Get Involved

Year after year, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) alums give back to the School by sharing their expertise, time, and talents. If you’re looking to lend your support and get involved, consider making a gift to the School or explore additional opportunities below. 

Volunteer

Getting involved at SAIC through our wide variety of volunteer opportunities is one of the best ways to show your support for the School and your student(s). Every year, alums participate in activities hosted by our Career and Professional Experience (CAPX) and Admissions offices. 

Alums are invited to volunteer through SAIC’s Career and Professional Experience office. You can share your experience, give advice, and offer internships and jobs to SAIC students and alums. Below are some ways you can volunteer time with SAIC.

Expert Exchange
offers students and alumni the opportunity to connect virtually, either individually or with a group, with creative professionals and Chicago business leaders about venture ideas and future careers. Held weekly on Fridays during the fall and spring semesters, Expert Exchange is a great opportunity for alums to provide industry insight and personalized career advice, as well as answers to students’ and fellow alums’ specific questions. More information can be found here.

To participate as an “expert” in this program, please contact the assistant director of employer relations at careers@saic.edu.

Host an Intern 
CAPX supports on-site, remote and hybrid internships and welcomes you to host SAIC interns. Internships may be offered for the fall, winter, spring, and summer sessions. Get started by accessing Handshake to create your profile and post your internship. Learn more about CAPX’s internship program requirements here

If you are interested in hosting an internship, please contact the assistant director of employer relations at careers@saic.edu.

Participate in a Practical Workshop
The alumni engagement office and CAPX have partnered to host a series of practical workshops for students and alums, showcasing alums and experts who present on topics relevant to the everyday lives and work of artists and creatives (e.g. grant writing, social media marketing, and more!).

If you are interested in being a featured expert for a practical workshop, please contact Director of CAPX, Kate Schutta at kschutta@saic.edu.

Portfolio Reviews
SAIC students and alums come to CAPX seeking portfolio critiques from professionals in a variety of fields. Portfolio reviews take place on a weekly or bi-weekly basis throughout the academic year, and CAPX is always looking for alums in creative fields to provide critiques and constructive feedback.

If you are interested in participating in portfolio reviews, please contact the assistant director of employer relations at careers@saic.edu.

CAPX offers an honorarium to alums who participate in Expert Exchange, Practical Workshops, and Portfolio Reviews in order to support professionals in the art and design community. If you’d prefer to donate your time through these programs to further support the School, please let CAPX know.

Portfolio Tip Tuesday 
Portfolio Tip Tuesdays are a great way for prospective students to learn about the different aspects that go into submitting a portfolio. Each Tuesday, a different topic is covered, regarding portfolio preparation for your SAIC application. Alums can be a valuable voice in these discussions, to speak to their own experiences at SAIC and beyond.

Coffee with Counselor Series 
Prospective students meet virtually with admissions counselors, staff, and alums to hear more about the application process, prospective students’ work, the School’s curriculum, and get a better sense of what it is like to be a student at SAIC. 

SAIC Days 
Attend an in-person or virtual event within your region as an alum speaker. These events provide prospective students and their families an opportunity to learn more about life at SAIC. As an alum of SAIC, you can share your own experiences with the application process, your transition to SAIC, and any other words of wisdom. 

Undergraduate Portfolio Review Days
Alums can assist with reviewing portfolios of prospective students by providing feedback, and also sharing admissions information. Portfolio reviews happen in-person and/or virtually and do require training from Admissions in advance.

Undergraduate Admissions offers an honorarium to alums who participate in Portfolio Reviews in order to support professionals in the art and design community. If you’d prefer to donate your time to give back to the School, please let Admissions know.

Interested in volunteering with Undergraduate Admissions? Please contact ugadmiss@saic.edu for more information.

Meet with Prospective Students 
Prospective students meet virtually with admissions counselors, staff, and alums to hear more about the application process, prospective students’ work, the School’s curriculum, and get a better sense of what it is like to be a student at SAIC. 

Meetings are scheduled by appointment by Graduate Admissions. A training session will occur in August 2021.

Graduate Portfolio Days 
Provide reviews to prospective graduate students. Discuss SAIC culture and basic admissions details. Events are both in-person in Chicago (10/23), NYC(11/6), and San Francisco(10/30) as well as virtual(10/8, 11/21).

Portfolio days occur annually in October and November, with a training session in September 2021. Further details are available annually at saic.edu/graduate/events-and-visit.

Community Critique Day 
Students present your work virtually to faculty, alumni, and fellow applicants for feedback prior to submission. Reviews can be discipline-specific or interdisciplinary, and provide an opportunity to meet faculty, alumni, and members of the future incoming class.

Community Critique Day occurs December 4, 2021, from 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. virtually. Event details are available annually at saic.edu/grnext.

Receptions for Admitted Students 
At these celebratory welcome events for newly admitted SAIC graduate students, alums can speak with these new students about their own SAIC experience and how it’s shaped their lives post-graduation.

Receptions occur annually in March and April. Further details can be found at saic.edu/grnext.

Meet with Admitted Students 
Prospective students meet virtually with admissions counselors, staff, and alums to hear more about the application process, prospective students’ work, the School’s curriculum, and get a better sense of what it is like to be a student at SAIC. 

Meetings are scheduled by appointment by Grad admissions; Training sessions will occur in December 2021.

Interested in volunteering with Graduate Admissions? Please contact Patrick 'Q' Quilao at pquilao@saic.edu for more information.

SAIC Giving Day is one day per year when our entire community (alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends) all join together in support of the School that connects us. As a Giving Day Ambassador, you can help spread the word and create excitement about SAIC's Giving Day by reaching out to folks within the SAIC community, including fellow alums as well as your own network. SAIC’s next Giving Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, 2022.

Interested in becoming a Giving Day Ambassador? Contact alumni@saic.edu for more information.

When you donate to SAIC, you can choose an area of support that is most meaningful to you: the Fund for SAIC (Unrestricted), Career Preparedness Fund, Civic Engagement Fund, Parent and Family Fund, Scholarship Fund, Student Emergency Fund, and/or Wellness Fund.
You can now choose to give monthly through a recurring donation, making it easy to extend your support throughout the year. Select “make my gift recurring” on the online giving form or ask when you arrange your donation over the phone at 312.499.4190.  

You can learn more information about annual giving here.