One Customer’s Review: Part 1
Recently Brett DeLaria, web coordinator for the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, completed the ASPE-ROI Executive Certificate in Internet Marketing. With full disclosure in mind, the certificate program is endorsed and accredited by Saint Louis University, but Brett hadn’t actually heard of the program until he received a brochure in the mail from ASPE-ROI. Because we had a relationship with the school, and knew how helpful they are, we asked Brett to keep a few notes about his experience and to share his thoughts with us about the entire program. He had so much to say (thanks Brett!) that we’ve decided to break his answers up into a three-post blog series.
This first Q&A post covers what he had to say about why he decided to earn his Executive Certificate in Internet Marketing, how he found working with the ASPE staff, and the difference between our in-person and virtual training classrooms.
How did you originally hear about the certificate program (I’m told it wasn’t through your employer)?
I originally found out about ASPE-ROI’s Internet Marketing Certificate by accident. One of my co-workers received a mailer from the company about the Google Online Marketing Boot Camp. In fact the mailer was addressed to a former employee of the university in her position that had signed up for ASPE-ROI marketing materials. My coworker flagged it as something that might have been of interest to me, and brought it down. Upon reading through the material we noticed that this was one of the partner programs that our university teams up with ASPE, so I immediately became interested in the entire certificate program and not just the course.
Why did you want to take the certificate program?
My background is in high school education with an emphasis on urban education. Technology, marketing, and graphic design have always been hobbies of mine. I was working part time for the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University while I was finishing my degree when I was offered the opportunity to apply for the web marketing role. Not quite my original career path, but I took the opportunity.
I knew that I had a skill set that would give me a solid foundation in this type of career, but I knew I would have to be adaptive and learn more. When I found out about ASPE-ROI’s certificate it was a perfect match. I already had a strong background in the art aspect that is required of the job, but I needed more education to solidify myself as an internal expert about internet marketing. The combined courses offered me the ability to gain the expertise I needed, innovate with colleagues, bridge my art/design knowledge with the statistical and analytical knowledge, and do it quickly to bring the greatest amount of ROI for my own career and job.
Working in the education industry, we’re constantly trying to stay on the cutting edge and ensure that we are positioning ourselves in the marketplace to be visible and be a viable choice in the competition. We had been lacking, hence the creation of my role, and this program was the catalyst needed to ensure that I am able to produce desirable results for the school and university.
How did you find working with our customer service and training advisors throughout the certificate program? Easy, difficult, would anything make it easier?
In all my experience I have never had such a smooth process of communication with registration. I worked directly with individuals at ASPE-ROI. Every time my phone call was answered by an individual that truly cared and worked hard to find classes that would work around my schedule. The training advisors offered other dates if a class was full or had changed. They continually checked in with me to check on travel and hotels, and offered various options to find lodging in cities where the courses were held. In addition to their phone calls they were in constant communication via email sending confirmations, and reminders for the upcoming events. They are also knowledgeable and share additional resources to get the most out of the certificate program.
You took both virtual and classroom sessions. Which do you prefer and why? What were some of the benefits and drawbacks of both?
I found the virtual and classroom sessions both very beneficial. For my personal style of learning I am much more an “in-person” learner, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from either option. I found the classroom setting to be largely more collaborative. With more individuals there were larger discussions and brainstorming sessions. In essence we were our own marketing group think tank, working to help each other out with their job by generating new ideas and possible things that they could do to improve their business.
I found that the online classes were a more intimate setting and allowed for more one on one attention. For the SEO class, [the virtual environment] was beneficial to me, because we were able to look closely at our sites and make real deductions and recommendations because we spent so much more time focusing on our personal needs. Both formats work. The online for more individualized attention, a budget conscious business, and if you can’t miss a few days of work it allows you to remain present to your job and the session and multi task. The in-class allows a group setting, encouragement, brainstorming, and great networking opportunity with others in the field.
That’s all for this round of questions with Brett. Next week we will post his comments about the courses he took and the individual instructors for those sessions.