held to the same standards. My interaction with my other unofficial mentees was disappointing as other students didn't have a drive to pick my brain and learn.
One of the things I've always tried to do is offer advice where I can. I've failed time and time again learning the ropes of client interaction, balancing work-life balance, recreating concepts, learning what a successful brand really is, making drastic changes in workflow, and strategizing a business beyond aesthetic. A lot of students have asked one question here and one question there trying to solve the problem they were currently facing but I haven't put together a mentor strategy until now.
Which is why I'm really excited to announce that Maddi Wichert is my first official mentee. We will be working on workflow, file organization, creating a portfolio website, making freelance documents, learning the ins and outs of the design programs and setting up files successfully for print and web. Maddi is also the newest design intern at Style-Architects / Brand-Architects so we will be tackling In-House needs, event design, creating collateral to accompany existing brands and much more!
Matt Erickson was the previous design intern at Style-Architects and REALLY knocked so many projects out of the park. Matt was extremely easy to work with and asked all the right questions.
I may be looking for additional mentees after the holidays so if you're interested be sure to send me a note!
first image from Death to the Stock Photo