AMA: Alec and Sydney from RookieUp

almost 4 years ago from , Founder at RookieUp

Hey guys! We're Sydney and Alec, the co-founders of RookieUp, an on-demand mentorship platform that lets aspiring creatives everywhere find and connect with mentors in areas like Visual Design, UX/UI Design, Photography, Motion Graphics, Illustration, and more.

We're building RookieUp because we know first-hand how difficult it can be to find creative mentors, especially if you're trying to enter a totally new field or don't live in a city with an active creative community. A year ago I (Alec) was teaching myself front-end development and UX design but with no close friends in either field, the smallest question could result in hours of frustration and fruitless internet searches. All I wanted was to be able to set up a 30 minute chat with someone who understood where I was in my learning process and could help ensure I was on the right path. Our goal is to make the process of finding a mentor straightforward and simple, so anyone anywhere can connect with the right expert at the right time to answer their questions, provide quality critique, and help them accomplish their creative goals.

We're excited to hear the DN community's questions, thoughts, and ideas for RookieUp. We'd also love to hear about the role of mentors in your creative journey and how they have helped shape your career path. Thanks for reading!

We'll begin answering questions on Wed, Feb 22 at 10am Eastern


  • Jose De La Vega, almost 4 years ago

    What would you recommend to a potential mentee to have ready before booking a session? Projects, questions, etc...?

    1 point
    • Sydney Ligouri, over 3 years ago

      Hi Jose, thanks for the great question! We've actually written at length about tips for people when they're preparing for their session.

      Before booking, people should consider what exactly they want to speak to the mentor about and have questions ready to submit when they book. We send those questions over to the mentor so they can decide if they're the best fit.

      In prep for a booked session, it's about making sure you've got some goals in mind before starting your session so you go into it knowing how to structure your time in order to get the most out of it. Then depending on if you're wanting to get some technical advice, a portfolio critique, or general insight you'll want to get yourself ready in different ways. For technical sessions it's about having files open and ready to screen share, for critiques you'll want to have sent your portfolio over to your mentor in advance, etc.

      For much more thorough tips on prep and session structure, hop over to our blog post here: https://www.rookieup.com/blog/tips-for-productive-mentor-sessions/

      2 points
  • Max LindMax Lind, almost 4 years ago

    Hey Alec/Sydney... thanks for joining us!

    • This bit resonates with me especially, "...don't live in a city with an active creative community"... do you ever envision RookieUp taking a next step beyond just the mentorship phase, and somehow engaging this community of folks who want to learn and those who want to teach?
    • How do you see the list of categories that mentors fit into expanding over time? (UX / UI Design, Visual Design, Illustration, Motion Graphics, Photography)
    • Talk a little more about pricing... are rates variable based on who you talk to, the category they fit in, the length of time, etc?
    • Are there particular types of mentors you're looking for as of today?
    1 point
    • Alec McGuffey, over 3 years ago

      Hey Max - thanks for the questions! Answers below...

      -Absolutely! Right now we're focused on creating an amazing experience for people looking to connect with online creative mentors for short term or long mentorship via video conversations. Like you said, it can be really difficult to break into the creative world if you don't know anyone in the industry or don't live in a city with in-person mentorship opportunities. However, our eventual goal is to build RookieUp into the go-to mentorship platform for professionals, whether you want a quick online chat, want to find a long-term mentor, or are looking to connect with someone in your city. The future of RookieUp isn't exclusively an online community, but also engages people within their cities and brings them together in person as well through one-on-one match ups or even group meet ups.

      -Over time, we want to grow into a platform that provides easy access to mentors for anyone trying to learn a creative or professional skill to advance their career. Once we've built an amazing platform for the current creative segments, we're excited to expand into new areas of the creative industry, like copywriting, front-end web development, digital marketing, product management, fashion design, music production, and more. The great thing is that everyone can benefit from mentorship, so the possibilities for where we can go are pretty limitless.

      -Pricing is completely up to the mentors. If you go on our site right now, you'll see a curated community of amazing creatives with experience in a huge number of industries, skills, client types, and more. We want to provide an easy-to-use platform that lets creative professionals offer some of their time each week for mentorship while also allowing them to supplement their income using the knowledge they've gained over years and years of study and practice.

      -As far as mentors we're seeking out – we're looking for people with a passion for teaching aspiring creatives in their fields and amazing portfolios of work. If you don't fall into one of the 5 creative categories we currently offer, definitely still reach out so we can be ready to add you to RookieUp soon.

      0 points