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Fall 2015 Mentorships

MentorshipDeadlineDueAs this year quickly flies by, we’re already opening applications for our Fall 2015 mentorship program!  For our kick off letter this session, we decided to answer a few questions we’re frequently asked to help shed some light on things you may be wondering.

Why isn’t there a summer session?
Although we’re aware that most of our applicants tend to be students, we have tried to time our mentorship programs to coincide with other animation industry dates.  Our Spring session is designed to help craft portfolios that can be used and submitted for summer internships while our Fall session always ends before the CTN animation expo, so work completed can be shown at the expo during portfolio reviews.  Also, many of mentors have families and the summer time is when most vacations that create scheduling conflicts for us.

Why are applications taken so far in advance to the actual session, but then notifications sent out so close to the start?
Our application dates are set based off our mentorship sessions.  We work backwards from the start date to figure out how much time is needed for our application reviews, mentor reviews, and then responses from selected applicants.  Because everyone has their individual lives, we try to factor in a few ‘buffer’ dates in case people take longer than a day or two to reply.  In the end, it takes about 1 month for applications and 2 months for reviews and final decisions with little to no slack time in between.

How come you guys don’t offer mentorships with animators?
While we’re always open to having new mentors in different sectors of the animation industry, we honestly haven’t had much luck recruiting actual animators.  Animation Mentor has become the go-to program that most animators want to learn from and where most animators teach with so we focus our attention towards other areas.

Why isn’t _________ a mentor with you guys?/ When is _______ coming back as a mentor?
There are three ways we find mentors for our program: 1) We reach out to artists;  2) We have artists randomly email us; 3) We hear suggestions from you guys.  No matter which way, we research to find out if artists are a good fit for our program and if we feel they would provide knowledge that our applicants would find useful.  We reach out to lots and lots of professionals each and every session at least 2x, if not 3x as many people as you see listed as a mentor each round.  But professionals are busy so sometimes they aren’t available or we don’t hear any replies.  That’s why we encourage you to apply when you see someone you want to work with because we don’t know when or if they’ll have time to come back.

I’ve applied lots of times in the past and have made it to the finalist round several times, but never get picked.  What’s the deal?
While we’d love to accept everyone into our program, and while our mentors would love to mentor lots and lots of people, there just isn’t enough time in the world to do so.  Believe us when we say it’s not fun to have to sort through all the applications and selected only a handful of finalists.  The same goes for our mentors.  We find it hard enough to pick 10 people per mentor, and then they can sometimes only pick one!  Each and every round is harder than the last because the quality of work is improving from season to season.  On top of that we are very aware that many of our applicants are re-applying (by the way, some of you guys have grown leaps and bounds in crazy ways).  We and our mentors recognize repeat names and portfolios and feel extra terrible when we have to send out bad news (again).  So trust us when we say, we’re really, really, really sorry you didn’t get picked (again).  Know that everyone feels bad in this situation and we wish we could accept you all if we could.

We hope this post helps you guys get a better feel for our organization. Our mentorship program was designed to provide a bridge for working professionals and aspiring artists.  Lots of artists often get asked to mentor someone but they don’t have a way to verify a stranger’s commitment or to create a set of boundaries.  So our program is here to help establish some working rules that both the mentor and mentee understand and agree to so that everyone can work more fluidly together.  We invite you to learn more about our program here and here.

Applications for our Fall 2015 Program will be accepted from June 29 – July 26, 2015.  Happy applying!

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