Working in the fashion industry sparked Deveshree Shinde’s interest in digital marketing. When Deveshree decided to pursue a career-change, she chose BrainStation for their hands-on, comprehensive, and project-based bootcamp model. Her bootcamp experience became the catalyst to career opportunities she hadn’t imagined! Deveshree shares how her BrainStation portfolio helped her land a Digital Marketing Manager position at TENGIVA!
What inspired you to get into digital marketing in 2020?
I started my fashion career in India, and later became an editor of Fanique’s digital magazine where I curated interviews with artists and celebrities for their digital magazine. My experience at Fanique taught me the importance of digital marketing in the fashion and lifestyle industries. I was intrigued by the use of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook for advertising and I wanted to learn everything I could about how marketing worked at a core level. I wanted the insider’s advantage of this technical field.
I wasn’t sure how exactly I would go about this journey, but I set out on my search. I took a fashion studies course five years ago, and before I found BrainStation, I looked up other online Digital Marketing courses but I wasn’t energized by them. BrainStation’s curriculum looked so promising that I thought I would give a digital marketing bootcamp a try.
There are so many digital marketing bootcamps out there now — What stood out about BrainStation’s Online Digital Marketing Bootcamp?
I originally wanted to enroll in BrainStation’s in-person bootcamp, but the onset of COVID-19 switched everything to remote learning. I had never done an online class and I was nervous about how well I’d learn. I thoroughly researched BrainStation online and really liked the way it was constructed. They made practical and realistic promises, ensuring that you would learn everything necessary to secure a job in digital marketing. Success is also dependent on the work of the individual. The curriculum will equip you with the tools, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the student to put in the effort to make it last.
I also greatly appreciated BrainStation’s Growth Coordinators! They helped me with the application process, discussed the courses, and answered all my questions.
What was the BrainStation application and interview process like?
The application process consisted of a phone call and a video interview with the BrainStation team. I was also assigned a challenge where I had to create a marketing strategy regarding hospitality management. Since I had previous marketing experience, I used that knowledge when completing the challenge. BrainStation doesn’t accept all applicants, so it was encouraging when I was officially accepted into the program!
What was a typical day like in BrainStation’s Digital Marketing bootcamp?
My preconceived idea about online learning was that it would be super chill and relaxed; this program was not! It was intense from day one, but it was also fun.
A typical day looked like:
10:30AM — Our instructors, Josh Muirhead and Justin Lowe, would start by sharing interesting things happening in the industry that related to one of our projects. This was super relevant, and I liked that he could shine more light on these topics.
11:00AM — Lecture begins. Everything was so organized and well constructed at BrainStation. We had access for the syllabus so we knew what we were going to learn. We could even go through the presentation deck before class and prepare questions. Our instructors answered every question we had. They intentionally took the time to ensure that we all understood the content.
In the afternoon session, we had 60-90 minute activities to do individually or in a group where we would apply what we had learned that day in a realistic way. BrainStation’s curriculum offered real industry experience that was practical and informative.
6:00PM — The day would finish, but I often would keep working on projects after, sometimes until 3am!
What did you actually learn in the digital marketing bootcamp?
People often think digital marketing is just about social media — it's not! Brainstation applied a level of precision and focus to cover every aspect of digital marketing. The bootcamp taught me digital marketing fundamentals, what it takes to have a digital marketing strategy, the importance of content (what it is, how it works, how to use it in different ways), the beauty of each channel (a website title, a call-to-action button, one email in a nurture campaign, a subject line), SEO, case studies, how to adapt strategies, how to identify the difference between branding and marketing. For SEO tools, we learned Moz. For data visualization, we used Tableau, Google Analytics, and other platforms that align with the information we shared. Most importantly, BrainStation challenged us to think like a digital marketer.
Did the remote teaching style match your learning style?
The teaching style exceeded my expectations. My BrainStation instructors were attentive and available. If I was ever in doubt, I could Slack them anytime, and they were always available for a 1:1 discussion. Operating online means that instructors can see everyone on the screen, so if someone looked confused, they would catch it and offer clarity.
Since you did this bootcamp remotely, how did you connect with your cohort and instructors?
Since we had group activities, by the second week of the bootcamp, the 12 people in our class were put in pods on Slack. Every day for half an hour we worked in our pods, discussing the bootcamp, upcoming projects, collaborating on group work, chatting, and helping each other.
Our instructors were professional, but they were friendly and allowed us to be ourselves in the class. Those in my cohort came from all different walks of life and we were encouraged to connect with each other from the very beginning. Even though it was a remote program, I made real friends at this bootcamp. Everyone in my cohort agreed that we were operating in the most ideal working environment. We had the best time!
What digital marketing projects did you work on at Brainstation?
Our first project was to stimulate our minds. We developed a strategy for the well-known automobile brand BMW by determining the SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of the brand itself and of its competitors. Then we shared our GOST analysis and recommendations.
Overall, the projects were very focused. One project was to develop three months of social media content for Sabra Hummus. Another project asked us to complete an SEO audit for Patagonia and then make recommendations and a plan. We had an individual project where we had to create a content strategy using case studies, eBooks, or blogs, and determine how we would market it after creating that content.
What did you build for your capstone project?
At the beginning, we were assigned a capstone portfolio project that we would have to submit by the end of the bootcamp, the intention being to offer cohesion and direction throughout the coursework. If I got feedback on a project, I would incorporate it in my capstone portfolio since I knew it was the biggest assignment. I chose to focus my capstone project on a creative digital marketing agency for the fashion industry since that spoke to my previous fashion experience and I knew that it would be applicable to my future. The most important goal of the project was to create a strategy that responded to the question, How will you bring this unique product of yours in front of people? The project was less about what the product was and more about how you would market it and how you would get people into the rabbithole you just created.
We had 15-minute presentations in class, and on Demo Day, we had to sell a 3-minute pitch. Demo Day included all the BrainStation cohorts, not just Digital Marketing, so we were right there with the Web Development, UX Design, and Data Science students presenting for potential employers and each other. It was a great experience.
We also submitted a recorded 3-minute pitch video that BrainStation posted on the website. If you log onto BrainStation's recent graduates, you'll see everyone's video under their specific disciplines. This is helpful for hiring partners in case they missed Demo Day, or if they liked someone and want to watch it again.
How did BrainStation prepare you for the job hunt?
BrainStation played a huge role in preparing me for the job hunt. BrainStation is not just teaching you the hard skills; they have a career section as well as routine seminars. We got to meet wonderful people through Power Hours, where BrainStation would bring in specific industry professionals to speak to us. Beyond what’s happening in class, BrainStation has events where we can connect with these more industry professionals.
BrainStation helped me understand and prepare my LinkedIn profile — how it should look, what to include, how to market yourself, how to showcase the work you have done. After every review, they offered me feedback and the opportunity to make alterations.
After Demo Day, there were mock interviews given by actual industry professionals, so that we could prepare ourselves for what a potential employer would ask and how to answer. Since everything has gone remote due to the pandemic, the mock interviews helped get me comfortable answering questions in a setting that may be less than ideal. I had a mock interview with Jason Theodor, Executive Director of Imagination & Experience Design at Capco. Jason remembered me from a Power Hour and a sprint assignment when our cohort was divided into two groups and given 48 hours to create a realistic strategy for Capco's new launch. I was in the winning group and that made an impression on him. In the mock interview, we talked about my experience and what I've learned, and then I presented my capstone project. At that time, I was focused on building my network, so Jason introduced me to leading global agencies. I learned so much from those conversations; they gave me clarity on what I want, what I should be looking for, and what I should choose. The interview preparation was crucial.
Congrats on your new job at TENGIVA! How did you land the job?
By the time I saw TENGIVA’s post, I was clear about what kind of role I wanted. I originally interviewed for a Social Media Coordinator position at TENGIVA. The interview process included a phone call, a video call, and a technical interview round. I was able to present my capstone portfolio to them. The founder of TENGIVA was really impressed by my portfolio. Since I had previous experience, TENGIVA offered me a more senior role as Digital Marketing Manager! My BrainStation portfolio did wonders for me.
What kinds of projects are you working on at TENGIVA?
TENGIVA is an online platform for suppliers in the textile industry, since many of them don't have an online presence. Clients can quickly and efficiently buy fabrics/textiles that are in-stock. TENGIVA is conscientious of sustainability and doesn’t use mass production. There are about 20 people working at TENGIVA, all from diverse backgrounds. My first week was orientation and since then I’ve switched to more serious work. My role is to create a new strategy that reflects new developments in the company. I'm constantly meeting with people from TENGIVA to get to know as much as I can to gain insight on the best strategy to incorporate.
How are you keeping up with new trends since graduating from BrainStation?
BrainStation allows graduates access to their curriculum for one year, but it’s up to me to stay informed and updated. In the field of digital marketing, you have to keep learning because everything changes, including the Google algorithms, SEO updates, and new technologies. A trending marketing tool may work for one company but not for another, so it’s important to stay informed on a variety of options.
What has been the biggest challenge in this journey to make a career change into digital marketing? Is there anything you wish you knew before enrolling in BrainStation?
Before enrolling in BrainStation, I wish I knew what kind of super intense crazy ride it was going to be. I wish I knew the importance of time management.
When I say the course is super intense, I mean that you literally cannot have a life outside of the bootcamp during those three months. If you think you can have a job and do this bootcamp, you cannot. Going out on a weekend was not an option. I was inside my house for three months and all I thought about was digital marketing. If people can't handle the pressure or if they have something on their plate already, this bootcamp can be a hard thing to do. However, if you want the full benefit of full-time learning, the BrainStation Digital Marketing bootcamp is a great experience.
What skills from your background in fashion do you still rely on today as a digital marketer?
These two industries relate in that they keep changing every day. Fashion trends change, marketing trends change. With my fashion background, I already have a mindset of flexibility, adaptability, creativity, and the ability to shift gears.
Was BrainStation worth it for you?
BrainStation was absolutely worth it for me. It was such a great experience. BrainStation actively builds community and they pride themselves on keeping graduates connected. Alumni are invited to seminars, events, and are a part of a large network. It’s amazing! I'm still in touch with everyone in my cohort and we regularly meet virtually.
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