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Q    What is a mentorship? 

A    Mentorship is a unique experience for students to work closely with working professionals in design fields for their personal, creative and professional growth. It is friendship and relationship between older and young people who care about film, television, theater and performance who are interested in talking and learning from each other. In our program, each student will be connected with one or two mentors who will work with them from November to May.


Q    How many applicants will be accepted?

A    Each school determines the number of student participants who can be paired up for individual mentorship per year. The number will vary based on the institution, with  approximately  30 available slots total in the program this year.  


Q    How are the participants chosen? Who decides?

A    Students wishing to apply for individual mentoring should fill out the ETDM Student Application. The applications will be open from September 15th to October 8th. The applications are then reviewed by the ETDM Academic Liaisons and students are paired with mentors. The criteria for choosing applicants is shown on the application. You do not need PRIOR EXPERIENCE or COURSEWORK in production design or related fields to be eligible for the program.


Q    I am not sure I’m ready for mentorship. Can I still be involved in the program?

A    Yes!  ETDM will be hosting numerous events throughout the year that are open to students in the participating schools. Talk to your teacher or advisor about them or join our mailing list.


Q    Are there any application fees or program fees?

A    No! There are no fees to apply to the program or participate in program activities. 


Q    I don’t identify as a BIPOC. Can I still apply to the program?

A    Yes! Our program is geared towards creating structured opportunities for students who might not easily find pathways into the creative communities of  New York.  In order to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable field and recognizing the unique history of our country and industry, we believe it is important right now to focus on Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We also recognize that there are other factors such as RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN,  GENDER, GENDER IDENTITY, IMMIGRATION STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, ABILITY and CLASS that have become barriers to entry, acceptance and success in our field.

Q    Is this an internship?  Is it paid? Will I receive credit?

A    This is not an internship and you will not receive pay. Please discuss with your individual teacher, professor or program liaison if credit opportunities are available.


Q    What will I learn in the program?

A    You may learn about design, creativity, collaboration, time management, storytelling and many other things. At the start of the program, you and your mentors will identify goals for the year. These should be what you want to learn and also what you need to develop your art and craft. 


Q    What will my time commitment be? 

A    The relationship between the Mentee and Mentor is a partnership, and they can determine a mutually agreed upon schedule, but ETDM recommends meeting about twice a month over the course of the Mentorship.

Q    Are participants expected to provide labor for the mentors during the year?

A   No! This experience is about learning from each other and receiving advice and support. If you are asked to perform work for your mentor, please contact a program liaison.

​Q    Are there opportunities to assist designers and production staff? 

A   Maybe. You may find opportunities to assist, intern or work for the designers or their crew on a production. We hope you do, but these are not a formal part of the program. As a program alumni we will work with you to identify more opportunities for entry-level production jobs.

Q    Who are the mentors I might work with during the year? Can I choose my mentor?

A   The mentors are members of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, the professional union for entertainment designers, who are volunteering their time to be part of the program. We assign a mentor to you based on your application. 


Q    I am not sure what career I want to pursue after school and whether it will be entertainment design-related. Should I still apply?

A   Yes! As long as you have an interest in film, television, or theater, this program is for you. The program is a chance to explore different fields and learn about theater and film-making. You might end up becoming a designer, director, writer, cinematographer, editor or one of the myriad other jobs in our business.


Q    [For high school students] Is this program intended to help me decide where to go to college?  Will you help me with that?

A   Yes. While our mentors are not qualified college counselors, they are a great sounding-board and resource for learning about colleges and programs that can advance your personal and career goals. 


Q    [For college students] Is this program intended to help me decide if I should continue on to graduate school and would you encourage that?

A   Not really. Some alumni of our program may choose to pursue an advanced degree. Some may enter the field directly. 


Q    I am working another job and/or have a lot of production and class commitments at my school.  Should I still apply?

A   Yes, but ETDM suggests that you meet with your school advisor and consider your schedule, and if you are comfortable committing to the time that is necessary for you to really benefit from the program.


Q    What kind of specialized software or skills do I need for this program?

A   None. There are NO pre-requirements other than interest and enthusiasm for the program. It will be useful to have access to a computer with internet access.

Q    Is there an anti-harassment policy? If I feel uncomfortable or unsafe in the program, who do I tell?

A   Yes. Mentors and student participants will be required to read and sign our anti-harassment policy. If at any time you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, you can confidentially reach out to your ETDM school liaison or school advisor.

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