July 19, 2018

Never Stop Learning No Matter Your Age

Deanna Paik | GreenFig Student
Written by:

Deanna Paik | GreenFig Student

Our Student Stories blog series highlights the experiences of GreenFig students currently enrolled in our Digital Marketing Science course. Here, we will introduce you to several students, find out what drove them to GreenFig, what skills they are developing right now, and what they aim to achieve with their microdegree from GreenFig.

“Never stop learning, no matter what your age”

Deanna Paik could have been content to ride out the status quo. After all, the entrepreneur already owns a successful business and possesses a mile-long resume featuring business management roles in numerous sectors. She knows international shipping, how to buy patents overseas, and the ins and outs of owning a successful art gallery.

But resting on her laurels doe not jive with Deanna’s never-stop-learning mentality. While the first half of her career is in the rear-view mirror, she strongly believed that in order to continue to thrive in the second half, her skills needed to evolve.

When Deanna heard about the opportunity to grow her digital marketing skills as a student in our fall Digital Marketing Science course, she jumped at the chance.

“I always challenge myself,” she says. “Even though I am older than most of the other students, I always want to be relevant.“ Specifically, Deanna says she needed to update her technology and strategy skills. Marketing analytics and persona mapping were at the top of her list when starting the course.

Deanna notes that GreenFig’s instructors — who are all seasoned, and working, marketing experts — brought realism and energy to the classroom in a way that was empowering to her.

“I am most surprised by how energized I am,” she says. “You go into some courses and it is interesting. But it does not inspire you to get up in the morning and say ‘what else can I learn today’?”

Following 16 weeks of classroom instruction, GreenFig students have transitioned to the Apprentorship Module (a mentor-guided apprenticeship with real-world companies). Leveraging their new skills, small groups of students collaborate with a real-world company and execute an active, real-world marketing campaign.“You can sit and learn new skills,” says Deanna, “but to experience it, is another thing. I have got to put my hands on it and use it.”

For Deanna, “micro education” is all about evolving and thriving. Already equipped with tremendous skills and experience, Deanna did not want or need a career U-turn. Rather, her aim is to strengthen and adapt her skills to a changing digital workforce. A highly focused, super-charged course that builds job-ready skills and experience in a condensed period of time was the perfect solution.

“I want to see my professional future keep going for the next 20 or 30 years, and a micro degree from GreenFig allows me to do that,” Deanna says. “To continue to thrive in today’s workplace, this is where people like me need to be.”

“When I look back, I have changed my career every 7 to 8 years,” she adds. ‘I have gone from the cosmetic industry to buying patents in Europe, working for a law firm, then going into the sporting goods industry, then opening up my own art gallery.”

“I always want to be challenging myself. You never stop learning, no matter what your age is.”

Learn more about GreenFig’s Digital Marketing Science course here.

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The World Economic Forum cites, “[the digital economy] is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And, these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.” Where land, oil, and capital drove the past three Industrial Ages, this new “4th Industrial Age” is powered by “digital oil” – data. Companies are building and deploying systems of intelligence to prospect, discover, and refine the digital oil of the digital economy. And, the miners of this digital oil are “business scientists”. Business scientists must understand how to capture, observe, and utilize customer, financial, market, and product data. They do not necessarily have to be technical – as in know how to code – instead, they must learn how to generate and review business data and use their creative skills to operate business application software. In the US, politicians, academia, and industry leaders are currently placing a tremendous focus on technical training, coding, and other STEM programs. However, the unspoken truth is that many of these positions will eventually be eliminated through advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Additionally, many people are simply not interested or well-suited for these technical programs, degrees, and jobs. However, people who are creative and critical thinkers – products of liberal arts programs – are ideally suited to fill the positions of the digital economy. All they need is some additional specialized training and knowledge. Micro Education companies and microdegrees are well-designed to provide such training.

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