Student Spotlight | Kate Ryan, Digital Marketing

By BrainStation September 7, 2018

digital marketerKate is a Theatre major who made the career switch from acting to technology, recently moving into a new position as the Communications Specialist at Toronto-based Flipp. Having previously worked in customer experience, Kate is looking to develop her digital marketing skills to equip her for this change and is currently enrolled in BrainStation’s part-time Digital Marketing course at our Toronto campus. We asked Kate about her decision to take the course, and how she feels it will help her excel in her new role.

BrainStation: What is your education and career background?

Kate: I did my undergrad at UBC and finished with a BA in Theatre Theory. I then dove head first into a career in professional acting. Turns out, after thinking that was all I wanted, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the lifestyle. I ended up co-founding a children’s entertainment company (fun fact: I am a retired birthday party princess) after this and before making a jump into tech. I worked in sales for a company called Bench Accounting in Vancouver, and then moved home to Toronto. I landed a job at Flipp on their [Customer Experience] team, and have recently made the transition onto the Marketing and Communications team as their new Communications Specialist.

What do you do currently?

I work for Flipp as their Communications Specialist.

Which course are you taking with us?

Part-time Digital Marketing

Why are you taking this course?

Digital marketing plays a huge role in business success nowadays. I want to ensure that no matter where my career takes me, I have a baseline understanding of how it works and how it can be leveraged.

How did you first hear about BrainStation?

A friend of mine worked at BrainStation – so I was hearing about events that BrainStation was hosting. After the first workshop I attended at BrainStation TO (go UX design principles!), I was intrigued at what [else] I could learn.

What aspects of the course are you most interested in?

I’m most excited (and nervous) about learning the really technical and analytical side of digital marketing. I’ve never been all that comfortable with numbers and collecting hard data, and I think this will be the push I need to not feel intimidated by analytics that come with a job in marketing.

What sparked your decision to register for the course?

Career development! I’ve recently made a jump from a very customer centric and customer facing role into a more ‘behind the scenes’ role in communications and marketing. I want a better understanding of how modern day marketing works for companies, and how I can leverage what I learn at BrainStation in my new role.

What aspect of the course will be the most applicable to your day-to-day work?

Surprisingly, my learnings from the Digital Marketing course are already being put to practice. I’ve been asked to be part of a team that is reinventing one of our external facing website pages. My learnings around SEO are already coming into play. Additionally, sitting in meetings with our marketing and acquisition teams are less intimidating now that I better understand the paid social media strategies they’re referencing!

How do you feel that BrainStation will equip you to excel in your role as a communications specialist?

With what I’ve learned in the Digital Marketing course at BrainStation, I’m better able to work cross-departmentally. Working in communications, a huge part of my role is to understand what other departments need from us. We may need to write for them, we may need to help them with external facing projects – it could be anything. Being equipped with these digital marketing skills allows me to better understand what other departments are doing and measuring their results against. I’m excited to see how I can be a part of cross-functional projects now that I have these skills.

Want to gain skills in digital marketing like Kate? BrainStation offers part-time courses in Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and Social Media Marketing.