Student RGD Members in their final year of study are eligible to participate in RGD's Mentorship Program
We have recently expanded the flexibility of RGD's Mentorship Program to allow for virtual Mentors and for short-term Mentors (1-2 meetings) or longer-term Mentors (4-6 meetings). When you complete the application form, you will be given options to select your preference.
Interested participants – mentors and mentees – are asked to complete a form outlining professional interests, preferences for being matched and availability. For example, you may prefer to be mentored by someone who has a particular set of skills or works in a specific type of industry. We will review the information you provide, consider your preferences and identify the most suitable candidates.
Is everyone who applies matched with a Mentor?
Unfortunately no. While we will do all we can to find appropriate matches for everyone, the pool of available mentors and interested mentees will not always be the same. If we cannot identify an appropriate mentor for you immediately, we will keep your name on file and let you know when we identify a candidate who is most appropriate.
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.