Digital Marketing Student Spotlight: Abigail, Krizelle, and Jainer
Get to know our Digital Marketing students from the Spring 2017 Cohort: Abigail, Krizelle, and Jainer. Right now, the students are half-way through the full-time programs. Here, they share their experience so far and where they want to be after their RED journey is over.
What did you do before coming to RED & what brought you here?
Abigail: I was working full-time as a retail sales associate for a designer brand. I wanted a career change and decided that 2017 would be my big year to do it.
Krizelle: I just graduated from UBC with a Psychology degree and was looking for a full-time job. While on my search, I realized that I didn’t like any of the career options that my degree offered and that I was more interested in marketing and advertising.
I had a couple of friends who attended RED and they all recommended it to me if I wanted to gain practical skills and get hands-on experience. Since I was really interested in social media and working with brands, I thought the Digital Marketing program would be ideal for me. So I took the plunge, applied, and now here I am.
Jainer: My educational background was geared towards the restaurant industry where I worked as a chef for a few years after high school. I came to RED because I wanted to change careers. However, I wasn’t too enthusiastic in going the typical 4 year route of university. RED appealed to me because I find the system to be similar to what I went through in culinary school: a fast-paced learning environment where you immediately implement the things you learn through practical applications.
If you decided on a career change, what motivated you to move to the tech industry?
Abigail: I believe that everything is linked to the digital world somehow, just look at retail, for example. If you are a retailer that does not have an eCommerce channel, then you’re missing out on a huge chunk of the market. There are many retail companies that are closing up shop because they are finding it difficult to compete with how consumers shop these days.
A lot of consumers like to do their research online about a product or service. They may visit the physical store to feel out the product (depending on what it is). But once they feel acquainted with the brand and trust it enough to make a purchase, they are likely to complete their transaction online because it’s convenient.
I was also motivated to move into the tech industry because my marketing education was lacking experience. It was challenging, trying to get into a marketing role straight out of school. I did the whole internship (unpaid) thing and learned a lot, but it was not financially sustainable for me. So I fell back into what I knew how to do well; provide exceptional customer service in the retail setting.
Being in retail sales also helped enrich my understanding of marketing, since I was an integral part of it.
Krizelle: What motivated me to go into the tech industry is knowing there’s a lot of growth and opportunities here as everything is going digital and online. I want to be in an industry that Is constantly growing and pushing the boundaries.
Jainer: My brother initially got me interested in the industry when I couldn’t decide what to do with my life. I already had an interest in marketing and my brother basically just nudged me to the digital side of it.
What future opportunities do you see in the tech industry?
Abigail: Digital marketing is going to be a key aspect for small businesses and large companies alike. About 5 years ago or more, a job with the title “Social Media Strategist” was foreign and too new to be a viable profession.
Now, companies need to evaluate their marketing strategy to include digital and social, since their consumers exist on multiple channels. To target these consumers, a business/company would be wise to leverage these channels and start creating genuine interactions and dialogue.
Krizelle: I think there are a lot of opportunities in the tech industry especially in Digital Marketing as everything is going digital and online. I see a lot of jobs being available because of the lack of people with the right skills and knowledge.
Jainer: I see lots and lots of growth in digital marketing. The world will eventually move to digital and businesses are growing and expanding and will need people with this skill set.
How is RED helping you reach your career aspirations?
Abigail: What I am currently learning at RED were not addressed in my previous education in marketing. I already feel more confident as a future Digital Marketer because I know that the knowledge and skills I’m acquiring now are necessary, and valuable.
Krizelle: RED is teaching me the right tools that I need to become successful in the career that I want. It has also given me a lot of opportunities to build my professional network through the various events that they hold.
Jainer: RED teaches practical skills that are used in the workplace. I find RED to be similar to culinary school in the sense that you learn something one hour and the next you’re applying it to a project. I’m learning useful information that I know will benefit me in the future.
As well as providing a valuable skill set, RED provides an amazing environment to learn in. The culture is warm and inviting. It’s less like a school and more of a place where you can learn and cooperate with friends.
What are your career goals after RED?
Abigail: I hope that I can apply my newfound knowledge of analytics and content strategy as a Digital Marketing Strategist for a restaurant company, since I have a love of food, but don’t cook. I dine out a lot.
If not the restaurant/food industry, I also have an interest in fashion (from my previous experience in retail fashion).
Krizelle: I would love to work for a major beauty brand as part of their social media team. But ultimately I would like to build my own brand and be able to work with companies.
Jainer: I would like to combine my previous experience in the restaurant industry and my newfound knowledge of digital marketing and try to pair it like a great meal and a fine wine, ideally.
I don’t want to limit my options so I want to see what’s out there and continue to learn and grow. I want to work in a place that always feels fresh and exciting with like-minded people.
What’s your favorite part about RED or the highlight of your education at RED so far?
Abigail: The sense of community. This is definitely fostered with “Town Hall” and “Friday Social”. We’re all here to learn, but we can also have fun doing it! There is a balance between work and play at RED, and I like that. Also, my classmates in DM have become my second family 🙂
Krizelle: The people and the atmosphere. I love how it’s not like a traditional school and the sense of community is really strong. I look forward to every Friday because of Social. I love being able to relax and bond with the different departments and just have a good time. Plus free beer!
Jainer: The projects. The first project we had involved us designing our own personal branded site and building a digital marketing strategy for it. Everything we learned in the first month was applied to this project.
After that was complete, we were given our first client project. This time we were dealing with the real thing. Real people. Real experience. Everything tries to emulate a real work setting and I find that absolutely helpful and unique for us, the students.
What has RED taught you about yourself or what surprising thing have you learned about yourself?
Abigail: RED has helped me realize that I’m more of a self-starter than I give myself credit for. I’ve learned to be more resourceful, especially when I come across something I don’t know. I’m also realizing that I really enjoy the creative aspect of developing a strategy.
Krizelle: I learnt that I’m not actually afraid to spark a conversation. I consider myself as a shy person and I don’t tend to speak first in a group.
I see RED as a safe space where there’s no judgement and that has helped me come out of my shell. I now see myself talking to other people more and engaging in conversations which I didn’t do before RED.
Jainer: I learned that it doesn’t matter what background you come from before working in the tech industry. I was a chef for a few years before changing careers to digital marketing.
I had no education or prior experience in this field and I was seriously intimidated at the start of the program. But in the end I realized there were others like me in the same boat. If they can do this, so can I.
In an alternate universe you would be…
Abigail: A marine biologist.
Krizelle: A Corgi. Majestic and derpy at the same time.
Jainer: A Professional Starcraft 2 player.
Digital Marketing Instructor and Content Strategist
Haidee is a digital strategist who brings over seven years of marketing experience to RED Academy. She graduated with a BA from Simon Fraser University in Criminology and English, where she developed sharp analytical skills and linguistic finesse. Though Haidee has worked in all areas of digital marketing, her expertise is in content marketing, digital storytelling and branding. She is driven by creating innovative content that captivates and resonates with people. When she's not working, Haidee is sleeping. Haidee enjoys a good nap.