A Quick Guide To Speed Mentoring / by Julie Schumacher

If you’ve shot the “I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee and pick your brain!” email out into the world, or if you've written it and it’s sitting in your draft folder, speed mentoring may be for you.

We've got answers to the questions you may be asking about speed mentoring.

Srsly. What is it?

Forth speed mentoring is intentionally matched 10 minute 1-on-1 mentoring sessions with some of Chicago’s brightest ladies. We’d love to get coffee with every single one of you. But schedules and timing make that hard. This is a focused evening of targeted conversation that brings us all together in one very pretty space.

How will mentors/mentees be paired?

We’ve asked our mentors to tell us topics they’re ready to talk on. Some are specific to their industry (photography, writing, event planning) and others are broader topics (working with your significant other, balancing a passion project with a day job, building a social media presence).

We’ll send you a list of all available mentoring topics. You’ll pick your top selections and we’ll match four of those to the available mentors.


Will the full three hours be dedicated to one-on-one session?

Heavens, that would be information overload! And everyone needs to pee!

We’ll have a short welcome at the start. Over the course of the evening you'll be matched with four mentors. Each of those sessions will be 10 minutes with 2 minutes in between. Participants will also have time to meet one another and talk with our roving mentors who are not assigned to a mentee at that time.

There will also be snacks and drinks. We all need time for snacks and drinks.

How do I prepare?

Plan ahead! Come prepped with questions ready for each session. Have them prioritized so that you can get the most out of each session.

The mentors are prepped to speak on the specifics of the industry they work in and also broader skills and topics. You’ll know the topics you’ve been assigned based on your preferences but not the specific mentor. 


I’m prepared! How do I make the most of the mentor sessions?

There’s no test at the end, but jot down the big takeaways, resources and words that resonate. You’ll have so many interactions over the course of the evening that the one you’ll remember for sure is for sure the one you are bound to forget.

How do I make the most of the rest of the night?

Connect! Talk! Share! You’ll be in a room of like minded folks who are excited about doing big things. It's safe to assume that everyone there wants to meet people. Walk on up and introduce yourself. You never know what could come from a brief interaction...it's how Lisa, Kelly and Julie came together three years ago.


I don’t know what I want to do next. Can I get something out of mentoring?

Heck yea! This might be a perfect next step!

Our mentors are ready to talk about their specific fields and how they have found success. So if you want to be the next great independent designer, we’ve got ya covered. But more, each comes with a whole tool kit they’ve assembled in the professional and personal lives.

Sometimes the most useful thing you’ll learn may be more about building a team, managing your finances, deciding if independent work is for you or how to work with your friends. Some are ready to talk about figuring out what you want to do next!


Forth seems like a woman thing. Is this only for women?

Nope! All our mentors are women (how rad is that?) but we welcome anyone and everyone (21+). This is an awesome thing more than anything else.

You in? We've got 30 incredible mentors ready to meet you. We're so excited!