Bridge Mentorship Program 2020

bridge logo

Bridge is the highly successful mentoring program sponsored by AIA Chicago,  the College of Fellows and the Young Architects Forum. It was created to provide Emerging Professionals with access to local AIA Fellows (FAIA), leaders and designers from the architectural community.

This training and leadership program requires active participation in a mentorship setting. Emerging Professionals interested in participating should have proven leadership and a willingness to learn.

Overview of Program

This program intends to Bridge the gap between the need for mentorship in our profession and the ability of experienced architects to pass on what they have learned to the future generation of architects. 

Each selected Bridge participant will be paired with a local AIA Fellow acting as their mentor. The program will incorporate informal social events and organized mentorship discussions focusing the conversation on past experiences, career development, and the future of the architectural profession. Throughout the program, the mentors and their mentees will also meet in a one-on-one setting to informally discuss specific professional goals while further developing and strengthening their relationship.

The program benefits include an opportunity to be mentored by experienced professionals and FAIA members. Participants will develop communication and relationship skills, advance professional skills, expand professional and personal networks, experience team performance, and develop community leadership.

Bridge 11.0 is subject to unpredictable circumstances due to COVID-19 and may run as a partially/fully virtual program this year, utilizing Zoom video calls and breakout rooms. We are confident the program will remain highly valuable and worthwhile.

Ideal Applicants

The ideal applicant is an architectural designer with a minimum of 3 years of post-grad work experience, who is licensed or pursuing licensure. AIA membership is not necessary to apply, but all selected participants must be or become AIA members. 


Applications for Bridge 11.0 are here.

Submission Instructions:

  1. Combine the completed application and your resume in the same PDF file. Application first, followed by resume.
  2. The title of the file should be "Bridge 2020 Application_LastName, FirstName"
  3. Email the combined PDF to
  4. Due Friday, July 31, 2020. 

Selection of Participants

Participants will be selected by a committee made up of members of the AIA Chicago Board of Directors and representatives of the College of Fellows.

2020 Fall - 2021 Spring Schedule

The program will run approximately one session per month from August through April for a total of 8 sessions. Availability for a majority of the sessions is critical to successful participation in the program.

  • Introductory Session for Mentees: Sept. 2

  • Speed pairing:  September 23

  • Discussion session #1:  October 14

  • Guest Speaker: November 4

  • Discussion session #2:  January 27

  • Discussion session #3: February 17

  • Session #4: March 17

  • Closing session:  April 7

Throughout the program, we encourage periodic informal, one-on-one meetings between mentor and mentee.