Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background?
I completed my undergrad at the University of Waterloo in Arts and Business, with a major in Speech Communication and a minor in Digital Arts Communication. The co-op program at the University of Waterloo really helped me jump-start my career. I completed almost all of my co-op terms at RBC, where I rotated through different roles and gained experience in various areas related to communications, design, and marketing. I graduated in 2017 with three years of work experience already under my belt.
My first full-time gig out of university was at RBC as a Content Marketing and Design Specialist, where I was responsible for art directing photo and video shoots, creating content for our owned media channels and aligning our marketing campaigns to the brand guidelines. This role really crafted my creative chops and I had the opportunity to explore all the creative areas of marketing.
I left RBC in early 2018 and I am now a Digital Marketing Manager at Scotiabank’s Digital Factory, where I lead the mortgages and small business portfolio for search, social, and display marketing campaigns. The transition from RBC to what I do now was not linear but the BrainStation Digital Marketing course helped me bridge that gap and get to where I am today.
What was your motivation behind taking the Online Live Digital Marketing Course?
From RBC, I moved to Scotiabank on a similar team where I had the opportunity to build the framework for marketing campaigns, creative projects, and brand standards. During my tenure at Scotiabank, I grew curious about the ecosystem of marketing beyond the creative scope. I couldn’t help feel like something was missing from my metaphorical “career toolbox.”
Late 2018, during the time of our year-end reviews, my manager and I had a very honest discussion about my career journey and where I envisioned my career heading in the coming years. I indicated my interest in joining the Acquisition Marketing team at Scotiabank’s Digital Factory but understood that this was going to be a big learning curve from my current role at the time. I had experience in social media and content marketing, but the world of acquisition marketing, especially in search and display, was a whole new beast, and I wasn’t sure how my past brand marketing experience would compare.
After this conversation, I did some research to see how other folks in the marketing industry made the switch. After a few hours down a rabbit hole researching marketing courses, certifications, and everything in between, I stumbled upon BrainStation’s Online Live Digital Marketing Certificate Course. I put together a proposal for my VP’s approval to authorize this learning expense for my career development. After I started the course, I grew more interested in acquisition marketing roles, and with my manager’s support, I started a secondment on the Acquisition Marketing team where I was able to apply what I learned in the BrainStation Digital Marketing course to real-life projects.
What were some of the most valuable skills you gained during the course? Have these skills aided your professional development?
I think the timing of the course in relation to my secondment really helped boost my career development.
Since most of my past experience revolved around the creative side of marketing, I was able to further develop my left-brain skills including data analytics and strategy, which was crucial to the success of my career path change. Due to the nature of the course structure, I felt like I got an inside track to a Digital Marketing role where I could observe and learn the basics about the job before getting thrown into the real world.
What was the highlight of the Online Live course?
The Online Live learning experience was definitely unique to me. At first, I found it a bit strange to be on webcam, virtually participating in a class, but as with every good learning experience I decided to embrace it and soon got used to the virtual classroom. As the classes went on, it felt more and more like an in-person course, except that in this one, I could be in the comfort of my own home.
I think the highlight of my experience was getting the opportunity to take my Online Live learning experience to in-person. I know not everyone is able to do this depending on their location, but I was able to meet with my Instructor over coffee to learn more about his experience. I also met with some members of my project group in person and was able to build on that virtual relationship. Even though it’s online, it’s still very community-based.
I had experience in social media and content marketing, but the world of acquisition marketing, especially in search and display, was a whole new beast.
Do the skills you learned in the Digital Marketing course assist you in your role?
Shortly after I completed the BrainStation Digital Marketing course, I transitioned into a new role in the Acquisition Marketing team at Scotiabank’s Digital Factory. I found that I was able to apply what I learned in the Digital Marketing course to my role. The BrainStation Digital Marketing course provided the foundation I needed to build upon my skills and grow as a digital marketer.
Did the Online Live experience at BrainStation differ from past online learning courses?
The Online Live experience was very different from other online courses I’ve taken in the past because the “live” portion of the class made it feel like you were in the classroom in-person learning the material. If I had a question, I could simply ask it in real-time to the Instructor, instead of having to send an email or message to get a response hours later. I found that this made the learning experience much better and more enjoyable than past experiences.
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