Bridge Mentorship Program 2021

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Bridge is the highly successful mentoring program sponsored by AIA Chicago, the AIA College of Fellows, and the Young Architects Forum. It provides 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 and share.

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 12.0 is planned with a hybrid approach (alternating in-person and virtual sessions). 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 Chicago members


The application process is currently closed. Please check back later.

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.

2021 - 2022 Schedule

The program will run approximately one session per month on Wednesdays from September through March for a total of 8 sessions. Availability for a majority of the sessions is critical to successful participation in the program. Bridge 12.0 is planned as a hybrid program (in-person and virtual).

  • Introductory Session for Mentees: September 1

  • Discussion session #1: September 22

  • Speed pairing: October 6

  • Discussion session #2: November 10

  • PechaKucha: January 19

  • Discussion session #3: February 9

  • Guest Speaker: March 2

  • Closing session: March 23

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