The Fred Foster Student Mentorship Program helps lighting design and technology students make the transition into the professional working environment. Through a series of online networking events, the program introduces students to many of the industry’s brightest talent, while also illuminating what life is like out in the field. Ultimately, students are matched with a mentor from the industry who will offer career guidance and technical advice for the next year and often beyond.
The North American program is comprised of a series of events that take place during the summer and fall. During these events, students will meet many different lighting professionals who will potentially become mentors to the students. The sessions also serve to give students an inside look at multiple disciplines and areas in the lighting industry. Students who are currently studying in North America are eligible for this program.
To offer a tailored experience for international students, ETC has started a new branch of the Fred Foster Student Mentorship Program. The ETC team plans separate program activities and mentor introductions based on each student’s region of study and level of experience. Students who are currently studying outside of North America at the university level, or are able to demonstrate a keen interest in lighting and design through the submission of a CV, are eligible for this program.
Each year, we aim to create a well-rounded series of events that covers multiple areas in the lighting profession. We especially aim to cover areas that align with the current student group’s career interests. Below is a handful of topics we’ve covered in the past.
Students must meet the following criteria to apply.
When reviewing applications, we seek students who already have some experience in production and have a strong desire to enter the lighting profession and build a relationship with a mentor.
The craft of storytelling is the foundation of the entertainment design and technology industry. ETC believes that the creators and consumers of our industry are best served when voices from all communities are included in the storytelling content and process. ETC recognizes that there is a need to address representation and accessibility of resources in many corners of the entertainment design world. We seek to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within our industry.
The Fred Foster Memorial Student Mentorship Program aims to provide resources and support to a diverse range of students pursuing a career in entertainment design. We are committed to continuously refining our recruiting process to make it inclusive to students and mentors from underrepresented groups. It is our intention to make intergenerational knowledge sharing more inclusive and accessible through this unique professional development pathway.
“The mentorship events that ETC sets up immediately immersed me into the network of this Industry. Suddenly, I found myself face to face with my lighting inspirations- and they were interested in me! This is not easy- as it is a challenge to be able to articulate your artistic endeavors and goals with confidence to a group of such notoriety. However, that is part of the growth that this program with ETC invites you to have.”
“It really exposed me to a world that I could only have dreamed of and made me feel that there are real tangible career opportunities in the future that would not result in me giving up my art. I cannot express how much that means to me. I was exposed to some incredible people and now have several invites to New York, London, and LA.”
“Because of this program, I’ve been able to have one-on-one conversations with people I could never have dreamed of meeting before; let alone speaking to them about our love of lighting! It’s led to interviews, virtual 'coffee chats,' and connections across the lighting industry that I am very thankful for.”
“I can say confidently that the mentorship experience was and is essential in my post-graduate life. I have made countless connections and have received generous help from my mentors in terms of portfolios, resumes, and career advice.”
ETC was founded by a group of college students and has grown into a global leader in lighting and rigging technology. Throughout his career, ETC Founder and CEO Fred Foster recognized the significance of mentorship in any lighting professional’s career. Yet, he understood how challenging it is to establish connections with potential mentors.
Fred started this program in 1999, seeking to use ETC’s resources to help build the next generation of lighting greats. The Student Mentorship Program is just one way that Fred’s legacy lives on. We are honored to carry on this treasured tradition.