student success story

How Sheena Turned Her Creativity Into a Career

creative career digital marketing

Sheena Flood

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Sheena designed her dream wedding and kickstarted her creative career in Digital Marketing with NZIE Diploma in Digital Marketing. 

creative career digital marketing sheena

A Creative Kid

Creative all-rounder Sheena Flood was artistic from a young age. She loved drawing, creating art and expressing herself. But that passion “died” when she started high school: 

“The way I was raised, I was always taught to pursue something where I know there’s a job market, and there wasn’t a job market for being creative thought at the time. I studied accounting, I studied management, I studied stuff that I thought would lend me a good job.” 

One business degree later, working in corporate sales, Sheena found herself craving a job that she would be “able to enjoy”. In 2020, the COVID pandemic left her redundant and pondering the next step.  

In comes NZIE’s Digital Marketing Diploma

Sheena brainstormed all the things she enjoyed, and some skills she wanted to learn too. Social media, creating websites, paid advertising.  

“I found the blanket term on all these skills was digital marketing.” 

NZIE’s Digital Marketing Diploma caught her eye: 

“Every single paper that was offered was exactly where I wanted to expand my skills… I got in touch with Jana. And I was basically enrolled in the course in the next few days” 

She was able to turn a negative situation into a positive change for her future.  

“When the redundancy hit, I [realised]...I can give it my full attention [to the diploma]. And I think everything worked out for the best, I think everything was meant to happen. I am where I am now.” 
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From Natural Gift to Skilled Professional

The Diploma allowed Sheena to hone her many skills as a creative, and take them to the next level.  

“I had never tried my hand at any Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. So I was scared. A lot of us were quite nervous and wondered how do we create these things? …[Steve] did a lot of beginner tutorials and made YouTube videos. So it was very easy before class to look at these YouTube videos and have a screen open here…By the end of that semester, I didn’t even need those videos.” 

She’s now teaching her co-workers how to use Photoshop, just like she was taught not long ago: 

“At first, I thought it was quite daunting. But I think Steve's first tutorial was just getting to know the basics of Photoshop; the little side menu here, what each and every single thing it does...The position I'm in now at work, I actually had to teach someone else how to use Photoshop. I guess took a leaf out of Steve's book, and I did the same thing. I'm teaching people in their 40s and 50s how to use Photoshop...It's never too late. ” 

Skills to use in her personal and professional life

Not only has NZIE’s Digital Marketing Diploma help score Sheena a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for New Zealand Window Shades, it’s also helped her a huge amount in her personal life. 

She designed her dream wedding thanks to NZIE: 

The theme for the wedding was “outdoor forest. Magical. Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones…all these things into one”. 

“The digital design course...changed my life. I actually designed all my wedding digital assets on Adobe: the invitations, save the dates, place cards, everything. Everything I tried to do was different. I didn't want it to feel like a wedding. I wanted to just feel like a big party.” 
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NZIE went “above and beyond”

Not only did the diploma allow Sheena to design her dream wedding, additionally she received next level attention and care during her studies. A specific example is when she spilled Red Bull over her laptop halfway through an assignment and was unable to attend class.  

“My laptop crashed, and I had a tutorial that evening with Rajika…one of the loveliest tutors here… I emailed her and I said, ‘Look, I’ve just dropped Red Bull in my laptop… Sorry, I’m going to have to sort something out.’  

My focus at the time was just, ‘I’m so sorry for missing class’. But then Rajika contacted me later and she said, ‘Why don’t you just reach out to NZIE? We might be able to lend you a laptop.’ [Jana] organised a laptop for me right away. By the end of the next week, I had a new laptop up and running, I was able to do my course.”*

A stark difference to university

NZIE’s attention to detail and in-depth pastoral care is one of the reasons Sheena performed so well in her Diploma. Consequently, she doesn’t feel university would be the right place for her to study again.  

 “Part of the reason why I just never wanted to go back to university was that I didn’t have the best experience. My feeling was that…it was all about the money for them. I came out of their place…not even proud to say that I went to AUT.” 

Rather, her experience with NZIE made a lasting impact: 

“NZIE has gone above and beyond. They came through for me when I didn't have a laptop. I had my tutors checking in on me making sure I was okay. Rajika would call me sometimes just to make sure I'm doing okay...I just had such a positive experience and I have nothing but good things to say about the Diploma. I'm pushing everyone to go into this course!” 

Scoring a Digital Marketing Role

Post-diploma, NZIE “helped” Sheena score a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for New Zealand Window Shades. This role allows her to maintain the many skills she learnt in the Diploma:  

“I want to keep those skills fresh...I get to do a little bit of everything, I get to create assets from scratch, do a little bit of social media, update websites, create websites from scratch...the ideas are flowing. And I don't think that those ideas would have been flowing if I hadn't done this course.” 

Looking forward to a bright (and colourful) future

Undoubtedly, Sheena is in a super positive place. She is loving her job and incorporates design into all aspects of her personal and professional life.  

“It doesn’t just stop at my job. I have been following a lot of online design creators, content creators. I’ve been making stuff on the Adobe software that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. And I’ve been curating from my house. Drawing pictures for other people to give to them as birthday presents, housewarming presents.”

Keep an eye out for her own creative small business which she hopes to launch one day using her many talents: 

“Maybe I’ll be making T-shirts one day, or clothing, blankets, artwork – you name it – I feel like I can do all of those things.” 

We look forward to seeing what Sheena creates.  

Inspired by Sheena’s story? Read more about our Digital Marketing Diploma

Check out a range of creative careers in digital marketing. Download our free careers guide below. 

*Disclaimer: NZIE is at times able to provide a laptop to students in the case of an emergency. The laptop must be returned to NZIE before completion of the course and/or when a replacement is found. Please contact Client Success Advisor Jana for more information. 

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a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

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a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Level 2 qualification; or

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e) Be a New Zealand citizen or resident; or have Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment.

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