Tell us a bit about yourself prior to discovering NZIE.
My name is Blake and I come from a barbering background which I have been in since I left school. In my spare time, I decided to dabble in some eCommerce projects after Googling “How to make money online?” This is where I discovered the drop-shipping model and started up a few different online stores. From there I started learning about digital marketing, by figuring out stuff on my own and going down the self-taught route.
Why Digital Marketing?
When running my online stores, I didn’t realise how much was involved. For example, I was dependent on Facebook Ads. However, when that wasn’t working, I was screwed. Eventually, there was just so much to learn to successfully run an online store. Things I would never be bothered to sit down and teach myself. Such as content creation skills in photoshop, illustrator, premiere pro. That was definitely a favourite part of learning about content creation and videography.
Why NZIE? What made you choose to study the Diploma in Digital Marketing?
The main reason was that it was NZQA accredited. Furthermore, it’s fully online and remote meaning I could be anywhere in New Zealand. Also, it freed up time to get another job whilst studying. And it was only one year to cover everything I needed to learn.
What goals do you have with the Digital Marketing knowledge under your belt?
First off, my goal was to pass the programme. As I started getting into it, I realised I was a lot smarter than I was. So, from there it became “How can I get the best mark?” because the academic writing was the hardest part.
Secondly, the goal was to get a job at the end of it and get some experience. Eventually, start up my own thing or work for myself whether it’s consulting, freelancing or revisiting eCommerce marketing again.
“Luckily, in digital marketing, there are so many options and opportunities!”
How was your online learning experience?
It was pretty good; the evening classes were hard at times juggling with my morning shift going into the evenings. However, the tutors were awesome and very knowledgeable. Overall, I did enjoy remote learning from home.
What was your favourite part about NZIE?
Learning Adobe Suite was my favourite part and a big highlight for me being creative. Also, the SEO side of things I wouldn’t have bothered to teach myself. I liked the industry guest speakers and enjoyed one where we learnt about building a story brand for social media.
What’s your proudest achievement from your time at NZIE?
Having had no prior academic experience I exceeded my own expectations with the below marks I got for assignments. It’s been a year of self-discovery inspiring my fellow potatoes!
- Five assignments I passed with 90%
- Three assignments I passed with over 95%
- In assignment 2 for social media, I got 100%
What’s your portfolio piece you created through NZIE?
My two favourite portfolio pieces are:
Firstly, the brand guidelines I designed for my own imaginary company Mexican soda brand.
Secondly, my WordPress website design I did barber business.
What advice would you give others who are on the fence about studying the Digital Marketing Diploma?
Don’t be scared if you have an interest in digital marketing and want to apply yourself. If you work hard, you can do it. There are probably a lot of others like myself on the fence but if you have an interest in doing anything in content creation, I’d recommend NZIE.
Do some self-directed study like the HubSpot certificates and Google academy certifications. From there, see if you enjoy learning that sort of stuff and if that doesn’t interest you, you’re not going to last a whole year.
“I would recommend the Diploma in Digital Marketing as I gained more skills than I thought I would. Especially on the SEO and data side and it was a lot more in-depth than expected.”
Where has the digital marketing industry taken you so far?
I’m in my second digital marketing role since finishing up at NZIE. My first role was working within an agency as a digital marketing all-rounder which was awesome. I got to learn heaps on the job, work with clients, and experience the marketing agency environment.
Since then I have moved on to a new role as a Junior Digital Marketing Specialist for JRF. I get to do all sorts from creating landing pages, email marketing, copywriting and developing strategies to drive growth.
“It’s great being able to focus on one business and collaborate with other skilled marketers, the best way to learn in my opinion. I’m excited to see where I will be in the next few years!“