Digital Marketing Student Spotlight: Karina, Michelle, Miguel And Sebastian
Get to know more about our Full-time Digital Marketing students from the Fall 2017 Cohort: Karina, Michelle, Miguel And Sebastian in our Digital Marketing Student Spotlight.
What Did You Do Before Coming To RED & What Brought You Here?
Karina: Prior to coming to RED, I worked at a Vancouver-based company called Karma Athletics as the Community Manager. As the CM, I had the opportunity to develop and manage the company’s influencer marketing program, work on the social media, develop relationships with other local companies, and host events. I was really passionate about my work, but I always felt like I could have done more if my technical skills were stronger! That’s why I’m here!
Michelle: Before RED, I studied Communications and Publishing at SFU. I participated in the co-op program there, and landed two placements working in communications and marketing positions, which I totally loved. It was actually during my latest job-hunting process this past summer that I realized just how awesome digital marketing jobs, companies and work cultures sounded. After doing some research and finding RED, it seemed like a natural fit. I actually applied for RED while I was in my final semester at SFU, and had my convocation ceremony during the first week of classes. It was a pretty quick turnaround time, but so worth it!
Miguel: Before RED I was a Kitchen Leader over at White Spot for 3 years and was studying in their test kitchen pursuing to get my Red Seal in Culinary Arts. Essentially, my passion for cooking was not the same as it was 4-5 years ago and a career change was looming around my mind. Through word of mouth, and a friend of mine who was at the time studying in RED, I was able to see how they approach the complexities of learning and their culture.
Sebastian: I just graduated from UBC where I did a bachelor of commerce. I am interested in working for startups, but as I was looking for jobs, I found that I lacked the technical skills that employers were looking for. A friend of mine recommended RED digital marketing program, and after looking at the curriculum I decided to enrol.
What Opportunities Do You See In The Digital Marketing Industry Moving Forward?
Karina: On my spare time, I like to look at job postings (to see what employers are looking for), read blogs/listen to podcasts, and see what events are happening in the city. And one thing I realized is that the opportunities for Tech in Vancouver are endless! If you sign up for job bank emails, you’ll get a new email with new digital marketing job postings everyday (sometimes a few times a day!). Or if you like to scroll through social media (LinkedIn included), there’s always a new industry-related blog post or video being shared! Or if you want to attend events, check out eventbrite.com or meetup.com. There’s bound to be someone at RED who will go with you if you don’t want to go alone too!
Michelle: Digital is the way of the world today and I’m confident that the opportunities are abundant! For myself personally, I am excited about the startup culture here in Vancouver. No doubt that I am surrounded by current and future entrepreneurs and innovators at RED! It is exhilarating to work with so many bright minds, and it brings out my own best work.
Miguel: As far as Digital Marketing goes, it seems endless. We’re tackling numerous skills applicable to a wide array of projects. The tech industry is very diverse in Vancouver and from the number of developers, entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups, they will always need someone to make sure that their projects are available to be seen in the public through the web.
Sebastian: I want to work in startups that are using technology to solve social problems. The digital marketing professional program gives students and adaptable toolkit that can be applied to companies in different industries. Furthermore, you are able to put your skills to the test working with community partners, and seeing the results of your marketing strategies.
How Is RED Helping You Reach Your Career Aspirations?
Karina: I love the culture and learning style at RED! As students, we get to work on multiple projects at a time, hand them in, get feedback, and continue to improve on each one of them until they are up-to-par with industry standards. I really like how they focus so much on the learning process, and how they expect all their students to strive for excellence.
Michelle: RED is so much more than a traditional education experience, and the hands-on nature of it has for me been the best way to learn. We are given tools, resources and experience to build hard and soft skills, but there is an emphasis on well-roundedness which I think is really important. It’s the perfect environment to test yourself, make mistakes, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and surprise yourself! When you’re in the thick of it, there’s pingpong, beer (on Friday’s) and hugs whenever you need. Who could complain about that?
Miguel: RED emphasizes on community and teamwork. Being arranged in teams and working on REAL life clients is helping us develop character as well as a portfolio so once we come out of our program, we have experience to showcase in our portfolio. This was very similar to my learning experience when I was pursuing culinary arts. Very fast-paced and hands-on so the transition between studying and working on the job was seamless.
Sebastian: In RED I’ve acquired technical skills to complement my university education, but I also have expanded my network. There are people from many different backgrounds who bring new perspectives to class. Furthermore, RED nurtures a growth mentality in students to keep learning and developing their skills. I believe that a growth mindset and the skills learned in class will help me succeed in my career.
What Community Project Are You Working On?
Karina: We are currently working in teams, and our team is working with an e-commerce company that sells contemporary jewelry that is designed here in Vancouver and handcrafted in Japan. Prior to this, we worked on our personal branding project.
Michelle: I am currently working on my first project for community partner Pixel Union, a theme design company for e-commerce websites.
Miguel: I am currently working on an e-commerce project, constructing a digital marketing plan for our client www.loverstempo.com. Top to bottom from constructing a marketing campaign up to their SEO, Social Media channels, and their Google Search and Display ads.
Sebastian: My team is currently working on an e-commerce project for, Whistler Performance Oils. The company produces biodegradable bicycle maintenance products, they are based out of Whistler and are trying to prove that eco-friendly products are good for the environment, but also perform at the top level in competitions.
This project has allowed my team and me to test the tools learned in class and develop real-life marketing strategies for our client. It is incredible to have the opportunity to work with real clients and help them solve their business problems. Not only do we get to build a portfolio but we expand our network and give back to the community.
Describe Your Process Working On The Project.
Karina: The first project we did was our personal branding project. It was a great way for us to take what we learned in class and implement them into our own projects. It wasn’t easy, but the learn-by-doing experience really helped us understand the importance of each piece of data and how they tie together.
Michelle: My group and I got creative developing an original campaign for the company, and will be recommending content, SEO and marketing strategies/best practices for their current website and social media channels at our client presentation next week! For DMers, this process means learning what questions are important to ask clients in order to get all of the relevant information, what information to include in a report, and how to analyze, see the big picture, and strategize/make recommendations from there. It’s a great balance of creativity and analytics, and we get to explore it all to find our own niche and what we enjoy most.
Miguel: We were given access to the site’s analytics to dissect and consult its current performance. Our group started off auditing their channels from their website to social media and their ads to figure out how we can maximize their brand awareness and expanding their e-commerce business. Initially, it was a very busy brainstorm session, grabbing everyone’s impressions and opinion on how we can tackle our objective.
Sebastian: Time management has been really important since we are constantly learning new material that has to be included in the project. Therefore planning ahead and setting realistic goals is fundamental to keep on track. As a team, it helps to divide the work. Therefore, we have divided work so that everybody can develop the skills and use the tools that they find more interesting.
How Is Your Experience Working On The Project?
Karina: Working on the community project has been a great learning experience! For this community project, we came together first to come up with a strategy. Then we partitioned the different parts out to different team members, and this allowed us to choose topics that we wanted to further explore. It was a great way for us to dive deeper into the topics, and specialize! Finally, after we did our research, we came back to write the report together. Writing the report and discussing what we learned with our team members was a great way to share and learn from each other!
Michelle: Great–hectic, but great! There’s nothing quite like the connections you build with a team when you’re knee deep in a project together–and such a proud feeling when you see the final product of your hard work come together into something amazing.
Miguel: It has been super refreshing. Stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing first hand that the work I put in will have real life implications on our clients. Working collaboratively with my teammates has been something that I really appreciate, seeing how different people come up with solutions on the same problem prompts me to be open minded and enables us to produce projects that we’ve made as a team.
Sebastian: So far I have enjoyed working in the community partner project, I was lucky to get a company which is similar to where I would like to work in the future.
I enjoy discovering new entrepreneurs and their ventures which made it really easy for me to get passionate about the project. I have developed a sense of responsibility to execute the best project for the client.
What Are Key Takeaways That You Learn From Working With A Real Client On A Real World Project?
Karina: The key takeaways of having the opportunity to work with a real client are that you get to learn how to foster positive client relationships, and learn how to work with real data and come up with real strategies that could help your client achieve their objectives.
Michelle: I think this is where possessing a healthy balance of hard and soft skills is important; producing quality work is essential, but so is building a trusting relationship with the client. Communication is everything when working with both clients and teams! Look for solutions that strike a balance between client goals and user experience, and develop these into campaigns and strategies that you yourself are excited about—it’s contagious and will (hopefully) make the client excited about them too!
Miguel: I’ve learned that there is no clear-cut strategy that will work for every client. There’s a number of different clients in my class alone, and witnessing how diverse the clients are in terms of their business or the work they produce, I’m learning that there is no cookie cutter method to please every client you’ll run into. I really appreciate that in a sense that there is always challenges up ahead, coming up with strategies that will best represent any clients that come my way.
Sebastian: Working with a client can be stressful since your work is not only going to be judged by an instructor, but also by a business professional. However, the opportunity of your campaign being implemented motivates you to come up with the best work possible. Client projects create a strong sense of accountability because you want to deliver a campaign that provides the best results for your clients. It is easy to get passionate about the product which leads to better ideas and more dedication to the project.
What’s Your Go-to Midnight Snack?
Karina: Water! I always have a cup of water before I go to bed.
Michelle: I’m that person with all of the frozen bananas in her freezer. Blended up for some late-night banana “nice” cream with a bit of dark cocoa powder, coconut shreds and hemp seeds–need I say more??
Miguel: Jalapeño Ms. Vickie’s chips with Chewy Chips Ahoy and a glass of Grape Kool-Aid.
Sebastian: Denny’s Chocolate Milkshake