RGD’s Mentorship Program helps Emerging Designers make connections in the Industry

Many successful designers had a mentor in their career who helped them get where they are. RGD's Mentorship Program can help you find yours for support beyond what you are receiving through school or work.


RGD offers a new group of 10-20 Certified RGD Mentors 2 to 3 times a year – one group in the Winter and other groups in the Spring and Fall.
Senior design professionals are carefully selected to participate and provide details on what they have to offer as Mentors. We then invite all Provisional RGD Members to to apply for the Mentor of their choice.
After pairings have been arranged by RGD staff, Mentees are put in touch with their Mentors so they can begin scheduling up to 6 one-hour sessions with their Mentors to take place over a 6 to 9-month period. These meetings can be in-person or virtual depending on the locations and schedules of the participants. Details about the structure of the program are provided so young designers know what to expect before applying.
Student RGDs also have the opportunity to participate in an RGD Mentorship Program 2 times a year. In their case, they select from a list of Provisional RGDs and receive mentorship over a 3-month period.
The most recent round of the Program, which began in February 2020, paired 13 Provisional RGD Mentors and Student RGD Mentees and 15 Certified RGD Mentors with Provisional RGD Mentees. 


RGD’s Mentorship program is a way for emerging professionals to:

  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses
  • Understand how to navigate the industry and help you work through career and workplace challenges
  • Get a fresh perspective and help motivate you to do your best work
  • Make meaningful connections in the industry
  • Learn from the experiences of your mentors
  • Set your career goals and get advice on how to execute those goals

Here’s what some past mentees had to say about the Program:

Daniela Buitrago Provisional RGD, Communication & Graphic Designer at Daniela Buitrago

"The mentorship program is a fantastic experience because you get to talk to someone with years of experience in the industry for hours, and get the chance to create a genuine connection. Here are my recommendations to have a fantastic experience. First, remember this isn't an interview so you don't have to have all the answers — your mentor is there to lend you a hand. As much as you would love to impress your mentor, don't be afraid to ask questions, show all of your projects (even the unfinished ones) and share all your crazy dreams and aspirations. Secondly, respect your mentors' time, and make sure you are the one taking on the responsibility to coordinate the meetings. Lastly, make sure to discuss with your mentor what your goals are and ask them to help you narrow them down. My experience was great, and the last thing I'll share is to have a positive attitude and be open to constructive criticism."


Jack Henry Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at OmniWorx Inc

"I decided to participate in RGD’s Mentorship Program to be able to get additional perspectives about working as part of an in-house marketing team. I was the only Graphic Designer in the office of a small architecture firm, not to mention fresh out of school and I was looking for guidance on how to successfully navigate internal clients, amongst other things. Through meetings with my Mentor, I learned quite a lot. I liked that RGD gave a rough guide of what we could discuss but also left it open for me to talk about the challenges that I was having. We discussed my portfolio, the interview process along with a mock interview. She also gave me great advice on how to interact with my bosses and other staff at the firm and provided me with advice on how to present my work to them. Overall I had a great experience in RGD's Mentorship Program. I have no doubt that I grew because of the advice and I appreciated getting to connect one on one with someone who imanages internal clients and get the benefit of their experience."


Caitlin Legere Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Caitlin Legere Design

"I was very fortunate to be able to participate in the Mentorship program through RGD. From my first meeting, I felt inspired and supported to make positive changes in my career and in my freelance business.The RGD team put together potential topics to discuss at each meeting, which helped us stay on track while giving me the option to ask my own questions along the way. Having access to an experienced, professional perspective at this point in my career was extremely valuable and allowed me to gain insight into what I was doing well, where I could use improvement and how to implement changes that were unique to my situation."


Barbara Kowalski Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Barbara Kowalski Design

“RGD's Mentorship Program lets you connect in-depth with an experienced designer who you might not otherwise have access to. Mentors work with you on your goals, give advice, share past experiences and review your work. It's an incredibly generous and helpful (FREE!) program that would otherwise be hard to come by or expensive. I'm grateful to RGD for giving me this opportunity!”


Paul Twa Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Paul Twa Design + Illustration

“RGD's Mentorship Program has been so valuable to me as I started my first year in the industry. Having an outside perspective from someone versed in the design industry as I found my way through career hurdles was incredibly helpful. To have that structured expectation of a mentorship relationship allowed me to ask questions more freely than I would normally do when talking to more experienced designers. The program includes such a diverse group of designers that it really got me to think about what area I want to grow in and who would be the best fit to learn from. Both times I participated in the Program, I was so fortunate to find Mentors who met me exactly where I was at and offered me invaluable advice I couldn't have imagined getting. The consultation feedback on my portfolio was so valuable as it is rare to get a full hour plus one-on-one time with someone of that calibre looking at your work. This program alone was worth my Provisional Membership tenfold.”


RGD has a list of guidelines for Mentors and mentees to follow to make sure that both parties have a point of reference over the nine-month mentoring period.


We anticipate the next Round of Mentors will be presented in April with an application deadline in May. If you would like to find out more about the program, please email .