Ask DN: What is a mentor?

over 8 years ago from

What exactly is a design mentor? What do they do?

Apologies for asking a really basic question, but I'm curious about it.


  • Ryan MurphyRyan Murphy, over 8 years ago

    I believe it to be a mythical beast from Ancient Greece.

    12 points
  • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 8 years ago

    Having someone that can critique an idea or decision and make you think about those choices based on their experience.

    Not giving answers but asking the right questions.

    5 points
  • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, over 8 years ago

    I would just view it as someone in the industry that's been around a bit longer than you, and can show you the ropes.... I'm in my 40's now, and have had a chance to do that for a few people...which is great, because when i was starting out, I had a few over the years...it felt like for most of the 90's, i was always the youngest guy in the room... but i was fortunate enough to meet some folks on my journey that were able to help me out, teach me a few things, show me how to get things done etc...

    4 points
  • Chris CourtneyChris Courtney, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    Hi Carl,

    The definition of mentor will vary from place to place, but at Bloc a mentor is someone who will help identify problems, break down problems and then determine which problems are worth solving.

    Additionally, a mentor is someone who you can count on to lean on you when times are hard and you want to give up. So often, everything an apprentice needs to gain from the program is already inside of them. But life gets in the way and things become complicated. That's where having a mentor typically keeps a Bloc apprentice on track where folks in other programs begin to flounder.

    I specifically focus my efforts on UX Design, but Bloc has over 100 mentors that apply this same fundamental approach to a variety of digital disciplines.

    Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

    Be well, Chris Courtney

    Lead Mentor, UX/Design, Bloc


    1 point
  • Tori ZTori Z, over 8 years ago

    I'm still in school right now. To me, mentor is a person who would make me think"Oops, I did this in the wrong way. I should do blablabla".

    1 point
  • Danny GuggerDanny Gugger, over 8 years ago

    I'm in a mentorship program right now through AIGA as a mentee. They're saying that a mentor is a designer with 6+ years of experience that is willing to invest in less experienced designers. Obviously the level of experience is relative. They've just chosen 6+.

    Here's the best article I read on mentorshi going into the program. http://99u.com/articles/36393/how-to-find-a-mentor

    0 points
  • Oz ChenOz Chen, over 8 years ago

    There are varying levels of mentorship, and I break down some variables of mentorship in this post


    (even though it's UX specific, it can be applied to any mentoring situation)

    0 points
  • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    Design mentorship should aid to discover traps/weaknesses, foster strengths/inspiration, and provide a seasoned design eye.

    Also as a designer, I‘ve had plenty of mentors that weren’t themselves designers—or even in this industry.

    Beyond just the role of a mentor, I think it’s important to acknowledge and honor the flow of wisdom; the mentee should find their own mentee. Only by receiving and then giving wisdom, can it flow freely through your life.

    0 points