I can't think of too many professional affiliations that I've been associated with, but for some reason my relationship with RGD has lasted more than a decade, and is still going strong. From my design undergraduate studies to working full time in the graphic design field, how did we last so long?
While in school, I attended the HeadStart Conference (now called Creative Directions) where the one-one-one portfolio interviews helped me shed my presentation anxieties. To round out the event, the panel discussions on various topics exposed me to professionals from the industry and issues facing the field, which set the foundation for what to expect outside of my school bubble.
Fast forward a few years to my first design job, a transition that brought up some questions that I wanted to bounce off of someone from outside of my immediate workplace - someone with a different perspective, but who would be knowledgeable in the design field. The mentorship program was a great solution, and I was paired up with a mentor who I wouldn't have had access to had it not been for RGD.
Recently, I've been going through the process of hiring interns. Not only did posting on RGD's job board result in a number of qualified applicants for us to choose from, but they also ensured the description adhered to the most updated internship guidelines before posting it to the site. This showed me that RGD doesn't just talk about advocacy and standards for the industry, they walk the walk too. This was an informative process for me and I encourage any potential intern to do their research, know their rights, and take advantage of other resources available to them.
Throughout the different stages of my career, I've also attended the DesignThinkers Conference almost every year, where I have connected with peers and been introduced to design gurus, keeping me on track with industry trends that impact the work I produce.
Free access to the webinars, which cover diverse topics, helps me and my colleagues stay actively engaged and up-to-speed with industry insights throughout the year.
Some things seem to have come full circle as I've now had the opportunity to be an RGD Mentor myself and have participated as a reviewer and panelist at HeadStart. RGD has had many touch points throughout my design career - it's no wonder we've endured the test of time!