Tell us a bit about yourself – Who are you and what is your background?
My name is Amanda and I live in my hometown of Rotorua. In the early 2000’s I graduated from University with a BCS and Diploma in Marketing. My career has consisted of me working in Sales and traditional marketing jobs most of my working life. However, I decided to upskill myself before returning to the workforce. After having spent the last 3 years at home with my youngest child.
Why Digital Marketing and why now?
In my last role I was a Marketing Manager in Rotorua where digital aspects were involved. That’s when I noticed Digital Marketing was a big area that was growing. Furthermore, I came to the realisation that needed to get up to scratch with digital tools and strategies.
“I knew that if I didn’t upskill myself now, I would get left behind. I also like that with digital I can work from home, if need be, so it fits in around my kids schedule.”
Why NZIE? What made you choose to study the Diploma in Digital Marketing?
NZIE covered all the bases. When I was Googling solutions, I looked at other options. But a lot of other courses were more so design heavy. Whereas NZIE had a great mix of content and strategy specified within the digital umbrella.
“What enticed me was NZIEs professional looking presence online. But what won me over was the fact that it was all done remotely – that was perfect for a mum of three like me.”
Were there any roadblocks you had to overcome before starting out?
Yes! It had been almost 20 years since I was in an academic setting. Therefore, getting used to academic writing (and references) again was a lot at first. I had to become familiar with using zoom as a tool. In saying that, online video calls ended up being a great roadblock and skill to overcome and harness. It is very much considered the norm nowadays.
Did you have any doubts before you joined?
I had doubts about whether I could fit full-time study in around my children and other responsibilities. Thank you to my very patient and supportive husband.
“I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s good to push yourself and that we are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for. Coming back into the real world (after 3 years off with my children) can really push you and give you confidence you didn’t know you had.”
How has your experience been with NZIE? Have you learnt anything about yourself as an individual?
I’ve learnt how much I enjoy learning from people my own age. In addition to younger people too, who have different perspectives on things. Additionally, you are never too old to learn. Often when you get to 40 it can feel intimidating with the younger generation coming through with their new knowledge. However, my work and life experience has helped me with opportunities in the industry. Even more so now that I’ve recently upskilled with a shiny new qualification.
“I’ve also learnt that a little extra hard work goes a long way and can open up lots of different doors, no matter how old you are!”
How did you find the 100% online learning format?
Loved it! Zoom lessons are so convenient and can work into your everyday life and schedule so much easier. Especially when compared with having to physically drive somewhere every week. Also, location wise there aren’t many places that offer digital marketing in Rotorua or even surrounding areas. Therefore, being able to upskill and study from home was definitely a selling point for me.
What were your favourite subjects you learnt about at NZIE?
Really enjoyed the Data Analytics and Search Engine Marketing classes. I found the knowledge very helpful for the ‘real world’ digital marketing industry. Above all my favourite subject was Content Marketing.
Show us your favourite portfolio pieces you developed during the programme:
What new skills do you think you can proudly put down on your CV?
New Skills on my CV:
The Adobe Creative Suite in particular Photoshop, InDesign, and Premier Pro. Also Data studio, Google Analytics, WordPress – so much!
Speaking of CVs…
I applied for a role on Seek, got an interview the very next day and had the job the following Tuesday. I was hired as a Digital Marketer for Red Spot Design Agency in Rotorua!
“I managed to get a job in digital marketing halfway through my course and I am amazed every day just how much from the course I am putting into action for my work clients.”
Clients come looking for branding and design work, as well as websites. Then they end up sticking around for social media marketing. I currently collating different types of content for around 20 clients through the agency. I love the workplace as we are all like one close-knit family.
What goals do you have with the Digital Marketing knowledge under your belt? And what does the future hold for you post-graduation?
Continue working for the digital agency here in Rotorua, as it has been a great experience. Long term goal I hope to branch out on my own by doing consulting for smaller businesses. I’d love to approach small businesses within Rotorua that can’t afford an agency at agency rates. Focusing on helping local businesses build close relationships online to develop social media followings.
What advice would you those starting the programme?
- Start assignments early and avoid procrastinating!
- Always keeping an eye on the job market and industry. As lockdown has fast-tracked digital marketing it’s good to explore early to see what’s out there. Great when you’re still learning so you can see what jobs are looking for skills-wise in ideal candidates.
What advice would you give others who are on the fence about studying the Digital Marketing Diploma?
Just do it, 1 year really goes by so quick and the amount of new skills and practical knowledge you can gain from the Diploma is invaluable. Especially if you are planning on working in digital space as it evolves constantly as an industry.