2023 AAF Memphis Fall Professional Development Program
How does this work?
After filling out the interest form we’ll do our best to match professionals and students with similar interests. Once matched, you’ll be introduced via email and can then coordinate a schedule for one-on-one sessions through the end of the semester. Occasionally, AAF will coordinate group activities such as tours, panels or professional interviews. All mentors and students are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct.
Program Duration: October-March
Hours invested: 2-4 hours per month
Program consists of:
- kick-off event to introduce students and mentors
- individual one-on-one sessions between mentor and student, organized by the student
- 1-2 field trips organized by AAF
- 1-2 group meetings for all students and mentors that can attend
We’re looking for advertising, marketing and creative professionals from diverse disciplines to mentor college students during the fall semester.
What’s required of mentors?
- Make yourself available to regularly meet with the student one-on-one (we suggest twice per month for 30 minutes-1 hour, virtual or in-person)
- Join AAF mentorship group activities when you’re available
- Provide advice, answer questions, and be a sounding board to a student entering the workforce
- Help your student make connections in the industry by introducing them to other professionals
- Act as a reference or write a letter of recommendation, if requested, for job or scholarship searches
- Be kind and supportive — students may be initially reserved or hesitant in this new environment. It can be intimidating to talk to a cool professional like yourself even if you don’t feel cool or professional most days.
- Offer constructive criticism and encouragement
- Set realistic expectations — many students are working part-time or full-time jobs on top of being a full-time student and are still navigating being responsible for themselves and their career path.
- Provide feedback to AAF on how to improve the mentorship program going forward
How should I structure my one-on-one sessions?
The mentoring sessions can be structured as you see fit but some ideas are:
- Answer any questions they have to the best of your ability
- Talk about or show what you’re working on
- Office or studio tours; introduce your coworkers
- Provide advice for current advertising classwork assigned
- Assign a project for the semester based on the student’s graduation date or interest:
- creating a resume or cover letter
- designing their portfolio site or selecting work for their portfolio
- mock interview questions
- Book club! Read a short industry book or training courses together
What’s not required of mentors?
- Working with a student does not guarantee that student a job or internship with your or your company
- There’s no cost to participate. Any event costs will be paid by AAF Memphis.
- You don’t have to be a member of AAF Memphis to be a mentor.
- You are not signing up to be a teacher, parental figure or therapist. No qualifications are necessary beyond a willingness to share what you’ve learned in your career (whether long or short) and help point them in the right direction to find answers you may not know
If you’re a university student who is nearing graduation with a major in advertising, marketing or a related field (or a young professional looking to start a career in advertising), you can sign up to participate in the fall mentorship program from AAF Memphis to be matched with a local professional.
What’s required of students?
- As the mentee, it is up to you to be an active participant in the program and prepare for your mentorship meetings. You get out of the program what you put in.
- Commit to investing several hours a month of time beyond school and work to prepare for and participate in the mentorship program
- Schedule your meetings based on your class or work schedule at a time your mentor is available.
- Come to mentorship sessions engaged and prepared with questions or work assigned
- Participate in AAF Mentorship group events when able.
What’s not required of students?
- AAF Student Members will receive first placement with mentors but you don’t have to be a student member of AAF to participate.
- A mentorship is not an internship. You should not be given design, writing or project management tasks beyond working on your own portfolio or resume.
- Unless worked out in advance with your professor or school, the AAF Student Mentorship does not count towards any class credit.