Having just graduated from Google Squared Online, Digital Marketing Executive, Gordon Carslaw, gives us an honest account of his experience, and how it has helped him to develop his career here at Dog. Over to you, Gordon, our resident DJ and all round funny man...
The last 12 months have been a roller coaster ride for me. September 2015, I was unfortunately made redundant from a Group Marketing Executive role and 12 months on I now work for one of the UK’s top marketing Agencies - Dog, Google Adwords Certified and sit with a Google Squared Online (with Distinction and voted as an Inspirational Square) Certificate. Sometimes I look back and wonder how did I get to where I am today?
After 4 years of working client side I always had hopes of working agency side one day. The benefits are fantastic at a company like Dog: Not only do you get to work on a range of different clients from different industries, but you learn from some of the best people in their specialised fields, whether it be from Search (Paid & Organic), Social, Analytics, Development or Account Management. You go away at the end of the day having always learned something new.
Although I was made redundant, I took it upon myself to learn more about Digital Marketing. Past experience had been more working on traditional marketing in the Automotive Industry where digital marketing was largely out sourced. Whilst also working for my Dad’s business, the time proved worthwhile as I was able to display my knowledge in SEO and PPC in the interview process for a position at Dog and following that I was offered the role of Digital Marketing Executive. I haven’t looked back since. Although I was recruited I knew there was still a lot to learn I was keen to further my knowledge which Dog gave me the opportunity to do so. Whilst searching what to do, Google Squared Online was recommended to me by a fellow colleague and I couldn’t have asked for a better course to go on.
The award winning course, developed by Google, is packed with the latest in digital marketing and perfect for Managers, Executives or anyone looking to increase knowledge, understanding and confidence in digital. If that didn’t tick all the boxes already then it was said to be able to quickly get me up to speed with my experienced colleagues in digital and enable me to give the best possible service to our clients, challenge the norm and bring new thoughts and ideas to the table. It didn’t disappoint.
The 6 month course is an enjoyable online learning experience. Working with fellow Squares with all different levels of experience, skills in different types of industries and countries allows you to not only grow your network and knowledge but also help you make new friends which is fun in itself. You become more of a family during the course than classmates as everyone aims towards the same goal of completing and getting the most out of the course. Group work, hand on projects, a virtual campus packed with information and sources to read up on, an excellent responsive support team, expert speakers, assessments, online activities and, my favourite part, online classes. Not only were the speakers fantastic but the chat box along with the classes was great to interact with fellow squares and at the same time have some good banter with everyone. It made it more of a social activity than an online course or a boring long lecture.
While on Google Squared, you will learn a host of topics: Customer Journey, Disruptive Business Planning, Social Media, Mobile, Search, Display, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Attribution Models, Leadership Models, Digital Trends and much more. Every week I was able to take something new out of it, and apply it to a work situation. It really raised my self-confidence, especially for being relatively new to working in an agency environment. For this to happen though, be prepared to put the hard work in as that is the only way you will get the most out of the course.
1 hour classes every Tuesday night, feel free to sit with a glass of wine or a beer during the class – seemed like the majority did just that - and dive into the pre class and post class activities too. A busy, hardworking 6 months and you will be rewarded. Working with others, although enjoyable, can have its challenges through the course though as you are paired in teams with people in different countries who also have other work and personal commitments. This means there can be times when things don’t go too smoothly but the key is to always be positive and effectively communicate with everyone in the team. I believe that is the key to success and is what I think was why I was voted by fellow team mates and Squares as 1 of the 5 Inspirational Squares from the 180 who graduated.
Not only did I go into the assignments with full of optimism and enthusiasm, but I also offered support to others, ensured that I stayed positive and communicated all meetings to people who couldn’t make it, kept the team motivated and made work sessions efficient to fit in with busy work and personal schedules but at the same time making it fun. If I hadn’t done this I wouldn’t have come out with the results I have.
So 12 months on, having been aboard this manic roller coaster, I get off. I can now reflect on it all and look forward to the next challenge I’m about to embark on, with confidence knowing that every cloud has a silver lining and that hard work can get you anywhere in life. I was sad to finish Google Squared as it was such an enjoyable course and I have made friends and developed a network for a life time. Most importantly though it has laid the foundations for me to really accelerate my career at Dog as a leader in Digital and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
I leave you with this. If you’re looking for a fun, worthwhile, beneficial and up to date Digital Marketing course to go on then it has to be Google Squared Online – and no before you ask - I wasn’t paid to write or say this. It will be an experience you’ll never forget.
All the best.
Gordon Carslaw, Digital Marketing Executive.
Find out more about Google Squared Online