Where are you currently working and what is it that you do there?
I'm currently working as an SEM Coordinator at Saatchi and Saatchi. As a Coordinator, I am pretty much learning everyday. I overlook multiple Toyota Dealer Accounts making sure they are performing well on Google and Bing.
What does a typical day look like for you as an SEM Coordinator?
A typical day consists of multiple meetings within the team and clients, making sure campaigns are performing well and on budget and learning various related software.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your education and career background?
I have a background in medical genetics. I studied genetics in India and then moved to London where I did my Master's degree in the field. I worked there for four years, started as a lab technician and eventually climbed my way up to do research work. With time, I felt that it just wasn't for me anymore. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should have been. I thought that this feeling was maybe just stress and that it would pass, but then there came a time where I didn’t want to go to work anymore. That's not the feeling I wanted to have, especially if it’s something that you are going to be doing for the rest of your life. I decided to take a break and move back to India.
While I was on a break in India, I was offered a small modelling assignment. Eventually, I got into acting and theatres. When the time was right, I got married and moved here to Canada. After three years here, I got pregnant and had a baby. While I was on mat-leave, I had these constant thoughts – I wasn’t sure if this was a common feeling amongst other mothers, but I just felt like the world was passing by me and I was just sitting there and watching. I’d get this feeling every day. I would feel like I’d just had the most unproductive day, even though I was really, really sleep deprived from taking care of my baby. I didn't know when to blame hormones or just myself for being overwhelmed or whatever. That was the turning point that made me decide to start taking a course.
I was interested in digital marketing so I began by taking some courses online to get an understanding of what it was all about. Seeing the Google Analytics Dashboard for the first time was a life changing moment for me, knowing you would be able to track all of your digital marketing efforts. I took on a few internships before doing the BrainStation Digital Marketing Bootcamp because I wanted to get a better idea of what I can expect from an average work day in the industry. Studying a subject is one thing and working in it is always another. Getting to do some digital marketing work through those internships let me see if I really was passionate about the field. After I finished the BrainStation bootcamp I was offered a Teaching Assistant position for the following cohort. I worked as a TA at BrainStation for three months and then I was job hunting full-time after that. Within two months I managed to land the job I currently have – all with a baby.
How did you manage to balance everything with a newborn baby?
I was lucky to have some help at home. My sister in-law would actually look after my baby when I had to sit in front of my laptop to learn and complete my assignments. The program was really intensive. I would sleep just three or four hours a night because during the day I would have the classes and during the night I would stay up to finish my assignments and take care of the baby. I wouldn't say I found balance for those three months, I was mostly on autopilot and a zombie day and night. Once those three months were done, I took a week off before getting back to it. There definitely wasn’t a balance.
Why did you choose to study at BrainStation?
I decided to reach out to some students who had gone the master's degree route. After speaking to them, I found that a lot of them were really unhappy with their outcomes. When I reached out to people on LinkedIn who’d gone through a BrainStation Bootcamp, they, on the other hand, were all really happy with their outcomes. I also spoke with Learning Advisors at BrainStation, and they informed me that it would be a very intensive program.
I felt safe that BrainStation was the best choice for me.
What would you say was the highlight of your learning experience?
The first highlight would be that even though I did the bootcamp online, it still really felt like you were taking the class in-person. I was able to make friends with classmates online, with whom I still keep in touch with after the program. This is definitely a rare thing to expect from an online course. The Teaching Assistants were also amazing. They were very involved and were able to provide assistance full time, during class hours and even after hours.
The other highlight is that you aren’t just studying digital marketing, you also experience what it’s like to be a Digital Marketer. All the challenges you are presented with in the program are things the Digital Marketers actually have to face in the real world. It gives you a good idea of what you can expect once you're out of the course and working in the field.
Lastly, I really enjoyed how intensive the course was. It's what makes learning all the concepts so quickly actually possible. You have to be able to learn everything at a rapid pace in order to digest everything and move on to the next concept, so it really keeps you motivated.
Even though I did the bootcamp online, it still really felt like you were taking the class in-person. I was able to make friends with classmates online, with whom I still keep in touch with after the program. This is definitely a rare thing to expect from an online course.
What would you say was the most challenging part of the learning experience?
I had some prior experience, but not the kind that would help prepare me for the program. I think you need a little bit of knowledge just to get into it, but the rest is a challenge you have to face once you’ve signed up for admission.
The most challenging part for me was trying to match the pace of the program. It’s difficult to keep up, sometimes people break down in the middle of the course just out of exhaustion. It can seem like a lot to take in, and you can get down on yourself if you don’t get the grade you are looking for, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
I just loved the program, I’m definitely a flag bearer for BrainStation and I promote it whenever I can. It’s only three months long, so reward yourself by making the most of it.
How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career?
It had a huge impact on my career. What you learn is not all just theory, the program teaches you a lot of the skills you need in the real world. The program teaches you to speak up in social settings and provides you with a professional framework to prepare for presentations that you’ll be giving in your future career. It also helped that you have real companies coming into the classes, asking you to perform real tasks, and eventually presenting your findings back to them. Sooner or later you are going to come across these tasks in the real world and all this experience will help a lot.
BrainStation had a huge impact on my career. What you learn is not all just theory, the program teaches you a lot of the skills you need in the real world. The program teaches you to speak up in social settings and provides you with a professional framework to prepare for presentations that you’ll be giving in your future career.
What will you say were the most valuable skills you learned?
Learning how to quickly adapt and learn. And then technically speaking, I think all the software we learned. It helped provide me with a really good foundation for when I started my job.
What advice would you give to professionals that are considering a BrainStation course or bootcamp?
If you really like Digital Marketing, this is one place where you get to learn that and so much more. If you’re looking for that experience, why not just jump in?
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