What is the AIASF Mentorship Program?
The Mentorship Program is a forum for cross-generational interaction that seeks to build a network for established and emerging professionals beyond the office environment; promote personal and professional development in the areas of leadership, mentoring, and relationship building; and provide supplemental tools for emerging professionals to fulfill the requirements for licensure.
The program is open to architectural practitioners of all levels, and facilitates mentor groups that meet 5 times a year. Group meetings can be casual or structured, depending on the dynamic of the individual groups, which each comprise at least one SP (seasoned professional), two MPs (mid-level professionals), and two EPs (emerging professionals).
Do I have to be a member of AIA to join this program?
No, you are not required to be a member of AIA San Francisco, but we do encourage you to join! Your participation helps keep our local AIA chapter running so that we can offer the Mentorship Program.
Am I an EP, MP or SP?
An EP or an Emerging Professional is someone (unlicensed) with 0-5 years of experience.
An MP or a Mid-Level Professional is someone (licensed or unlicensed) with 5-15 years of experience.
An SP or a Seasoned or as we like to say Sassy Professional is someone (licensed) with 15+ years of experience.
What kind of time commitment is needed to participate in the Mentorship Program?
There are three events that start the annual program off: the Kickoff (February), the SpeedMatch (March), and the Group Announcement (April).
After the group announcement, groups are expected to meet at least five times a year. Many of our groups meet once a month just to check in, as the more time and energy you put into the group, the more beneficial and fun your experience will be. The program culminates in the annual party the following January, when all groups reconvene to share the year’s experiences and to celebrate!
Will I find out who is in my group at the end of the SpeedMatch event?
Group announcements will take some time. The Mentorship Committee manually forms groups based on survey answers we receive from the SpeedMatch event to ensure that everyone is put in an superb and balanced group. You will find out who is in your group during our Group Announcement event approximately a month after the SpeedMatch.
I’m unable to attend the SpeedMatch event or the Kickoff. Am I still able to join a mentorship group this year?
Yes! We understand that conflicts happen and things come up. Send us a quick email and we’ll do all we can to ensure that you’re placed in an awesome group. If the group announcement has already past, it is more difficult to add people into groups. Although depending on circumstances, often we have groups from previous years looking to expand. If you end up waiting for the next year’s program to start, we welcome you to join in on our events and AIA San Francisco events and subscribe to our newsletter.
I don’t have any experience, is it okay for me to join this program? Can students participate?
Yes! Everyone is welcome to join our community, even those with no experience. However, we do ask that students refrain from signing up for a group. Many groups form around work schedules, and student schedules often don’t allow the time commitment of meeting with a mentorship group, but we still welcome you to join in on our events.
I’m an SP, how do I benefit from participating in the Mentorship Program?
The group construction pairs all levels of experience together, and strives to pair people with different experience together. This allows for the mentorship groups to create more than just the mentor-mentee relationship. The program provides a way for you to give back and improve the field, while learning from the group’s cross-generational dialogue.
Does it cost anything to join? Are there additional requirements to participate?
No. Besides your time, the Mentorship Program does not charge a signup fee. Some of the events we host may ask for a small fee, but all of the funds support AIA San Francisco. Aside from the groups being expected to meet at least five times a year, we also ask that our members have respect for each other and work together to have a successful group experience.
This program sounds awesome! How do I find out more?
Sign up for our mailing list! We will use that to send you important information regarding upcoming and ongoing events.
James Kaentje, AIA
Dan Hogman, AIA
Satish Atkari, AIA
Brian Smith, AIA
Alexandria Evans, Assoc. AIA
Immediate Past Chair
2nd Wednesday of each month, 6:30 pm
SmithGroupJJR, 301 Battery St. Fl 7