RED Digital Marketing Alumni: Meet Jason Mills
As part of our RED Academy Alumni series, this week we sat down with Jason Mills who is a recent graduate and current student at RED Academy. He recently completed the Digital Marketing program and is now enrolled in the User Experience Designer program.
What were you doing before RED?
I have been with Escapes.ca for 12 years now and through the years my roles have varied and evolved into every facet of the company. I have been involved in the offline marketing efforts, resort inspections, sales, travel agent work and in the last year, explored digital marketing and business development both offline and online.
What interested you in the RED program?
For a long time I was looking to upgrade my skills, but had never found exactly what I was looking for. Until I came across an ad about Digital Marketing on Vancity Buzz and became immediately intrigued. Through that I came across a video about RED which highlighted how the classes were structured differently than the traditional style of schooling and I was immediately sold.
How has the course helped you in your job?
I wanted to contribute to the growth of Escapes.ca and in particular, the expansion of our wedding department. I knew I had to look at the wedding section of our website from a new perspective so we could gain more clientele for our destination wedding experts.
After taking the course, I knew this would come by providing our web users with a better online experience. Once I started to comprehend the skills taught at RED and how they correlated to my company’s website, I knew how to maximize these tools to better our company’s online presence.
I did a full audit on the website which focused on the destination wedding section of our site. Taking my travel experience and then adding digital to the mix, I completed a 40 page audit. By measuring Google Analytics, I was able to decrease our costs on Adwords while also increasing our organic traffic.
It’s been amazing to be able to apply everything I’ve learned in the Digital Marketing Program and implement it into my daily work. The skills gained at RED have allowed me to bridge the gap between management, IT, programming, social media and our wedding departments. On a personal level, I love the fact that through RED, I’ve gained the ability to understand what all departments need and facilitate communication between them.
What advice do you have for those thinking of getting into the Digital Marketing Program?
DO IT! Think about the industry you’re in and use RED to take the next step in that industry so you can gain more expertise to work smarter and try different things. Everything taught at RED gives you transferable skills to be used to better your career in immeasurable ways.
Why have you enrolled in the UX Design program now?
I really want to think about how consumers use websites and apps to provide new and unique ways to experience travel. I have so many ideas, from the search phase, to the point of sale stage and also the post booking experience. There is room for improvement at every level and I want to improve our user experience through mobile applications with the idea in mind that the purchase of travel should be as enjoyable as travel itself.
What are your career goals?
I definitely want to stay and grow with my company. I love our brand and organization because our owners and my fellow employees are incredible people who want nothing more than for each of us to be happy and successful. This is the reason I have remained loyal and dedicated to Escapes.ca. Going forward in my new role as Business Development Manager and Digital Strategist, I want to apply the skills that I have learned to elevate the brand even further. This will come by staying ahead of the curve through digital marketing and the user experience design skills I have gained, and will gain, at RED Academy.
Creative Director / Lead Instructor, UI & Communication Design
Julie is a Designer with expertise in crafting highly engaging digital experiences for organizations like TELUS, YYoga, Escents, and Rutgers University at digital agency Pound & Grain. Originally from New-Caledonia, she joined the RED team where she uses her well-rounded set of skills and her background in fine arts & coding to fuel her strong enthusiasm for teaching UI & Communication Design.
Julie is passionate about thinking of innovative ways to leverage user-centric design at every possible moment - whether it's through her teaching, her design work, or while contributing to the betterment of her surroundings.