On Thursday, December 4, 2014, mentors and protégés of the ULI Chicago Mentorship Program gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate and conclude the 2014 program year. The closing reception was the final event organized by the Program to facilitate meaningful mentor relations between Young Leaders and established ULI industry leaders. Protégés were also invited to attend the 20th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner directly following the closing reception.
This year, 14 Young Leaders were selected to participate in the Program. Over the course of the year, the Mentorship Program hosted four events that included a kick-off event, breakfast meeting, closing reception, and a “Speed Networking” event (pictured above). Lending a unique framework for networking, the event gave the protégés a brief introduction to all of the mentors in the Program using timed intervals and chair hopping in a fast-paced, interactive environment. Protégés also initiated meetings outside of the formal Program events to connect one-on-one with mentors, which helped to deepen the mentoring relationship.
The Mentorship Program is an important vehicle for connecting young professionals to industry leaders by making the mentorship connection for the Young Leader and also creating the infrastructure for the mentoring relationship to grow. The Program also allows for the support and validation emerging professionals need when grounding themselves in a career path or contemplating shifts in career disciplines. Ultimately, while only one year, it’s an incredibly valuable way to gain a mentor and colleague for the duration of one’s career.
The 2015 Mentorship Program will be accepting applications in January.Authored by Sarah Wick, Related Midwest and 2014 ULI Mentorship Program Participant