Mentoring in a Virtual World

Graffiti stating, "Together We Create"

One does not succeed alone, and surrounding yourself with a group of mentors is paramount to both personal and professional growth. Their kindness, respect, and honesty will inspire you to be both a better creative professional and a valued team leader. Thus, it’s always a genuine honor and pleasure to participate in the annual AIGA Portfolio review day. While this year may have been different from others, it has been just as rewarding none the less.

This year, the AIGA Portfolio Review was an opportunity for design students and recent grads to get their work in front of design professionals, albeit virtually, as we coped with the fallout of the current COVID pandemic.

“As a recent portfolio school graduate, it seems that my career is on halt before it even started. After going through the review, I regained confidence in my work. Though my career is still in its early stages, moments like this will live forever because this review was a catalyst for me to keep going.”

-Francis Rutledge III, Miami Ad School Atlanta

The review consisted of five individual breakouts with moments in-between for general discussion, advice, and quarantine commiserating. There were over 100 participants from all advertising and design study areas, along with seasoned professional reviewers from both large agencies and specialized houses. Though each breakout was a short 20 minutes, the conversations continued long after the buzzer and these networks will continue to grow.

“One aspect that stuck out to me the most was the consistently positive and encouraging energy from the reviewers. They were excited to be participating and to interact with everyone throughout the entire event. As someone who is about to enter the industry, it was very refreshing to see first-hand such a strong sense of community and support.”

-Brittany Pearson, Creative Circus, UGA

There was also a poignant moment of appreciation for industry leader and graphic design legend Milton Glaser, who had passed away just hours before the event at 91. Glaser has always been an inspiration for his iconic logos for I Love New York, DC Comics, Stony Brook University, and Brooklyn Brewery, among others.

“It was so much more than a review, a quick glimpse into being a professional creative. “

-Leanna Martin, President at AIGA Atlanta Student Board

As we continue to support and encourage the advertising and design community, it’s incredible to have had first-hand experience with so many hungry, talented, and passionate young designers who will someday be mentors themselves.