Joshua Kim’s career was a “journey of snakes and ladders” before he upskilled in Digital Marketing with NZIE. After a brief stint in the Air Force that was cut short with injury, time in real estate, plus years of experience as a Sales Representative and Market Researcher, he set his target on the Digital Marketing industry.
After completing NZIE’s Digital Marketing Diploma, he’s now a qualified Digital Account Manager employed at NZ’s leading SEO company Pure SEO (alongside NZIE’s SEO short course tutor, Bruno Hebling). Not to mention a Taekwondo Instructor on the side!
We chatted to Josh about why he chose Digital Marketing, how he picked NZIE as the perfect course for him, plus his Diploma highlights, and a high school pal that joined his study journey.
What Drew Josh to Digital Marketing?
After high school, Josh went to Auckland University and studied marketing, information systems and a Bachelor of Commerce. However, he “didn’t know what kind of opportunities were out there” after studying. After years of working in various industries – he was keen to find the perfect fit.
“I thought that it would be best to venture off and focus on upskilling myself, and that’s where NZIE came in. I knew that I had a background in marketing and sales. And I guess I wanted a taste of the different varieties and aspects that digital marketing can offer. Because it’s obviously it’s not as black and white these days with all the different formats and mediums we have available.”
Researching His Options, with Help From a Friend
Josh has been friends with NZIE graduate and fellow SEO Specialist Tama since high school. They even lived together in multiple flats across Auckland. After both deciding to further their studies and upskill in Digital Marketing, they used their talent for data analysis to find the best study option available:
“We both did a bit of research together – joint split research where you look for three providers and list their pros and cons. We worked out which one may be the most suitable for our requirements.”
NZIE’s Diploma in Digital Marketing stood out to them both:
“When you are looking for any new service or product, you’re going to look at the other competitors, reviews, and check out what industry connections they have. Especially with an education provider, you want to see the next step is getting an internship or a job role. And you’ll want to scope that out before you enrol because, unless it has an end integration process, then that’s a bit of a red flag. I saw many digital marketing agencies that were in partnership with NZIE, for example, Firefly, Pure SEO, and Harper Digital. I was really interested in the industry connections and the fact that it was in the NZQA qualified.”
Josh was also inspired by our Student Success Stories and impressed that 93% of NZIE graduates are employed in the industry.
Highlights from the Diploma in Digital Marketing
Josh valued NZIE’s personal approach to student learning, offering in–depth pastoral care and industry–expert tutors. Rajika, Lasma, Steve and Jana stood out to him during his Diploma – Here are his reasons why:
Josh’s Path Leads to SEO
It was the final papers of NZIE’s Diploma in Digital Marketing – Search Engine Marketing & Data Analysis, that Josh developed an in-depth understanding of SEO:
“My introduction to SEO was at NZIE, in terms of understanding, in-depth, its process and the various factors that go along with it. A key part was learning about the four main principles of SEO: information architecture, vertical linking, crawling and indexation…and finally, link building and backlink profiling.”
In the final paper of the Diploma, Josh learnt how to use tools such as Wipe out, SemRush, H refs, Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner, all of which he is still using in his current role at Pure SEO.
Landing Employment After the Diploma
Lasma saw Josh’s passion and skill for data, and helped him land an internship at Pure SEO.
“I was nearing the end of my course…and looking for a second internship within a marketing agency. I was already considering reaching out to Lasma personally and asking her for any opportunities. But in one of the last classes, she said ‘Hey, if you’re looking for an internship, let me know.’ And I thought ‘That’s my shot, I’m gonna take it.’”
Starting as an intern SEO analyst for three to four months, Josh briefly had some time with the content team, before he transitioned into the permanent role of Digital Account Manager:
“I was drawn to the fact that I would have more experience in overviewing the process of the various accounts…In the content area, we produce content such as blogs, keyword research, competitive analysis. Whereas for account managers, we will overview all the different retainers of the services, whether it be content, SEO, Google ads, products, social media, web design, development, all these different things. I really enjoy that aspect, being able to have a great overview of all aspects of digital marketing.”
Loving the Culture At Pure SEO
Aside from finding a role suits him, the company is also a great fit. He enjoys their social activities, such as Monday kickboxing and Friday drinks.
“I quickly fell in love with culture, the people. I’ve worked in many places and in terms of the atmosphere, and culture, nothing really came close to it.”
He’s proud to be working alongside those who are leading SEO in New Zealand and is grateful for the excellent company leadership, plus a fantastic team. Not to mention, plenty of opportunities for professional development and growth.
Turning Point in His Career
After years of “snakes and ladders”, it appears Josh’s career path is on the straight and narrow. He’s found a career and industry that aligns with his passions and interests, and a company culture that makes him feel at home.
“While you must be passionate and interested in the work that you’re doing and the industry. But I think more [what’s more important] is the actual culture and the people that you work with. We spend 40 hours of a week – the majority of our waking hours – at work. And if you don’t enjoy the environment, then no matter how good the compensation, how prestigious the title remains, or how interested you are in that role and industry, it will be pretty hard to continue with long term.”