Alumni Stories: Online Live Learning from Australia

By BrainStation September 17, 2019
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Georgina Gow takes professional development seriously – tuning into BrainStation’s Tuesday evening Online Live UX Design class on what is her Wednesday morning in Australia. This is the second certificate course Georgina has taken at BrainStation after discovering the digital skills training while in Toronto on holiday. 

We spoke with Georgina to hear about her experience taking an Online Live course, how she manages the time difference, and how the courses have helped her in her multiple professional roles. 

BrainStation Student

Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background?

I graduated in 2015 from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Business and double major in Marketing and Management. 

My career kick-started prior to graduating when I was fortunate enough to obtain a role at a local council as the marketing and events coordinator for the now iconic Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails. It was this job which led me to my next adventure at a design school (Foundry) working in their marketing department and as a social media course writer and teacher for two years.

Fast forward to today where I work full-time as a Digital Specialist at St.LukesHealth a Health Insurance company that offers insurance Australia-wide, manage the online presence for the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, and teach Social Media at Foundry – I’m not too good at letting go of my jobs!

You have taken both Online Live Data Analytics and User Experience Design with BrainStation, what motivated you to take these courses?

I have always had a keen interest in UX and Data, which came about in two ways:

1) The motivation to be better at my job and have the ability to go one step further in marketing, by ensuring the online journey is as pleasant as possible and having the ability to communicate better with designers and web developers to achieve the best outcome for the user.

2) At Foundry, we had a lot of iconic Australian speakers who are prolific in design, data and so much more. In particular one conference focused on data-driven design, and I was fascinated with the topic and how it influenced so many different things in the workplace.

You live in Australia, what influenced your decision to take the BrainStation Online Live courses in a different time zone?

I was actually in Toronto taking a mini working holiday and wanted to upskill while I had the downtime. I then went back to Australia a little earlier than I’d planned, but I was determined to still study with BrainStation as they were the first courses I had found that were directly relevant to the outcomes I wanted to achieve.

I think the time zone is only an issue if you aren’t committed or passionate enough about the topics and don’t have a flexible workplace. I was fortunate enough that St.LukesHealth is so passionate about the development of employees that I’m able to study during work hours and take time where necessary. 

Can you describe your Online Live learning experience? 

I really enjoy the Online Live learning experience because it’s being taught live. It’s also fascinating to me hearing my fellow students talk about their experiences in their different professional working lives.

The highlight is definitely the Instructors, who all have relevant industry experience at well known companies that directly relates to the content. 

Did the Online Live experience at BrainStation differ from what you had previously associated with online learning? 

100 percent. Previously, my online courses at university consisted of lecture slides and an online recorded lecture. The online live classes are extremely beneficial as they’re in real-time, there’s an engaging Instructor, and other students are all there because they want to be. 

What were some of the most valuable skills you gained during the DA and UX courses? Have these courses aided your professional development?

I have found these courses so valuable in different ways, Data Analytics has taught me the importance of breaking down a question to solve the problem and also how to segment audiences in a more efficient way, developing tailored content that is relevant. 

The UX course has allowed me to build on the knowledge I already had and expand my thought process in relation to user testing and best practices for marketing experiences. 

As a Digital Specialist at St.LukesHealth, what does a typical day look like for you?

It’s hard to describe a typical day as it varies depending on the week, but a typical day could include:

Planning – campaign planning for the month, web updates, content planning for online channels, and reevaluating the online user journeys.

Producing – creation of digital media for our online channels.

Training – ensuring I am up to date in all areas of digital and working to best practices and standards.

How have you incorporated the skills you learned in Data Analytics and UX Design into your role?

Data Analytics has allowed me to see the bigger picture when it comes to our member base and the ability to break down different areas of target audiences and find out the best approach with targeting and tailoring content. 

I’m currently in the User Experience Design course, but the most exciting thing for me has been the development of online personas and taking the next step with regards to understanding the needs of our members and potential members.

Interested in taking an Online Live course? BrainStation offers Online Live courses in data, design, marketing, product, and development. Speak with a Learning Advisor today to find the best option for you.