RookieUp Career Bootcamps

Tools to help designers build great portfolios and get jobs.

RookieUp provides tools and short-term bootcamps to help aspiring UX/UI and Visual Designers bridge the gap between their creative education and their first design jobs. Work with a mentor to build your portfolio, create an amazing portfolio website, practice interviewing, and apply to jobs!

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Thanks for hunting us, Wells! Hey everyone! Alec from RookieUp here. This week we're relaunching RookieUp with a suite of new products laser-focused on helping aspiring designers build their portfolios and land their first jobs in the creative industry. We launched RookieUp in February with the goal of making it easy for aspiring creatives to chat with mentors. Since then, hundreds of students have used RookieUp, and we've carefully listened to the main problems many new designers face as they look for their first jobs. We've learned that, while there are a vast number of amazing ways to learn design fundamentals online, most students graduate from those programs with portfolios that still aren't quite personalized or comprehensive enough to stand out to employers. Unlike other bootcamps, ours are focused on helping new designers build up great portfolios *after* they've already started learning the fundamentals. Our 4-6 week "Career Bootcamps" are designed to help bridge the gap between someone's design education and their first design job. Students will work with a mentor to identify specific projects based on their goals (we're also partnering with some great nonprofits and startups so students can work on real client projects). They'll finish the program with a set of well-researched and comprehensive portfolio projects, a polished portfolio site, improved interviewing skills, and an action plan for landing their first job. Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts!
@alecmcguffey Nice! Seems like you guys are putting a lot of focus on the projects :) What would you say makes them different than the kind of design projects students might work on in other online courses?
@armstrong Good question. For our projects, we worked with hiring managers and experienced designers from across the creative industry to create comprehensive projects based on the types of work they want to see in junior ux and visual design portfolios. Our projects range from app design and landing page design to packaging design and marketing campaign creation. They also guide students every step of the way, from the initial research phase to how they should showcase their final designs on their portfolio site. We spent lots of time ensuring that our projects are simultaneously comprehensive (they guide students through the entire design process that real world designers would use on the same types of projects) while also being flexible (they help students come up with problems that exist in their target industries and then solve those problems using design). And like Sydney mentioned below, we try to encourage students to take advantage of our real client projects whenever they can so they get hands-on experience, another thing that recruiters have told us can really set a junior portfolio apart from the crowd.

Hi, I'm Claudia, business and career mentor at RookieUp since May 2017. I enjoy coaching young professionals on their career or freelance journey. I povide online mentorship and you can find my profile here:


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We're really excited to be launching these programs to make it easier for new designers to build great portfolios and ultimately get their dream jobs in the creative industry. :-) I've been on both sides of the equation before, having gone to design school, mentored on RookieUp, and taught students in design bootcamps, and know how difficult and frustrating it can be to finish a design course or bootcamp and then not be able to find a job right away. In most cases, the primary culprit for delayed job placement is someone's portfolio (either not being comprehensive or personalized enough to stand out to recruiters). We structured our new bootcamps to be hyper-focused on in-depth projects. Instead of assigning the same mini project briefs for the same theoretical clients to everyone, our projects guide students through the entire design process and allow them to work on clients (real or fictional) that match their career interests and goals. We encourage students to work on our real client projects or their own side project whenever possible so they get experience working within real world constraints and can finish the program with their designs actually being released into the real world!
Amazing work guys, congrats!
Hey guys, congrats on the launch! What's the vision for RookieUp? :)
@williamchanner Thanks Will! We see RookieUp growing into a tool that is complementary and mutually-beneficial to educational platforms and bootcamps as well as job placement firms and companies hiring designers. We're working on a few partnerships with design bootcamps to help their students polish their portfolios after graduation to increase job placement rates, and we're hoping to test out partnerships with the hiring side soon to place junior designers into jobs. Most of the opportunities for ongoing mentorship that exist today for junior designers and developers are attached to expensive bootcamps and end at graduation, and we want to be the solution for people who have already learned the basics and want to work with someone on an ongoing basis in a structured but flexible environment that is focused on the student's career goals instead of on a set curriculum. Thanks for asking!