Updated: Jan 7, 2019
For many of you, the fear of being in the so-called “real world” is starting to set in. The likelihood of just two weeks of vacation, the reality of working a "9-5" shift everyday and the endless responsibilities that come with that is probably starting to freak you out a little. However, the title is not supposed to scare you. The real world is exciting, challenging and rewarding. The opportunity to start a career and to set realistic goals for yourself will be such a rewarding journey for all of you.
My Two Cents on GBDA
GBDA is the perfect combination of both business and digital arts. GBDA gives you the ideal toolkit to succeed in any position you apply yourself to. “You can do anything you want” — it's a phrase you've probably heard before, it's the cliché that we’ve been exposed to all our lives, but it is so applicable for GBDA students. We really can do anything we want to. From Development, Marketing, User Experience, Business Analyst, Quality Assurance…the list goes on and on. GBDA gets you ready to face the challenges in the "real world" that you will experience.
There is a simple reason for this readiness. It’s that GBDA exposes you and prepares you for teamwork and creative problem-solving. No matter what position you have in the future, you will be working in a team and you will have to solve problems. GBDA prepares you for that simple fact, and it will give you such an advantage in the workforce.
UX vs Marketing
UX, UX, and more UX. It is the two letters that I am you've heard countless times over in GBDA. I’ve since realized that GBDA is not just about UX, it’s more about using different skills to combat problems from unique angles. In many enterprises, you won’t be working on a singular problem. You will need to look at each project from many perspectives to get the best possible result.
There are many job opportunities that you could potentially go into to, but I am passionate about marketing so I will deep-dive into that. Marketing is a field I am sure some of you want to get into and maybe you're not sure you're prepared for that. However, you are ready to face the marketing world. With the soft skills, teamwork and creative problem solving you have gained over the last 4 years, you can combat any marketing challenge you are tasked with. Yes, the technical elements of marketing are complicated and take time to learn, but the fact is that you know how to learn. You have taught yourself to think, and to think in many different ways.
If you are interested in Marketing, I recommend taking the Google Ads Words Certificate before you start applying. This certificate gives you a great basic understanding of Google Adwords and SEO, which is vital to succeed in marketing.
The Job Hunt
I wanted to include some advice on the job hunt because the ultimate goal of getting a degree is to get a job that is both challenging and enjoyable, but still pays the bills.
1) Start Early and Start Aggressive
Applying to jobs is a pure numbers game. The more applications you get out, the higher your chance of getting interviews is. If you want a job in May, start applying in January. If you want 10 interviews, send 150 applications. If you want to be successful, applying to jobs should be a daily routine.
2) Don’t Be Picky, But Don’t Undersell Yourself
I hear too many applicants saying: “This job isn’t perfect” or “It seems boring.” The reality is no job description is ever a perfect fit, but it never hurts to apply to jobs that are somewhat close to what you want. It’s also important not to undersell yourself. You are qualified for probably more then you expect and even if you don’t meet all the qualities, still apply…again, it doesn’t hurt.
3) ASK FOR HELP!!!
PLEASE ASK FOR HELP! Get your resume looked over, talk to professors and use the Career Action Centre. The greatest way to increase your chances of getting noticed is by reviewing a resume with someone else. THIS IS THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU!
4) Never Give up
You will get a job, you may have to send out 500 applications and spend countless hours, but the reality is that if you apply yourself, you will get a job. If you get rejected, oh well… apply for more. It will be an endless cycle of rejections, interviews, and applications. The secret is never get down on yourself or give up.
Jay Barrett, GBDA '17
Customer Engagement Specialist
I am a Customer Engagement specialist at Shinydocs Corporation in Kitchener. My areas of expertise are in customer experience, digital marketing and sales operations. My role is focused on bridging the gap between sales and marketing to improve customer experience and drive brand awareness. If I’m not at work, you can see me on the baseball field or on slopes skiing.
I would be happy to connect to answer questions, give advice or review resumes. I enjoy helping people achieve their professional goals, so don’t be shy!