Bridge Mentorship Program

Bridge will soon celebrate its ninth year as the highly successful mentoring program sponsored by AIA Chicago, the College of Fellows and the Young Architects Forum. It was created to provide Young Architects and Associate AIA members 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.

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. 


The program application for Bridge 9.0 will became available on July 3, 2018. Applications will be due on Friday, August 3 by 6:00 PM CT. Applications consist of the application form plus your resume. 

Selection of Participants

A maximum of 16 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.

  • 2017 Schedule (for reference - 2018 dates coming soon)

  • Introductory Session for Mentees: August 24, 2017

  • Meet-Up #1:  September 6, 2017

  • Meet-Up #2:  September 19, 2017

  • Meet-Up #3:  October 4, 2017

  • Self-Planned Gathering:  (week of) October 16, 2017

  • Meet-Up #4:  November 1, 2017

    Meet-Up #5:  Week of November 13, 2017

Throughout the program, we encourage a minimum of two informal, one-on-one meetings between mentor and mentee.