On Monday, I went to the Mentor Program Kickoff Meeting at the McNamara Alumni Center. The mentor program matches you up with a professional in the design field with similar interests to you. You can apply for the Mentor Program during your Junior and Senior year in the graphic design program. Depending on how many people they need to match up, you are not guaranteed to get a mentor if you apply. However, if you were to apply both years you would almost surely be matched, as priority is given to older students.
In my opinion, the coolest thing about the mentor program is the fact that you and your mentor can make as much or little out of the partnership as you want. The kickoff meeting provides a formal way to meet and chat with your mentor for the first time, but after that you are largely on your own. Some people might meet with their mentor regularly to talk about projects they are working on or advice about building a portfolio and getting jobs, while others may choose to communicate only via email. Mentors who volunteer to participate in the program are extremely enthusiastic about helping students in any way they can.
I am excited that I was matched with a mentor whom which I have already networked with once before. He is only about 5 years out of school but has already worked for Carlson Marketing, Clockwork, and is now contracting for Best Buy. Most of his recent work has been in web and mobile interface design, a perfect match for my interests! I will have to let you know more about what my mentor and I do in the future, but I would highly recommend planning to apply for mentor during your junior or senior year in the mean time. The advice and networking connections you can get from a professional mentor in the field is invaluable to students!