I started my career journey with Gwinnett County Government in Georgia in 2016, then I joined their Communications Department as a Senior Public Relations Specialist in 2019. Through this role, I assisted my clients with their communications and marketing campaign needs by informing Gwinnett residents about their services and programs. Before my career in government – which I never thought I’d have – I worked for a start-up apparel company in Peru. I put together trade shows and ran marketing. Before this, I worked for Publix Supermarkets Headquarters in Lakeland, FL, in retail, and eventually as administrative support.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and learned a lot from my professional experiences. But to be more competitive and move up in my career, I needed to expand my digital marketing knowledge. I have wanted to take a digital marketing class for a long time but prioritized having a child first. My dream came true, and I became a new mom in 2020. I decided it was time to focus on achieving my career goals.
But then the pandemic hit. I was working remotely to support Gwinnett Elections and was taking care of my baby. After an unusual year, I was looking forward to change. I was going back and forth with what to do next. After some research, I found Emory’s Digital Marketing Certificate Program. It was perfect for me because it was online for only 15 weeks. The syllabus included the subjects I was interested in, and the price was within my budget. I had taken classes at Emory before and believed I’d get the same quality learning experience.
Before enrolling, I spoke with a Pathstream Enrollment Advisor. This call motivated me to enroll as quickly as possible. She walked me through the entire process and explained the program’s benefits, such as learning through interactive labs, videos, projects, insightful articles, and the flexibility to work on assignments at my own pace. For someone like me, not having a set schedule was perfect! I work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and don’t get home until 6. The program required only 10 to 15 hours of commitment every week.
During the program, I enjoyed working on the final projects. I got to apply everything I learned in each module in the labs and produce final marketing deliverables. One of my favorite final projects was building Little Spoon’s marketing plan. The company’s goal was to increase leads. I particularly liked working and completing research on the customer persona, journey, channel assessment, and giving my recommendations. I found the Google Analytics and Social Media Marketing projects to be challenging. However, with the proper support, I succeeded in both courses and enjoyed the learning process.
The feedback from the instructors on each assignment was essential to me. It was always on point and encouraged me to keep going. My instructors quickly responded when I had questions and were helpful. They accommodated me when I needed extensions and alleviated the stress deadlines created. I was able to focus on getting my work right.
I also worked with Pathstream Career Services. I participated in the virtual workshops, mock interviews, and coaching calls. I believe students and fellow alumni would agree that this service is beneficial. For example, career coaches help us think through and analyze our experiences and accomplishments to answer the questions better when preparing for interviews. The career guidance Pathstream provides is a big plus. The team is so friendly, supportive, and very personable.
Applying what I learned and being able to apply marketing strategies and principles in my day-to-day work, makes me feel more confident and passionate about the work I do.
A few months ago, when I learned that the Gwinnett County Communications Department was opening up two Public Relations and Marketing Manager roles, I felt that this was the opportunity I was waiting for and decided to apply for the position. After two rounds of interviews and prep time, which involved coaching calls and preparing slide decks to showcase my work, I was offered the job. It was a few stressful weeks of work, but it paid off. I’m very excited about my new job and I’m looking forward to growing more as a leader and to keep learning in the digital marketing space.
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