Apply for the RGD Mentorship Program to be paired up with a Mentor who has the knowledge and experience that will help you grow your professional design career.
Fill out an application by October 1, 2021. On the form, you will be asked to select your top 5 choices from our list of Mentors. This program is open to Student RGDs with priority given to students in their final year of study.
The Structure of the Program
You will have 3-6 sessions with your Mentor, 1 hour each between October 2021 and April 2022. Sessions will be virtual.
Any Student RGD not paired with one of our Mentors will be given the opportunity to participate in the Program with a different Provisional RGD Mentor in the industry with a similar background.
Designing your Sessions
Once the pairing has been finalized, you and your Mentor are ready to start the program! RGD will provide you with a list of discussion topics for each session, however, it is completely up to you and your Mentor what you'll want to cover in each session.
"As your mentor, I look forward to sharing my experience and passion for design, advertising and illustration. I can provide insight into both agency and freelance processes."
Sky Anderson Provisional RGD, Graphic Design Manager at Brand Ambition in Bowmanville, ON
Sky is a graphic designer living an outdoors-inspired and creative life in a rural town. After working as an Art Director at marketing agencies in Toronto, she moved and did a few marketing and design contracts at local agencies and a tourism organization before settling at a brand and marketing agency. Here, she handles new and existing design clients, project coordination, branding, social media content creation and web design. Sky is passionate about minimalist design that is accessible and unique. She also creates illustrative prints and products in her free time.
"As your mentor, I want to hear about your passions, what keeps you moving and understand the obstacles that are keeping you from achieve your goals. I will help by providing you tools to reach out to those professionals and companies in the right way so you can utilize your skills and excel."
Zunash Ashiq Ali Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at TEDxDonMills in Toronto, ON
I’m a graphic designer & visual storyteller with a knack for turning boring into bold with just the right pinch of Je ne sais quoi! I am a coffee addict and a hustler who has lived and worked on three continents. My design journey continued to the most colourful corner of the world, Toronto, where I developed digital expertise in graphic design, strategic advertising, branding, web analytics, web design and vendor management. I currently work as an in-house graphic designer in Downtown Toronto while helping small businesses and organizations develop brand identities and visual language as a freelancer.
“As your mentor, I can offer guidance for effective design project management - sharing insights on workflows and client/stakeholder relationships, from the perspective of someone who has worked in agencies, in-house and non-design roles. I can also speak to my work as an information and environmental graphic designer, and help hone your design approach (and share candid experiences) executing data/research visualization and built space projects.”
Loren Aytona Arena Provisional RGD, Signage & Wayfinding Designer at Cygnus Design Group and Principal at lorenaa | graphic + communication design in Vancouver, BC
Since 2008, Loren has supported local and international clients as an information, communication and environmental graphic designer. With a fondness for experiential graphic design, her immersive work can be found in museum exhibits, offices, hospitals and other built spaces all over the world. As a former researcher and content-producer, Loren loves supporting ambitious ideas and data-driven projects with genuine enthusiasm and thoughtful visual solutions. Her design approach is inquisitive, empathetic and always joyful.
"As your mentor, I will share my knowledge on design specializing after graduation along with how to prepare an engaging portfolio and showcase yourself. I will show you how to make meaningful connections in the design industry to set yourself up for success post-graduation. I can teach you all the right questions to ask on a design brief."
Rebecca Black Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Arnold Street Media in Toronto, ON
Having started in the field just two years - Rebecca has myriad experience in the industry and specialized in package design after graduation. Some of Rebecca’s packaging design clients have included Gatorade, Starbucks and Kraft Dinner. Along with package design, Rebecca’s day-to-day work focuses on social media content creation, UI and web design.
Dave Brynczka Provisional RGD, Freelance Graphic Designer in Toronto, ON
"As your mentor, I will share my experiences working in every kind of design environment, from in-house to agency to freelance to starting your own firm. We can also talk about the differences between working for a large corporate client and a small mom-and-pop store on “Main Street” and help you navigate and improve your relationship with clients or employers."
Jack Henry, Provisional RGD, Head of Design at OmniWorx Inc. in Toronto/Peterborough, ON
Jack has designed for a wide range of industries including tourist attractions, restaurants, retail stores, health care, sports & recreation, finance, trades people and community organizations. As well as helping companies develop their brand, he creates beautiful marketing materials, websites and signage. Jack started out working in-house for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada, the Ontario College of Teachers and Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects. He also worked for agencies including FleishmanHillard HighRoad. After starting OmniWorx, Jack has continued to build his portfolio, working with a wide range of small businesses and large corporations and organizations including Scarborough Arts and the CN Tower.
“As your mentor, I’m excited to hear about your experiences and hopes as a designer, and reflect on what I’ve learned from mine. I will share my passion for purposeful design, the need for strategy in your work, and the importance of being human in design and how that builds connection with your clients.”
Marin Hudson Provisional RGD, Creative Director & Co-Owner at Kitestring in Hamilton, ON
Marin is passionate about people, motivated by her community, and leads every Kitestring project from start to finish. Kitestring is a design agency serving community-based businesses in and around Hamilton, with vulnerable populations, nonprofit organizations and student groups. Motivated by the potential to create impact, she focuses on how to best communicate big ideas and spark action through strategic planning and design.
"As your mentor, I would like to hear about your experiences and share with you how to grow, evolve and achieve your academic and/or career goals in the industry."
Rachel Hwang Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Context Creative in Toronto, ON
From working in-house, as a freelance designer and in a studio setting, Rachel's work includes brand identity, communications design, as well as print and digital campaigns. She is intentional about being an integral and competent creative and is passionate about making positive contributions to the industry. When she is not working on creative projects, you can find her reading, cooking and travelling as much as possible.
“As your mentor, I will help you to define the path that is right for your career goals, refine and strengthen your portfolio and provide insight into the transition from student to working professional.”
Grant Irving Provisional RGD, Intermediate Designer at Cosmic Design in Toronto, ONGrant works in a studio environment for clients in both corporate and entertainment sectors. He is a graduate of the Graphic Design Advanced Diploma Program at Humber College and brings knowledge from working in both small studios and a large in-house organization. Particularly interested in branding and identity design, Grant believes that honest collaboration with both clients and colleagues is crucial to developing thoughtful solutions.
"As your mentor, I look forward to sharing my experiences and insights from both the creative industry, the corporate world and everything in-between. I will offer honest advice and help you navigate the intricacies and pain-points of our ever-changing field. More importantly, my goal is to help you hone and amplify your distinct voice and creative intuition as a budding designer."
Eunice Joaquin Provisional RGD, Senior Designer at The Brand Factory in Toronto, ON
Eunice is a graduate of George Brown College’s School of Design. Her design interests focus on visual identities, editorial and exhibit/environmental design. Before returning to school to pursue her passion for design, Eunice held roles in communications, research and executive talent strategy in the financial sector. In her spare time, she loves to travel, cook, eat good food, binge-watch documentaries, consume architecture & interior design magazines, dig for vintage records and stroll around Kensington Market. Originally hailing from Vancouver, she also holds a BA in Linguistics and French from the UBC.
"As your mentor, I can provide you with insight and guidance as an in-house designer in the non-profit and education sectors. I can help you tailor your portfolio and skill sets to ensure you put your best foot forward when applying and interviewing for your first design job."
Alan Joson Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at the Michener Institute of Education at UHN in Toronto, ON
While completing his portfolio for entry to OCAD, Alan discovered his passion and enthusiasm for graphic design and photography. He joined the corporate world for several years while simultaneously engaging in creative pursuits, including managing his own photography business. In 2010, Alan completed his studies at Humber College. Having further refined his design skills through his work at George Brown College and at the Ontario College of Trades, Alan now balances his role as the in-house graphic designer for the Michener Institute of Education at UHN with an active career as a freelance designer.
“As your mentor, I will share my experiences on the inner workings of running a freelance design business as well as my experience working full-time at a high-level agency. I look forward to helping you meet your design career goals – whether it’s through careful design critique, business and networking advice, insights into running a freelance business, tips on working with all types of clients and/or sharing the importance of accessibility.”
Grace Laemmler Prov RGD, Designer at Gravity Inc. in Toronto, ON
Grace is a multi-talented designer with a degree from NSCAD University in Halifax. Multi is the key descriptor here – print, web, multimedia, fine art, photography and jewellery design are among her many skills. This diverse background has allowed her to work with a wide range of clients including Sheridan College, Canada Type, Nimbus Publishing, various art galleries across Canada as well as individual artists.
A graduate of Mohawk College, Jamie is a full-service Graphic Designer based in the GTA who specializes in brand identity design. Jamie has extensive industry experience and currently works for Moneris' in-house studio, Creative Lab.
"As your mentor, I will impart my knowledge and love for meaningful design. I can help you improve your strategic and evidence-based design thinking, building your confidence, skills and clout with clients and employers."
Kerri MacLeod Provisional RGD, Senior Multimedia Designer at RC Design Inc in Newmarket, ON
Kerri is a multi-disciplinary designer and information architect, with additional skills in front-end programming. She is a strong conceptual thinker and strategically-focused designer with proven leadership abilities. Kerri has been assisting companies with their branding and marketing needs for over 10 years. In 2013, Kerri received an Award of Excellence in Typography from Communication Arts. Active in the community, Kerri has taught at Ladies Learning Code and run workshops for high school students.
"Design is so much more than just type, photography, shape and colour. It can be an idea, an experience, a story, a feeling and/or an opinion. Let's talk about your work but also where that work can take you as an individual and what it can do for others."
Austin Mateka Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Maple in Toronto, ON
Austin is a multi-disciplinary designer who takes complex ideas and presents them in an engaging way. At Canada's leading virtual care provider, Maple, he is primarily focused on branding and web design. Outside of work he specializes in and is a dedicated advocate for the mental health industry, helping organizations connect with their communities and supporters through design. Austin also has experience working for clients in advertising, transportation, construction and entertainment.
“It takes a great deal of care to bring a brand to life. As your mentor, I’ll share my process for building brands that allow my clients to express themselves confidently and authentically within their businesses. I can share my experiences working in advertising, developing small and large brands, infusing your art into your design work and growing your business as a freelancer.”
Heather Mitchell Provisional RGD, Freelance Designer & Brand Curator in Brantford, ON
With a BFA in Fine Arts and over eight years of experience in the advertising and design industry, Heather has a talent for articulating the beauty within a brand and elevating it through visual storytelling for deeper meaning. As a freelance graphic designer, artist and brand curator, Heather is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience to help others on their creative journey.
"As your mentor, I will share insights on how to build and foster meaningful connections within the industry, and help you improve, refine and curate your portfolio to better reflect your passions and areas of interest. I will also help guide you through the transition from student to working professional."
Olivia Montagnese Provisional RGD, Freelance Designer in Toronto, ON
Graduating from Humber College in 2018, Olivia is a graphic designer and artist who has gained a variety of experience working within the design, advertising and in-house spaces on projects in the finance and healthcare sectors. With an interest in arts and culture, she hopes to shift perspectives and create unique and meaningful experiences through her work.
“As your mentor, and a (somewhat) recent grad, I look forward to sharing my experience navigating the early years of my design career, job-hunting, working within a studio environment and balancing full-time creative work with personal projects. If you’re curious about how to create genuine connections within this transitional time of your life, I would love to help.”
Zyre Moss-Hoskins Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Becoming Design Office Ltd. in Victoria, BC
At Becoming Design Office, Zyre combines her love for traditional media with digital processes. Her experience spans branding, packaging, editorial and environmental, with a focus on sustainability and social good. She is also a painter, illustrator and hand-letterer.
With over 8 years of graphic design and marketing experience, Amelia runs her design studio - Amelia Nash Design - while pursuing her Masters in Branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Amelia’s strengths are in design systems and brand strategy, marketing and visual communications. She loves collaborating with other designers, educating designers on how to create impact with design and breaking outdated design industry standards and beliefs. Her hobbies currently revolve around finding the best hot dog in New York City and she is so excited to help you in your creative journey!
Dustin worked at Tyger Shark for 7+ years, leading a creative team of 5-8 designers. He spearheads the creative production for clients primarily in eCommerce and digital executions. More recently, Dustin has moved into a more product-focused position with GhostRetail, a live one-to-one video shopping platform where his role includes UX + UI design and product management. Dustin’s skills vary across all things creative with a strong passion for organization and process improvement.
"As your mentor, I’m looking forward to talking about your interests and goals as a designer. I will share my experience as an agency and in-house designer and tips on building a strong portfolio and elevating your skills."Mélany Pelletier-Vaillant Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, ON
Mélany is an interdisciplinary graphic designer who loves all things design! Having completed her studies at Algonquin College, she has both in-house and agency experience and currently works for the Student Life team at U of O. She focuses on branding, illustration, web design and much more. After work, Mélany is a freelancer and passion project enthusiast.
"As your mentor, I will help you to build your design career path at an early stage. We will find your strengths together, focus on developing your unique skills, then plan for how to present this to the world. I understand the struggles as a student and recent graduate. I will share my journey to becoming a full-time in-house designer and provide you practical advice on how to build your career."
Jaehee Rho Provisional RGD, Junior Graphic Designer at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, ON
With graphic/digital design experience in both Korea and Toronto, Jaehee has experience in industries such as non-profits, marketing agencies, freelance for individual clients and she worked as an IC, and design manager. She graduated from Humber College’s Multimedia Design & Development program focused on brand strategy, motion, UI/UX design and has a bachelor’s in Visual Communication Design in Dankook Uni, South Korea.
"As your mentor, I will provide you with real-world insights based on my experiences as an in-house designer within the signage and wayfinding industry. I can offer you my knowledge of tips and tricks for working in corporate (and sometimes not so corporate) environments. I can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses to help guide your path to success as a designer and beyond!"
David Tauro Prov RGD, Signage & Wayfinding Designer at Twilight in Vaughan, ON
As an in-house designer, David provides his knowledge of design, manufacturing and wayfinding systems to large-scale interior and exterior signage solutions for a wide variety of projects. He has an extensive background in marketing coordinating, project management, corporate identity and branding/brand management. David can offer you crucial insights on how to navigate a myriad of working environments from start-ups, to corporate and manufacturing environments.
"As your mentor, I will share my experiences working as an editorial designer both in a studio setting and in-house setting. I can also help you with networking and making meaningful connections within the design community."
Ashley Tomlinson Provisional RGD, Freelance Graphic Designer in Toronto, ON
Ashley is a multi-disciplinary graphic designer who received an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design from Humber College in 2019. Recently, she was the junior designer at Studio Wyse where she worked on editorial projects for the University of Toronto, Ryerson and the Creative Destruction Lab. She is currently the graphic designer at Clean Eating Magazine. She’s also a cofounder of Cove Collective, a community that centres the voices of BIPOC women through events, workshops and podcasts. Ashley is always up for a conversation; her favourite topics include intersectional feminism, books and dogs.
"As you mentor, I will share my insights as a Junior Designer to help guide you as a Grad going into the design industry and help you with the tips to kick-start your career. I can help you determine what goals and passions you have and how to reach them."
Niki Westlake Provisional RGD, Producer Graphic Design at Interactive Workshops in London, UK
Originally from Ontario, Niki has hopped across the pond to the UK where she has been working at an L&D consultancy as an in-house Graphic Designer. Niki is always striving for new ideas and creative outcomes. She has worked with organizations and individuals across the globe – including Warner Music, Jacobs Douwe Egberts and Red Bull. She also designed and co-authored an Amazon #1 Hot New Release in HR, Lockdown Learnings. Graphic design has been a long-time passion for Niki, and she is always excited for the next project to come along.