Antonio (Tony) Belton, senior manager of industrial design at Insight, is revisiting his alma mater University of Illinois at Chicago to share his advice and his journey in industrial design with the current design students. He is an official mentor to a new program called connectID.
connectID is an initiative to help industrial design students succeed by linking them to working professionals who are UIC alumni. The mentors will work with seniors, who will in turn mentor the juniors, who will work with the sophomores, thus creating a chain of industrial design experience and a “learning community.”
“Tony Belton from Insight Product Development is an outstanding example of a successful alumnus who has now graciously agreed to become one of the founding mentors of the connectID program,” said Stephen Melamed, professor at UIC and founder of the program. “He will help us establish these new learning communities, and make a significant contribution to the success of a small group of UIC ID students.”
Students will have a comprehensive learning experience by working with the mentors. Unfortunately not all students are able to secure an internship, so this mentorship program helps keep students abreast of industry and real-world projects, all while keeping the alumni engaged with the school.
“I am looking forward to working with the ID students,” said Belton. “I enjoyed my time at UIC in the industrial design program, and I am excited to share my experiences, mistakes and triumphs I have had as an ID professional. Hopefully the students can learn and grow from our time together.”
Each mentor in the connectID program meets with an assigned group of students once a month throughout the school year.
This is not Belton’s first experience working with students; he will continue his informal mentorships and his participation in advisory committees while working with connectID.