Law School Dreams
Question 1: What did you want to be when you grew up and how did that change?
Answer: At age nine I did my first debate and I loved it. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer until I attend college. The first event I attended in university was titled “Why You Shouldn’t Go to Law School” and this event convinced me that being a lawyer was not the career path for me. I abandoned that dream and now I am glad I did.
I am grateful that I ended up in an industry where I have work-life balance.
Question 2: That’s a big switch from law to the digital marketing industry! When did you first become exposed to digital marketing?
Answer: I learned a little about digital marketing in college. I was going to major in Public Affairs with a minor in Political Science. But none of the classes in this major I signed up for interested me at all. I decided to switch my major to Emerging Media and Communication.
We studied internet culture and communication in media with a small focus on digital marketing. A lot people who studied Emerging Media and Communication did pursue digital marketing careers because the background created a solid skill set for the digital marketing. I always knew I was more suited for a career path where I could hone my verbal or written communication skills. But I never thought to myself while I was in university, “I want to be a digital marketer.”
The Power of Involved Mentors
Question 3: What was your first job in the digital marketing industry?
Answer: I worked as the assistant for the CFO of Copyblogger, a digital marketing software company where the employees maintain a blog writing tips and tricks about the digital marketing industry.
Initially, I was buying the office groceries and getting the mail. But my boss, the CFO, took on a mentorship role for me. He was absolutely instrumental in my career. He set up an interview for a summer internship at a digital marketing agency. For the remainder of the university and for a brief time after graduation I worked at that agency on their SEO team and learned that digital marketing agency life was right for me.
Question 4: Did you seek out a mentor? How would you recommend that university students should seek a mentor figure for their career?
Answer: I never sought out a mentor. He naturally fell into that role for me.
Having a mentor changed my life; I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.
I recommend finding someone you connect with through your job or participate in mentorship programs while in college. Connections really do make a difference and building your professional network is important for your career path.
Success Beyond the Normal Career Path
Question 5: How did your career path lead you to Wpromote?
Answer: While I was job hunting, I attended a local area SEO event with my mentor at Copyblogger. At the end of the event I met a Wpromote Director who announced Wpromote had job openings available, so I introduced myself, gave him my resume and soon after interviewed for a job opening at Wpromote.
Question 6: What has your growth path been at Wpromote? And what would be your advice be for someone currently attending university to rise up in a digital marketing agency?
Answer: I started as an SEO Coordinator in 2014, supporting Account Managers with their work and learned about their role. Six months later I was promoted to an Account Specialist and took on my own accounts. Once I was responsible for maintaining the hotel websites in my portfolio, I learned there are multiple areas in the digital landscape which impact my property’s search engine performance. In the span of a year from being a Specialist, I was promoted to a Senior Digital Marketing Account Manager, in this role I broadened my scope of work and began managing paid and social campaigns. I think this rapid promotion was due to my previous SEO experience in the industry. This growth trajectory prepared me for the Associate Director role, in which I am managing specialists and account managers, and I am more involved in macro-level conversations and decisions.
Question 7: What advice would you give someone who wants success working at a digital agency?
I would recommend finding an area you specialize in, then be a resource for your team in that area.
But the beauty of the digital marketing industry is that once you specialize in one area, there is an opportunity to learn more about other areas of digital marketing that impact your specialization. Also, I would encourage employees to take on projects that are outside your normal day-to-day routine which permits you to learn how to support your clients across multiple digital channels.
Main Takeaway from Caitlyn’s Leadership Journey
Initially, it was a surprising fact to learn Caitlyn shifted her career vision from law to digital marketing. But the transition makes sense following her journey through university, to her relationship with her mentor and how this connection gave her the opportunity to experience the digital marketing industry through an internship. The qualities Caitlyn exhibited which has led to her career success thus far of recognizing her skills of verbal and written communication at an early point in her career, and her ability to act upon her mentor’s guidance are exemplary traits for an aspiring digital marketer to imitate.