Arguably one the best perks of being an Ad Society member is the opportunity to join the Rookie-Guru program. Think of it as our twist on the classic “big-little” pairing system. New to Ad Society and need a quick crash course? We got you covered.

What is the Rookie-Guru program?

Glad you asked! Our Rookie-Guru program is a separate program outside of general body meetings hosted by Ad Society to facilitate mentorship and getting to know other members within Ad Society within a fun, non-professional setting. We have bonding activities and encourage pairs to talk outside of meetings to create a more inclusive environment within our organization. It’s a great way to make new friends, especially in this more-isolating environment of virtual school.

Sounds interesting. So, am I a Rookie or a Guru?

The main takeaway is that Rookies want a mentor and Gurus want a mentee. Generally, this is how we categorize Rookies versus Gurus:

  • Rookies: Underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores), recent transfers from other schools or other majors, and/or those who are exploratory in their craft and want a mentor to guide them within their space in the industry!
  • Gurus: Upperclassmen (juniors and seniors), hold leadership positions within Ad Society or other applicable societies pertaining to advertising/communications, and/or have selected a craft to focus on and willing to guide others into finding theirs!

Wait, but I’m a senior who still doesn’t know what to do in my field. What should I sign up as?

Truly, it is up to you. A good exercise to go through before deciding what to sign up for is to reflect back to your freshman-year self and see your progression. Even if you aren’t 100% certain about your path post-graduation, you most likely have a lot of wisdom to pass down to younger underclassmen who are just entering the industry. You can still be a mentor and not be an expert; in fact, we don’t expect any of you to be! We are all students, after all.

I was a Rookie last year but I’m still an underclassmen. What should I sign up as?

Again, it’s up to you! (Personally, I became a Guru during my sophomore year.) If you feel like you still have more to learn, sign up as a Rookie again. If you feel empowered to mentor, sign up as a Guru. It’s your own personal comfort that matters the most.

How are Rookies and Gurus paired? Is it random or do I get to pick?

Great question! The first step in the program is to create a slide in a shared Google Slides introducing yourself (more instructions on the deck). Rookies will get a chance to read over the Gurus slides and see who strikes their interest. (This sounds like a Tinder tutorial, but I promise it isn’t). You have until September 27th at 11:59PM to fill out your slide and this form.

From there, Gurus can reach out to potential Rookies for informal coffee chats, Facetime calls, or socially-distanced picnics. However, the main event is our virtual “speed dating” Zoom event where you will get the chance to meet everyone. After the event, you will submit the top five people you ~vibed~ with the most. The matchmaking duo, Jen and Christen (also know as Directors of MemberBiz) will work behind-the-scenes to pair you with your best fit!

Cool! So, what do you mean by “best fit?”

I wish I could say we have a top-secret formula that has been scientifically assessed, but I’d be a liar. Our method takes into account mutual interests from both the Rookie and Guru, including (but not limited to)…

  • Same hometown
  • Similar background
  • Similar craft (for example: a creative Rookie paired with a Guru focusing on art direction)
  • Compatible outside interests

At the end of the day, everyone in Ad Society can bond over their love for advertising, but other similarities can make the relationship that much richer!

What should I expect from my Rookie-Guru relationship?

As much as this is a mentorship program, it is really the base level of networking within Ad Society. Networking starts with your peers, and this is a perfect opportunity to make not only professional connections, but friends! We highly encourage you to interact with your Rookie/Guru outside of Ad Society general body meetings. Text each other Netflix recommendations, ask for help when applying to internships or bond over your love for Frank Ocean. This relationship is what you make of it, and like every relationship, it requires time and effort. But trust me, it will be one of the most rewarding aspects of your time as an Ad Society member (and at large, your experience at UF).

How do I sign up?

  1. Add your slide to this deck (which features more details on what to include in your slide).
  2. Once you added your slide, fill out this form.
  3. Hold tight for more information from MemberBiz (through a meeting or newsletter email)!

One last thought…

Rookie-Guru gave me some of the best moments during my time as an Ad Society member. If you are anything like me and felt skeptical about joining (especially as a Rookie who is nervous about meeting new people), this is the best opportunity to break out of your shell. The ad industry requires you to meet a lot of new people, make new relationships and maintain them for professional integrity, so this won’t be the first nor last time you have to start a relationship from the ground-up.

With this online-school format making us feel more disconnected than ever, this is a great chance to get to know other members who you wouldn’t know outside of seeing their rectangle in a Zoom call. I encourage every single member to sign up, especially Rookies, and take a chance on making a new friend. You won’t regret it.

Can’t wrap up this piece without giving a shout-out to my former Rookies, Alexis and Gaby! (Let’s set up a Group FaceTime date soon, ok?)

If you have any more questions, reach out via DM on Instagram (@ufadsociety) or email us: ufadsociety@gmail.com.