Yun-Ching (Claire) Liao immigrated to the United States from Taiwan three years ago and was ready to start a marketing career in fashion. She started working as a visual merchandiser at Zara but realized that the Bay area offered her limited opportunities to work in fashion. A year later, a recruiter contacted her, and she became a contractor for Google.
“I took the job, but aside from one marketing internship, I never developed the marketing skills or knowledge to find a job in that field within the fashion industry. But then, one night on the news, I saw that my local community college partnered with Pathstream to deliver a digital marketing program. I thought, wow, what a great opportunity to gain digital marketing skills and learn the foundations.”
Yun-Ching enrolled in the Facebook Digital Marketing Certificate Program.
“The certificate program was online but led by an instructor. I never felt alone. I always had support available to me through the instructor, and the deadlines held me more accountable than self-paced learning.”
The Digital Marketing Certificate is an 18-week online program and every week includes approximately 10 hours of lectures, content, labs, and projects.
“The courses are online, and a schedule of deadlines is emailed to you weekly. I set my weekly schedule and didn’t sacrifice much personal time. So, it was very flexible. I also found the content and projects very interesting. All four courses are engaging, and I learned the fundamentals of digital marketing. The program inspired me to continue learning online after graduation.”
Towards the end of the program, Yun-Ching opted to work with Pathstream’s Career Services to help her navigate the job search and get career advice from a career coach with industry experience.
“Career Services showed me different ways to build up my experience like freelancing. I took their advice, set up profiles on freelancing websites, and even got the opportunity through Career Services to help a company with its email and social media marketing. Those are both areas of marketing I want to specialize in, so it was great to practice my skills while building my resume. I also analyzed their website data and provided feedback on my findings. In the end, they introduced a new product because of the insights I shared with them. I was able to succeed in this project and am proud. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without learning the skills in the Digital Marketing Certificate program.”
“I also took advantage of career services such as improving my resume, rebranding my LinkedIn, and the mock interviews. I learned to research the role and company and to answer different digital marketing interview questions I may face. The mock interviews were constructive and prepared me for actual interviews.”
Career Service coaches host a career workshop series. The webinar topics range from salary negotiations to how to conduct an information interview remotely.
“Another resource I utilized was the webinars. That was helpful, too. One that stands out to me is the webinar on informational interviews. I learned how to ask for an informational interview. The coach taught us how to structure an informational interview and shared different email templates to connect with professional contacts. I used the advice, and three out of four contacts responded to my surprise. I had three informational interviews; they taught me more about the industry and the job I was interested in.”
Since graduating from the program, she landed a marketing job. Yun-Ching is now a Campaign Management Analyst for Accenture.
Yun-Ching’s final piece of advice:
“Go for it! Find out what skills you need and take on the challenge of learning something new. If you’re interested in a field and passionate, don’t second guess yourself. Maybe you don’t want to change jobs, but you can apply these skills to what you’re currently doing. And if you ever decide to start the job search, you’re ahead of the game. Since Pathstream, I keep learning new things because I want to stay competitive in the job market.”
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