Image of Ellen Connolly
On Thursday 13th June 2019, I met founder – Trainer – Chartered Marketer Christine Watson in the lobby of the newly refurbished Ivanhoe Hotel (one of Christine’s training clients) for a coffee and a chat. After a lengthy and engaging discussion, I came out into the Carryduff sunshine with my head swimming with possibilities. I want to enhance my skills and knowledge about the marketing discipline and industry and hope that the courses that I outline below, as part of my brand new learning plan following research on might enable me to do so. I am particularly interested in improving my awareness and abilities in relation to the online and social media aspects of marketing as I believe that these can play a very important role for businesses. Although I am slightly nervous for what is ahead, I am aware that everything I do in the next month, no matter how good or bad, will be a learning curve. Hopefully, these courses and this practical learning opportunity with Trainer – Chartered Marketer Christine Watson should allow me to put some of those terms that I recognise from my university marketing modules into practice. I am setting a target of 40 hours a week, akin to a full time marketing position, to allow myself to complete relevant courses and learn more about marketing in theory and in practice.  
Ellen with her coffee and laptop

Marketing Trainee Ellen pictured in Curated Kitchen in Belfast Cathedral Quarter at a training review meeting with Trainer Christine Watson


Here are some goals that I am committed to achieving within the next month:

I will learn how to use WordPress (Trainer – Chartered Marketer Christine Watson will schedule a quick demo and assures me that it isn’t too different than using microsoft word), and in turn, I will learn how to blog as this is an essential skill for modern marketers.
I’m going to undertake a free online course on Story Telling by Disney Pixar run by Kahn Academy, as it not only sounds enjoyable, but should be useful in improving fluidity in my writing. I will need to sharpen my social media skills and I’m going to complete Twitter’s Flight School course to do so. As someone who doesn’t use Twitter, I think that this course is a must for me. More and more firms, journalists and more are using platforms like Twitter to communicate and connect with customers/audiences so it’s imperative that I have some level of understanding. Following this, I intend to complete courses on Instagram and Snapchat, which should allow me to understand the full potential of these platforms for marketing purposes. Next, I will take a course on scheduling platform Hootsuite. As well as learning how to use Hootsuite to distribute content the platform also have free online lessons on social media marketing on various platforms – I trust that this will enhance my understanding of social media marketing. Whilst learning about Hootsuite, I also hope to learn about what a Content Calendar is and how to use one. Furthermore, I want to learn about the importance of hashtag marketing. I have signed up for two free face to face courses at Apple (in the Apple store in Victoria Square, Belfast) so far (they are branded Today at Apple). I anticipate that this time investment will enhance my photography and video skills. I am an amateur at this type of thing, so help from a professional will, with any luck, help me a lot! Courses on free graphic design platform are next on my list, and these free online tutorials should allow me to delve into my creative side to design graphics, a vital aspect for any aspiring marketer. Here is the very first one that I have created below: Graphic reading "Learning Plan"                 I’m currently checking out courses run by Harvard, MIT and Open University. These are great opportunities to learn about something new from widely acclaimed brands and I fancy having a qualification from Harvard on my CV! The Google Digital Garage course also seems very relevant to my interests in marketing, with the most up-to-date and in-demand skills, hence I plan to complete this course online. It is free but involves over 100 different video lessons and 27 assessments. Once completed though I will be awarded a certificate to enhance my level of employability in the marketing field. Hopefully by the end of the month, having completed a number of these courses, I’ll be using them to perform some of the tasks expected of a junior marketer. Moreover I will be entering month two with a ‘To Learn’ plan for the future. Finally, my key goal is to ensure that I enjoy each learning experience and that these training investments will motivate me to get closer to my overall aim: to secure an exciting job role after my Graduation in Autumn 2021. I want to be inspired to learn new skills in order to develop and enhance future career opportunities in a landscape that has transformed from a career ladder to a career jungle gym.    

About Me

I am Ellen Connolly and I have just completed my second year of Commerce and Spanish in University College Cork. I have a keen interest in marketing and wish to improve my skills in the related areas. Using, I hope to unlock my creativity by learning how to use digital platforms and through undertaking a number of online courses I aim to gain the vital expertise that an aspiring marketer needs and in the process enhance my employability. I am moving to Spain in August 2019 and, if all goes well and I “master” the art of blogging and using social media, maybe you’ll hear about my Erasmus experience away from Ireland! Courtesy of my first ever meeting with Trainer – Chartered Marketer Christine Watson you will now find me on LinkedIn. Image of Ellen Connolly

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Ellen with her coffee and laptop
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Ellen Connolly