Frances presenting one of her greatest achievements where she wrote and published a blog on how to stay up to date with the never-ending digital marketing trends.
My name is Frances McArdle and I am 20 years old. I am a second-year student at St Mary’s University College, Belfast currently studying the BA Liberal Arts Degree Programme with Business Studies. I have completed my six-week traineeship at Trainingmatchmaker and Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing founded by Chartered Marketer Christine Watson. At the beginning of my marketing traineeship, I highlighted certain goals that I wanted to accomplish throughout the six-weeks in my Learning Plan. In this blog, I will list my greatest achievements and the online learning resources that I have benefitted from using and the courses that I have completed during my time at TrainingMatchmaker.com.

WordPress:

WordPress is a free and great platform that allows you to easily create websites and blogs. During the first week of my traineeship, I created my first blog – My Learning Plan with help from Chartered Marketer & Trainer: Christine Watson. Whilst only my first time ever writing a blog and using WordPress I admit that I found it relatively easy to use as the WordPress template of the website I was posting to is formatted similar to Microsoft Word. I also used WordPress to upload my Wednesday Wisdom blog onto watsonsmarketing website: “How to stay up to date with the never ending changes in the digital marketing landscape.” I added in my own hyperlinks to direct visitors to useful social media platforms. I also helped to update the “Top Hashtags for Tourism Marketing in Northern Ireland,” – I added in new hashtags that were relevant in the tourism industry and ensured I was following the same format as was already there.
Yoast is a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tool – a plugin into this WordPress site. I found this tool very useful because it generates title tags and Meta descriptions for each post, helping to drive traffic to websites. Yoast also has a readability analysis which provided me with feedback when I wrote each post.

Canva:

Canva is a free tool with a drag-and-drop feature and helps you to create eye-catching graphics. Before my traineeship, I only used Canva once when I created a short eBook for one of my marketing modules at university.  Therefore, I explored some free courses which I found listed on Trainingmatchmaker.com  such as Graphic Designs Basics and Social Media Mastery. These courses included video tutorials on how to use the different functions in Canva from a business’s perspective, which I found very useful. Throughout my placement, I was tasked to create and draft engaging graphics to share across social media especially Instagram. I was also tasked to design an eBook for a client project. This helped to improve my creative thinking skills as I created my own templates while exploring different fonts, shapes, gradients, frames and charts and ensured I was consistent with colours on each page. This all helped my eBook to look more professional. I used different tools such as Diagrams Net to create the required diagrams and bar charts as I saved the diagrams as PNG and uploaded them onto Canva.

LinkedIn:

My trainer Christine Watson suggested, from the outset, that I should create a LinkedIn account. in order to connect and to stay connected with all the professionals that I would be coming across during my traineeship. Before doing this, I completed the LinkedIn Basics Course I found listed on MakeItClick, which gave me a further insight into how to create my account and build my profile while learning how to navigate the site.  LinkedIn has already provided me with an opportunity to connect with professionals in the digital marketing field and observe new and constantly changing digital trends. I have uploaded my Wednesday Wisdom blog as an article on LinkedIn: “How to stay up to date with the never ending changes in the digital marketing landscape.” I look forward to posting more content, adding a photograph, sharing my thoughts to specific topics that interest me and receiving LinkedIn endorsements which will help to support my career goals.

Hubspot Academy:

I highlighted in my Learning Plan that one of my goals was to improve my email marketing skills throughout my training with Trainingmatchmaker.com. Therefore, I successfully completed the Email Marketing Course provided by Hubspot Academy and I was delighted to obtain a certificate for this training investment. I learned the fundamentals of email marketing and how to create an effective email marketing strategy. The free online certificated course consists of 9 lessons with 28 videos and takes just over 3 hours to complete. I will add this certificate onto my CV under Professional Development as in my Learning Plan, I explained that I would like to tailor my CV towards the digital marketing field.
Picture of an email certification that Frances obtained throughout her traineeship  
I have also completed the introduction to email course, the blog post on how to write the perfect email listed on Make It Click and emailed a number of professionals one-to-one throughout my traineeship. My trainer Christine Watson also showed me how to create a MailChimp ezine and I learned that you must acquire the email addresses in a GDPR compliant way and allow people to unsubscribe when sending your email.

Google Analytics:

My trainer Christine Watson showed me how to use Google Analytics which provides so much detail about the visitors on your website. For example, it tells you how many people have viewed your website, what country they are from and how long they spent reading your content. I have successfully completed 15 modules out of 26 modules – Fundamentals of Digital Marketing provided by Google Digital Garage listed on Training Matchmaker. This free online certificated course takes up to 40 hours to complete and includes teaching on Google Analytics.

Quik by GoPro:

I created my own video on a free app – Quik by Go Pro. I used my mobile device which enabled me to transform some of my favourite photos throughout my six-week traineeship into highlights with music. I will continue to use this app in the future when adding photos and videos into highlights and explore the different filters as it is very easy to use.

About Me:

  I am in my second year at St Mary’s University College in Belfast studying the BA (Hons) Liberal Arts Degree Programme with Business Studies. I am currently carrying out my university work online due to the current pandemic with Covid-19. My specific subject area in my course is Business Studies and my favourite functional area is marketing. I enjoy exploring different types of digital marketing such as social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).  

About Make It Click:

Make It Click provides support for working age adults hoping to improve their digital skills. The programme is developed by Good Things Foundation and funded by Google.org. It provides thousands of people with many learning opportunities to help develop knowledge and build their confidence while supporting their professional development. TrainingMatchmaker.com is an online centre of Good Things Foundation and delivers the MakeItClick.com funded project – any adult can sign up using the centre code: 8003411 – trainingmatchmaker.com

About TrainingMatchmaker.com:

Training Matchmaker signposts people to free and paid online learning opportunities to help them reach their full potential. It also enables them to build or gain new skills with help from trainers across Northern Ireland. It also offers insight into Trainers available for hire and provides independent trainers with a community.

About St Mary’s University College:

St Mary’s University College is a higher education institution which provides bachelor, postgraduate and liberal arts degree courses. The BA Liberal Arts degree is offered to those who have not chosen a teaching career as it is more geared towards a combination of focused study and broad development. Each student enrolled in the BA Liberal Arts degree can choose one area for Subject study including Business Studies, English, History, Religious Studies, Irish or Physical Education. The aim of the subject study is to provide students with a more focused study in one specific academic area to degree level.

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