Prior to the Diploma, Matthew studied Digital Design with a minor in Game Design, plus an honour in Art and Design. He worked on projects from animation (2D & 3D), video editing, game design, virtual reality and augmented reality, and was freelancing at his father’s entertainment business. 3 years after his post-grad degree, he started NZIE’s Diploma in Digital Marketing.
“I wanted to round out my digital expertise and pursued a Diploma in Digital Marketing at NZIE.”
Employment Challenges in the Game Industry
After his studies, Matthew was searching for jobs at game companies.
“During 2019, I got an internship through some family connections, because I was still looking for a job. But then in 2020 COVID happened. And that made things quite difficult. I had interviews, but not much success throughout 2020 and 2021.”
Having difficulty finding work in the game industry, he shifted his focus to graphic and digital design roles. However, he realised there were some skills he was missing from his CV to find employment in this field.
“On the design side I had a fair bit of the skill set, but there was a lot of marketing skills that were coupled with these roles that I did not have. For example, search engine marketing, Facebook, social media, email marketing, SEO, and all those sorts of things. And while I wasn’t specifically looking to get into the marketing side of things, I saw that those skill sets were key to getting jobs in those roles.”
“I was missing the marketing skill set. I had the design skills but that’s where I needed to upskill. And that’s when I found NZIE.”
Choosing NZIE’s Diploma in Digital Marketing
While researching a digital marketing course, Matthew found that NZIE “ticked a lot of boxes”. Although he had already completed many years of study, he didn’t mind continuing his training. It helped that NZIE’s Diploma was only 1 year in duration, compared to other 4-year degrees.
“There were only one or two other [schools] that had something similar, but I didn’t feel that they offered the same broad range of curriculum like NZIE did.
I went with NZIE because it was more established. Another thing that really drew me in was a lot of the tutors have industry experience or come from an industry background.
Scoring a Graphic Designer role
Matthew landed a role as a Graphic and Web Designer at Wilson Parking one month after completing his Diploma. He turned down a second offer at TVNZ as a Digital Campaign Executive as it was “a marketing type role.”
“I’m more of a designer hence why I went for the design role. But you know, if I didn’t get that, [the other role] would have also been a good choice.
For me. I don’t want to put too many eggs in one basket. I like to keep my options open. That’s exactly why I did this [Diploma]. I have all the skill sets so that I’m covered for everything wherever I may go.”
A Broad and Diverse Role
Matthew is loving his current role as it is very “diverse”.
“[I’m designing] everything from social media to flyers and printed promotions, their physical billboards and signage that they do. [As well as] emails and EDM type stuff. In that sense, it’s quite interesting, because I get to work on all sorts of different design projects. Recently, I was looking to [design] some merchandise.”
One idea he has for merchandise is creating a pack of cards to give to Wilson’s clients. A perk of working for a parking company is he gets a free parking space in the city, plus free parking on the weekends and evenings.
How NZIE Helps His Current Role
The Digital Design course has been a huge help for Matthew in his current role at Wilson, as well as in understanding the software that the company uses.
“The digital design course at NZIE is about digital display ads, Google Network ads, and Facebook ads. In terms of software, Illustrator was a programme that I didn’t really use much [before] but in this role, I use it quite a bit. Wilson’s website is hosted on WordPress, which we learned in the web design course. So having some experience with that was also pretty good. A lot of those things combined were quite attractive to them in regards to employing me.”
Other highlights of the Diploma
Aside from the technical upskilling, Matthew found his teachers to be the real highlight of his experience with NZIE. He’s looking forward to catching up with them at graduation.
“Jen was one of my favourite teachers – I really enjoyed her classes, because she’s got great energy and a great personality. Also, Karl who I had for Digital Design and Web Design Courses. But that may be because we’re both designers, so in that sense we had like a bit to talk about.”
Plans for future
Matthew plans to be at Wilson for a while, building up experience and understanding of the role after freelancing for a long period of time.
“[In the future, I’d like to] work for a company that has a bigger design and marketing department and working with other creative people – that sort of atmosphere is something I’m looking forward to.”