What is your education and career background? Your current role?
I am currently finishing my Masters of Arts in Sociology from Simon Fraser University, where I also completed my undergraduate degree. I have an informal education in digital marketing, SEO fundamentals, and running a design business. I have worked as a communication specialist for a Vancouver biotech company, a graphic designer for an interior design studio, and a business development and marketing specialist for a restoration company. I have also been a freelance graphic and web designer for over seven years. Currently, I run my own design and digital marketing firm, which I started at the commencement of my Masters program.
What course are you enrolled in for this cohort and what made you decide to take it?
I enrolled in the Product Management program because I wanted to add this capability to my own design firm. I also wanted to learn these skills in a face-to-face setting with industry experts. A lot of people argue that you can learn a lot of digital marketing skills in an online environment; however, I think when you’re creating a people and value centered product, project, and business, you need to be with people. Creating connections, and learning interpersonal business skills is invaluable to refining businesses.
How did you hear about the program?
I heard about this program through a friend I met through one of my professional blogging and business networks.
What are you most excited to learn?
I am most excited to learn how to ensure that the products I manage and create are matched and tested with my ideal client’s wants and needs using customer and user validation. I also look forward to working through the entire process of ideation to prototype of product design with industry leaders and mentors advising me step by step through the journey, rather than before or after the process.
If you had to pick a favourite tech company doing awesome things – who would it be and why?
I am really impressed by biotech companies like Zymeworks who are able to combine computer programming and genetics in an impactful way to research cures for cancer and other diseases. I think the capability for technology to make a positive impact on the quality of life for people is its most important feature. Along with social causes, I love companies that combine tech with the aesthetically beautiful. Showit 5 is a drag and drop website builder company that is really focused on customer service and the aesthetics of web design. It shows not only their own software and app, but the products that are created for their marketplace. Designers who use their platform undergo strict design reviews, so that each product created and sold on their platform is truly beautiful and functional. If technology is impactful, beautiful, and community driven, then I am usually a really big fan of it.
Favourite spot to spend an afternoon in the city?
My favourite place to spend an afternoon in the city is walking the Seawall, especially on a brisk but sunny day. This of course, is complimented by tacos for lunch and gelato for dessert. There is something so refreshing and inspiring about the ocean and mountains.
How do you plan on applying your newfound skills, personally and/or professionally?
I plan on using my newfound skills to further develop and refine the launch of my own business – Marceil Design. It is an online art and marketing department for entrepreneurs and small to medium sized business owners who don’t have the size or budget for their own in-house marketing department.