How one Pathstream student pushed past her comfort zone to learn new skills and build a rewarding freelance career.
One of Kyndall Bennett’s first jobs was as an Aviation Structural Mechanic in the US Navy. While in the Navy, Kyndall realized the value of learning from your mistakes and being persistent until you get it right.
“I almost failed out of the Navy, but every mistake I made fueled me to try something new when I messed up. I got comfortable getting things wrong and learning how to make them right. I learned how to do the job well and eventually became a trainer of other young people like me.”
After the Navy, Kyndall went on to pursue her long-standing passion in computer animation with the hope of creating her own 3D animations. But the road to her dream job was a winding one. After college, the first job she found was as a Product Promoter at a marketing firm called Amp Exposure that partnered with Sam’s Club. She stood at the sales kiosk found in some stores selling the featured product of the week. While she wasn’t too fond of the job, the position ignited her interest in how to attract customers to a specific product or brand. It was at Amp Exposure that Kyndall was first introduced to the concept of brand building and digital marketing.
Kyndall soon landed a job as a multimedia designer and was enjoying building her video editing skills alongside cultivating her personal and professional blog, Kyrabe Stories, which is focused on inspiring others to break out of their comfort zone in search of their goals. She stumbled on the Facebook Digital Marketing Program and pursued the certificate while working full time in the hopes of learning how to market herself digitally to grow her blog’s presence and reach.
“I realized I needed to learn digital marketing on a flexible schedule. The Pathstream program was completely online and flexible. I could work on it after work, before work, or even during work if I had some down time.”
Unfortunately, soon after earning her certificate, Kyndall lost her job as a multimedia designer due to the pandemic. While painful, this experience pushed her to start freelancing and grow her blog — two long-standing goals that had gotten sidelined. She used her new digital marketing skills to improve her blog’s SEO and create social media posts that were aligned with her target audience. During the Pathstream program, Kyndall grew her social media followers from 100 to 30,000 on TikTok.
During Covid, my job security was stripped away, and my freelancing goals were laid bare. I realized that when you’re comfortable you’re not going to accomplish anything. You need to push yourself into the unknown to leave where you are now to get to where you want to.
Her own digital marketing success fueled her to pursue freelance opportunities to help others achieve similar marketing goals. Through Pathstream’s career coaches, Kyndall connected with a startup company called Zeit that hired her to build social media campaigns, jumpstarting her journey into the freelance ecosystem. Her freelance work and tips for others freelancing during COVID was even profiled in The Wall Street Journal.
Kyndall’s advice to current and future Pathtream students is to manage your time wisely and break down the coursework into pieces that you can fit into your schedule. She recommends that you should see learning a new skill and working full-time as complementary, not competing priorities. Apply what you’re learning in courses immediately to your personal career goals.
At Pathstream, Kyndall was able to use her own company for many of the certificate’s digital marketing projects. This customization allowed her to knit together her coursework and professional goals. As for her fellow aspiring freelancers, Kyndall’s advice is to not wait until you’re ready. You will learn from each freelance opportunity you get — every mistake or misstep is a chance to learn and grow as a professional.