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.
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:
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”.
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:
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:
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.
*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.