Start strong–lessons learned from associate programs to platform your junior staff for excellence and lasting success.

Waterloo Salon 5-6

Imagine creating experiences for your rookie designers’ first couple years that are rewarding, enriching, and full of learning — without taking all your time or energy to manage. We’ll share techniques any team leader can put into practice using real-life examples from associate programs, apprenticeships, and internships.

Topics include onboarding, varied work challenges, developing multiple capabilities, buddy systems, group sharing, guest speakers, time with executives, and mentorship. We’ll also share how to operationalize learning, soft skills like communication and collaboration, setting boundaries, time management, achieving deep work, and more skills we all wish we were explicitly taught early on.

We’ll focus on modern-day associate programs, but even if you can’t create a full-fledged program, you’ll leave this session with ideas to use with your fledgling professionals. The benefits go beyond efficiency; it’s a foundation for culture, camaraderie, autonomy, and mastery.

Career Development Senior Level