Mentorship Program


INSIGHT fosters connections between students and professionals to CONNECT, LEARN, & GROW within the design industry. The program runs through the academic year and space is limited. A mentor is not guaranteed to all students and priority will be given to IIDA student members, so please register early.


If you have any questions, please email

How our Program Works

Finding the Match

Be open and honest on the application and we will do our best to find you the right match. Applicants who are more specific about interests, goals and experience generally achieve greater alignment with their mentorship partner.


Notification of a Match

You will be notified via email if you are matched. If you are not matched you will be notified via email.

Connect with Your Mentor

Students, it is your responsibility to reach out to your mentor. Once you have received notification of your match, you are encouraged to call or email your mentor to introduce yourself and confirm whether you both can attend the kick-off event.

Attend the Kickoff Event

We highly encourage you and your mentor to attend the kickoff event.  The event has proven beneficial for building a foundation for a great mentor/mentee relationship!  Please consider attending even if one of you can’t make it as there are still benefits for attending. The event includes a networking activity with students and mentors, goal setting and helpful information to get the most out of the program.

Attend Career Prep Workshop

We want to remind you about IIDA’s annual Career Prep Workshop! Stressing out about your portfolio or resume? We got you covered. We are hosting this workshop to help mentees prepare for internships and beyond. This event includes portfolio/resume reviews and an optional mock interview with various INSIGHT mentors. Don’t have a portfolio or resume? No problem! This is a great event to learn what upperclassmen are working on and give you ideas on how to start yours! This event is open to INSIGHT mentor and mentee participants only.

Lets Chat Event

Lets chat is a new event where students have the opportunity to learn more about professional development.  Deliver by an industry professional, this discussion will feature new topic each year that evokes conversation and insight on the professional design field.  This event is geared towards students but we welcome mentors who are interested as well.  The event is held virtually to ensure participants near and far can benefit from the discussion.

Continue your Mentor/Mentee Relationship Throughout the Year

To get the most out of INSIGHT, we encourage you to continue to meet and get to know each other outside of formal events. Give a few of these ideas below a try!

  • meet for coffee
  • portfolio, project or resume review
  • tour mentor’s office
  • job shadow
  • host a mock interview
  • provide access to sample library
  • attend industry events together, such as IIDA Forums, an Advocacy event, Vision or FAB
  • make introductions to other design professionals
  • involve mentor in academic critique sessions
  • explore other creative outlets such as a concert, play, or art class
Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the student‐professional matching?

The IIDA Northland Student Affairs committee members review the student and professional applications to best match each based on application content. The committee puts great consideration into the goals, interests, and experiences of all those who apply to ensure a cohesive pair.

What is the time commitment? I’m busy.

The application asks for desired commitment level, which the committee will take into consideration when making the match.

Are you a recent grad and unsure of which role you would take?

Recent grads are given the choice of registering as a student or a mentor. The decision is up to you based on your individual experience and comfort level. If you are a recent grad wanting to be a mentor, the committee will pair you with a first or second-year student in order for you to share your experiences thus far.

Why would I be a good mentor? I’m too new/experienced/boring to be relevant.

Everyone has unique experiences to share. Students are looking for feedback on their projects, someone to attend industry events with them, but most of all an approachable mentor to act as a sounding board. And they have things to teach you as well!

Do I have to be an IIDA member to be a mentor?

No, the program is open to design professionals regardless of membership status.

Do I have to be a student IIDA member participate?

No, the program is open to design students and design professionals regardless of membership status. However, priority is given to student members when making matches.

How do I become a student member of IIDA?

Joining is easy! Membership follows the calendar year, from January – December. Students who join in September get the next four months for free! To learn more about membership, please visit the IIDA National website.