KWSM Mentorship Program: Diving Into Design

Nov 2023

One of my favorite quotes is “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” As a Junior Content Creator for KWSM, this is a quote that I like to keep in my back pocket because I am surrounded by incredibly talented, creative, and meticulous professionals who have years of experience in their roles. When I first joined the KWSM team and learned about the Mentorship Program, it felt like the perfect match to join a team that values professional development and growth the same way that I do.

How the KWSM Mentorship Program Works

Once a year, KWSM holds a 12-week mentorship program. Anyone who would like to participate chooses whether they would like to be a mentor or a mentee and in what subject. 

As a content creator, creating social media graphics is a regular part of my role, so I decided that I wanted to be mentored in graphic design. A fellow content creator, Niamh Varian, and  I were paired with a talented web designer on our team, Madeleine Wood, as our mentor.

Once the teams are created, it’s off to the races because at the end of the 12 weeks comes the mentorship showdown, where each team will showcase what they learned throughout the program in a presentation. The winning team takes home the grand prize of $1000, so you could say that we get a little competitive around this time of year. 

Mentorship Program Goals

At the start of the program, Niamh and I met with Madeleine to set goals and outline our curriculum for the 12 weeks. I set two major goals for myself. One, to consistently create polished designs, and two, to be able to navigate Canva like a pro. As Junior Content Creators, Niamh and I had very similar goals. Madeleine outlined a very detailed curriculum for us that included learning about the following design elements:

  • White space
  • Layout groups
  • Typography
  • Hierarchy 
  • Rule of thirds 
  • Focal point
  • Color palettes
  • Contrast 
  • Canva tips and tricks

Madeleine also challenged us to create 25 graphics to use in our client’s work. These graphics included social media posts, blog banners, buttons, and thumbnails. 

The Meeting Schedule

We decided that we wanted to meet twice a month for a lesson in the fundamentals of design as well as to get feedback on our designs and tweak them together. For the first couple of meetings, Madeleine had us watch her create a design from beginning to end, which was very helpful because it opened my eyes to new ways to navigate Canva and think through designs. Once we got further into the program, we started to create our own designs and bring them with us to our meetings so Madeleine could give us suggestions on how we could improve our designs. 

After each lesson, I was immediately able to apply my new knowledge to my work and design became a lot more enjoyable as my skills increased. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote a blog about everything I learned

Mentorship Program Takeaways

Although I was excited to participate in KWSM’s Mentorship Program, I had doubts about the process. I questioned whether I would really be able to improve my graphic design skills in 6, 1 hour-long meetings. I am thrilled to say that despite my doubts, I gained everything I could have hoped for through the Mentorship Program. I am now constantly finding myself looking at social media graphics, billboards, websites, and more through the principles of design and I feel so much more confident in the designs I create for my clients. 

Are you interested in joining the KWSM Team?

If you are passionate about digital marketing and want to join a company where collaboration and continued professional development opportunities are available and encouraged, view open roles at KWSM!

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