Advice on Finding a Mentor?

Hello Everyone,

I graduated a year ago with a BFA in Jewelry Design. I work full time as a designer at a manufacturer and love it but am really interested in branching out to designing more types of consumer products. I’ve had some success with small businesses doing freelance work but there’s still a long road ahead of me if I want to be considered an industrial designer.

I’m trying to find a mentor but am really unsure of where to go. To my knowledge the IDSA used to have a group in my state but it has been gone for about 10 years now. Does anyone have any advice on how to find a mentor? Maybe some stories of how you found yours?


Peter, where are you located? You could reach out to other designers in your area on LinkedIn, ask to buy them coffee one at a time and see if a mentor/mentee relationship sparks.

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to reply. I am in the Philadelphia PA area. I am familiar with LinkedIn, would you suggest I just PM them and ask to meet up?

I do. It doesn’t hurt to try. Do a search for design directors in the Philly area.

You could PM them, but if you are not connected you will need the upgraded version to reach out to them. You could simply do a post on your linked profile explaining what you are looking for.
If you have an IDSA chapter in the area reach out to them
You can also reach out to any schools in the are that have an ID program and see if they have any alum that would be interest.

So there’s no IDSA really in Pennsylvania to my knowledge but I could potentially go up to NY from time to time to meet with people for advice. Does the IDSA have any rules that would prevent that?

On another note I have begun InMailing some people, fingers crossed!

I just googled industrial design Philadelphia, and this came up:

I’d go through there and just reach out to firms.

Also, try the core77 design directory: SHIFT_DESIGN - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Industrial Design, Architecture

Wow I didn’t realize that the Pennsylvania branch was reopened as of last year! That is certainly helpful and I am glad I was wrong, thanks! I’ll reach out to them and the firms listed.

IDSA - has no rules on this topic, some chapters charge non- members to attend events. Other then that no worries. I would start by receiving to to the chapter /vice chairs.