Mentorship for Students

Fill out an application by February 15, 2019. On the form, you will be asked to select your top 3 choices from a list of 15 mentors. This program is only open to Student RGDs in their final year of study.

 

The Structure of the Program
You will have 3-6 sessions with your Mentor, 1 hour each between February and May 2019. Sessions can be held locally or remotely depending on the location of both the Mentor and Mentee.

 

Any Student RGD not paired with one of our 15 Mentors will be given the opportunity to participate in the Program with a different Provisional RGD Mentor in the industry with similar qualifications.

 

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.

 

If you have any questions about the program, email .

 

Mentors

 

“As your Mentor, I would share my knowledge and passion for branding and illustration, offer assistance to improve your portfolio, provide insight into my creative process and explain how to become more productive in generating concepts.”

Logan Brazeau Prov RGD

Logan is the creative driving force and founder of Hatch Creative, a branding and illustration studio in Peterborough. He has extensive experience creating engaging designs and immersive brands, working with clients ranging from grass-roots start-ups to multinational organizations. His work has been recognized by LogoLounge, Applied Arts and the Redgees.

 

"As your mentor, I will encourage you to explore your typographic boundaries — be it trying new typefaces, toying with multi-typeface design or playing with unconventional grid systems. I'll also offer up advice on how to delve into the world of freelance — sharing my many anecdotes on mistakes and lessons learned and tips on how to run your own business."

Daniela Chavez Ackermann Prov RGD

Dani is a geographer-turned-designer born and raised in Lima, Peru. She's lived in Ottawa for the past 10 years, where she co-founded a boutique branding studio by the name of Salt — a project which started with nothing but a single table, two laptops and two eager brains. The eagle-eyed, resolutely optimistic half of the duo, she brings a passion for typography, packaging and layout into the mix, as well as heading communications and taking care of the project management schedule. 

 

"As your Mentor, I will share my knowledge and experience from working in various lanes of our industry to assist you in your creative journey as a designer."

Nathan Fong Prov RGD

Nathan is a graphic designer of 5+ years experience in marketing, retail, print, production and web design. He has worked with clients including Adidas, Nestle, Sunkist, Goodlife Fitness, Postmedia and various universities including Wilfred Laurier, Guelph and McMaster U. Currently he is a lead graphic designer at Adidas Canada, creating graphics for brand experiences, marketing activations and retail stores nationwide.

 

"I will share my knowledge and insight on how to adapt to and love both design boutique and ad agency environments. I will also help you to identify your career goals and craft your portfolio and your own brand to help you achieve them."

Antonia Goga Prov RGD

Having worked in both the design boutique and ad agency environments, Antonia brings a unique perspective to her work that expands from all aspects print to digital to experiential. Currently, she is a Senior Designer at TAXI, an ad agency that uses an integrated approach to build powerful brands. Her work has received accolades from some of the most prestigious national and international organizations. 

 

"As your Mentor, I will share my experiences of working with an in-house design team along with my knowledge of balancing creativity in the corporate world."

Laura John Prov RGD

With 5 years of industry experience, Laura is Senior Graphic Designer at Liteline Corporation in Richmond Hill. Working hand-in-hand with the Marketing Director, Laura work with the in-house marketing team to ensure all graphics meet brand guidelines while providing a clear message for clients. With a strong print background, she takes the lead on projects ranging from brand creation, event displays and marketing to promotions and user experience.

 

"As your mentor, I will offer insight into delving deep into creative concepts for robust brand storytelling. We'll explore traditional graphic design principles which can be applied to modern solutions for branding and design of all types."

Jared Lebel Prov RGD

Jared is a graphic designer and musician from Ottawa and co-founder of the boutique branding agency Salt. He's always had a passion for all things weird and creative and carries this with him in life.

 

"As your mentor, I will speak to the realities of working in a studio environment and what it’s like to work on creative for an established international brand. I can offer advice on making yourself stand out in a crowd (even if you’re an introvert) and discuss how to stay creatively invigorated through the daily grind."

Jen Needle Prov RGD

Jen is a graphic designer at Cineplex Digital Media in London where she works on various print, digital and motion projects for Tim Horton’s restaurants. Outside of her day job, she makes time for a few personal and freelance projects while aiming to maintain that magical work/life balance. 

 

"As your mentor, I will share my knowledge and experience running a full-time freelance business (sole proprietorship) and a design agency (incorporation with employees and contractors). As both a designer and developer, I will help you grow as a web designer by challenging you with new ideas, tools and technologies."

Dave Nighbor Prov RGD

Dave earned his Bachelor of Design with Honours from York U and Sheridan College. Over his 10-year design career, he has crafted brands for national companies, worked with Canada’s top marketers and designed mobile apps for millions of users worldwide. Raised in North Bay, Dave attended Chippewa Secondary School and skied for Team Canada in 8 World Championships and won 13 Canadian Championship golds. In 2018, 9 Lives Design won 2018 Northern Ontario Company of the Year.

 

"As your Mentor, I will share my insights on how to stay ahead in the industry and continuously adapt in a fast-paced creative agency. I will share my knowledge on process improvement, being proactive with your clients, how to be a resourceful designer and your own teacher."

Dustin O'Donnell Prov RGD

Dustin is the Art Director at Tyger Shark in Barrie where he leads a creative team of 5 designers, spearheading the creative production for highest caliber clients, primarily in e-commerce and digital executions. Dustin also keeps the team current in new technologies including in 360º video production, animation, AR, VR and more.

 

"As your mentor, I look forward to sharing my experience, passion for design and knowledge of both print and digital design. I can offer insight into the agency and freelance creative process, concept creation and practical skills."

Lin Oosterhoff Prov RGD

Lin is a print and digital designer from The Netherlands, loving an outdoors-inspired life in a small town in the Canadian Rockies. With about a decade of experience in branding and print design, she currently works as a designer at Critical Mass - an international digital experience agency headquartered in Calgary, Alberta - where she works on UX/UI-related projects and digital campaigns. She is passionate about minimalist [brand] design and well-executed digital solutions.

 

"As a Mentor, I will offer kind but honest advice and will share the values of my design practice: to be informed by personal experience, to use a lateral approach to research and experimentation and to desire to make the world less shitty. "

Carl Shura Prov RGD

My design experience includes agency, in-house and boutique studio workflows, as well as a solid understanding of client/studio relationships as an independent freelancer. I’m comfortable in print, digital, environmental and exhibit design, and I value the power of personal projects and design in community. As the in-house designer at ERA Architects in Toronto, I regularly consult on heritage letterforms, (re)create signage and inscriptions in the built environment and develop interpretation plans and exhibits for heritage sites.

 

"As your mentor, I will both share my insights and experience as an independent freelancer and working in studio settings. I can help you identify your goals and be your guide as you work towards fulfilling them."

Alex Tapia Prov RGD

Alex is an interdisciplinary designer based in Halifax where he focuses on graphic design, art direction and photography. His clients include independent artists, entrepreneurs, educational institutions and museums.

 

 

"As your Mentor, I will share my knowledge of brand design, large format printing and client relations. I would also offer tips to enhance your ability to network and promote yourself and your design work as well as encourage best practices and ethics in design."

Derek Veenhof Prov RGD

I am a graphic designer and digital illustrator working in the sign industry with Reimer Graphics in Beamsville, Ontario. Our work includes custom signs and large format printing for clients such as Tim Hortons and Boston Pizza. My freelancing work through my company Shapestate Creative encompasses brand identity, logo design, print and web design, layout and typesetting. I am also a working DJ and producer and in this space I've had great opportunities to create and design for friends and colleagues in the Niagara Region music scene.

 

"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 your clients."

Kerri Williscroft Prov RGD

Kerri is a multidisciplinary graphic designer and information architect, with additional skills in front-end programming. She is a strong conceptual thinker, outstanding visual 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 was  honoured by the Award of Excellence in the category of Typography from Communication Arts. Active in the community, Kerri has taught at Ladies Learning Code and run workshops for high school students.

 

"I look forward to sharing passionate conversations about design, on how the industry is moving forward and can provide insights on freelancing or project-based work.”

Emily Woudenberg Prov RGD

Emily is the founder of Strike Design Studio in Toronto. An entrepreneurial designer that is passionate about using design processes to bridge mediums and messages, she has broad experience in art direction, product development, digital brand strategy and design thinking. She has over 7 years experience working with brands that include Joe Fresh, Roots and Tokyo Smoke.

 

 

What does it take to be a good Mentee?

1. Be teachable.

Be willing to learn new things, obtain another perspective and be responsive to constructive criticism.

 

2. Be considerate of Mentors' time.

Mentors have very demanding jobs and work schedules. They often spend considerable time in meetings, or are involved in work-related travel. It’s not uncommon for a design professional to receive more than 200 emails a day, many of which urgently need a response! Be patient and recognize that a mentor may not be able to respond to you immediately.

 

3. Be prepared.

It’s up to you to make the most of the limited time you will have with a mentor. Before a meeting, select two or three critical issues you need help with. Develop specific questions that you would like answers to. Consider bringing your resume and portfolio to a meeting for review.

 

4. Be professional.

Respond in a timely manner to your mentor’s questions and comments. Be responsible about any meetings you schedule. Don’t cancel at the last minute, show up late or not show up at all. Maintain your agreed-upon boundaries and level of confidentiality. Although it is unlikely that your mentor will hire you, you will be able to use him or her as a reference if you have behaved professionally during your mentoring relationship.

 

5. Be flexible to the needs of your mentor.

Although RGD has developed guidelines for this program, your mentor may have a specific way that they would like to maintain the relationship. Follow any special requirements that your mentor sets out for you. For example, when your mentor tells you about a particularly busy period, be respectful of this.

 

6. Be receptive to your mentor’s manner.

You can learn from not only what your mentor tells you but how he or she behaves during your meetings and responds to emails. Does your mentor write in a more formal tone than your friends do? If so, you may want to mirror the more formal tone during your email exchanges.

 

7. Have realistic expectations.

Don’t expect your mentor to solve your problems for you. In particular, don’t expect your mentor to get you a job. Remember that a mentor is human and can make honest mistakes. You may not always agree with their advice.

 

8. Communicate clearly.

Identify your needs and communicate them as clearly as possible. Be a good listener and communicator. Read emails to your mentor for clarity, spelling and grammar.

 

9. Honour your commitment.

Not all interested candidates will be lucky enough to be matched with a mentor right away. If you are one of the select few, make sure you maintain the relationship for as long as you commit to. If, for some reason, you do not wish to continue the relationship, let RGD know so that we can provide the opportunity to another.

 

10. Keep RGD staff informed.

Respond to requests from RGD staff. These will be kept to a minimum. And let us know if you do not hear from your mentor so that we can help to get you reconnected. And certainly let us know if there are any issues with a mentoring relationship that we can help with.