Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Mia Sohnge. I’m a recent graduate of Commerce and Music majoring in International Business through Otago University. Recently, I moved up to Auckland to look for my first job post-graduation. From there I was hoping to get into something that would enable me to continue learning. I’ve always wanted to be involved with music and musicians through my career.
“With digital marketing, I think it’s very relevant to so many different facets of the music industry. Which is why I wanted to upskill in this area.”
What drew you into SEO Strategy?
At the start of 2022, I was very proactive in looking for work. However, I was struggling to stand out as a prospective employee. I kept thinking “How can I improve my chances of landing a good job”. Upskilling in one way or another seemed like the best way to counter this.
“Then I came across an article, through Student Job Search, that listed the ‘Top 10 Jobs in-demand’. The second item on the list was Digital Marketing”
At university, I had studied some basic marketing, but I had never been introduced to SEO (search engine optimisation), or other forms of digital marketing for that matter. From there, I made the decision to study the SEO Strategy short course with the goal of learning something new. I also thought that it would improve my chances of securing a job. When it comes to SEO skills you can’t really teach yourself as it’s a specialised and sought-after skill.
“I thought that if this is something that’s super in-demand across many different industries then that sounds like me!”
Why NZIE? How did you discover us?
The SEO Strategy course came up as an advertisement online while I was struggling to find work. When I looked deeper into the course, I instantly thought it looked like a great option! Especially with the short length of the programme and the amount of learning that could be achieved in that time. On the other hand, I did browse through a bunch of different courses before deciding to go with NZIE.
Upon researching, I was comparing the following:
- Course duration
- Course engagement (tutor-led or not)
- Self-directed learning components
I thought it would be best, for me personally, to learn by interacting with an expert and in real-time.
“NZIE’s programme was the only New Zealand based SEO course! I knew I could also connect with other Kiwis and learn a curriculum that is relevant to the New Zealand market.”
What outcomes did you gain through your time studying SEO strategy course with NZIE?
During the course, I was still actively looking for work. However, I was able to talk about the SEO strategy micro-credential in my interviews. One of the interviews I had was for a Digital Marketing role at a tech company. Fortunately, they were very impressed with the SEO strategy certification I was studying towards. So much so that I ended up landing the job!
At first, I felt underqualified for the job. But I do think the SEO strategy course worked in my favour because it will be useful in this job. Also, they respected the fact I would take my own money and time to undergo a course and upskill. This showed how much drive and willingness I had to put in the time and effort to be a better employee.
“I feel that is one of the reasons they wanted to employ me! Because I’m highly driven and dedicated to my own professional development. Studying is about proving that you can work hard at something new.”
Going to university for 5 years straight proved that I could stay consistent, disciplined, and self-motivated.
What job did you gain?
I’ve recently secured a job as a Marketing Coordinator. Aside from this, I’m also a self-employed musician. For instance, I record music and perform it whenever I can.
I was lucky enough to get a job with an international B2B company, with headquarters in Auckland and Hong Kong, with Japan to soon follow. Accordingly, it is a generalist role with a lot of SEO and social media marketing, plus email marketing. My role will include helping expand the business and customer base through these channels.
I’m looking forward to using my newly acquired skills to help the business rank internationally on search engines, as well as learning on the job about social media and email marketing.
How was your overall learning experience?
I would highly recommend upskilling with NZIE. These are skills that are highly sought-after because they are pertinent to every industry and every role.
“I’ve learned so much over a short amount of time! And I managed to find employment in an exciting role because of the SEO course.”
I found the course to be really engaging. Furthermore, Lasma was easily approachable and very helpful. I’m the type of learner who likes to ask questions and Lasma was always available to answer. On the other hand, learning SEO was challenging. Especially with all the content being brand new to me with entirely new concepts. However, there was a good learning pathway to follow from weeks 1 to 7. Therefore, you do end up grasping things! As technical as SEO is, it is definitely doable.
I’m just stoked that I’ve managed to have gained a job in this area! Following this, I hope that I can implement the knowledge in my new role.
What advice do you have for others studying with NZIE?
My best advice would be to:
- Allow yourself 15 hours per week for part-time study or 30 hours if you are full time.
- Set a routine that also allows you some free time. It’s your reward for doing the hours.
- Do your prep work before class. It really does help the online class run smoothly and saves time answering questions.
- Don’t procrastinate. I listened to that advice when I did the orientation. The previous graduates said to get started as soon as you can on your assessments. It’s great advice!
What advice do you have for those who are on the fence about studying?
My advice is don’t procrastinate – just to do it. The time just flies by, you’ll be finished and qualified before you know it!
“Even though it’s challenging, if you’re genuinely interested in Digital Marketing, you’ll enjoy it and get what you put into it.”
Digital Marketing is a great industry to work in as the world changes. Understanding it is fascinating. Would I classify myself as an upskilled professional? Yeah… I guess you can say that with my Diploma, I will no longer be “faking it until I make it!”