Making our student work-ready
Your team is only as strong as your weakest player.
That's something Rachel Evans learned from her volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee. "In an academic setting, if someone is struggling, you've got to bring them up with you," says the program lead for the Digital Marketing Major and the newly renamed Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Major.
Rachel brings that value of teamwork into the classroom as an instructor for several courses, including Business Communication, and Public Relations. "We run like a team. In particular, in the Digital and Emerging Media course, I try to emulate the workplace in many ways." The curriculum for that course is about 80 per cent hands-on, and every class takes place in a computer lab.
Rachel has introduced students to GroupTweet, a software that lets multiple contributors tweet from one Twitter account. "We're continuously tweeting about what's happening in class, the news, and [the students'] learning activities that they're doing in class," says Rachel.
Students also learn how to develop podcasts, how to manipulate files to share them across multiple platforms, and how to use services like SlideShare. They communicate through the instant messaging platform Slack. Their assignments mimic the tasks they'll be asked to perform at work.
They also get certified in inbound marketing through HubSpot and Google Analytics if they take the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Analytics elective. So, they graduate with those credentials on their résumé and LinkedIn profile.
Last year, Rachel and her team redesigned the IMC curriculum after the Chiu School of Business conducted an employability audit. What graduates had learned in school and what they had to do on the job didn't necessarily align. "Understanding what those skills are that employers need from day one has been the motivator to implement [our] curriculum and [our] type of learning. Our graduates at the end of two years can get to that entry-level marketing and communications job, and do the job from day one."
Graduate Amber Rowden's experience proves the program has results. She found a marketing job six days after finishing her Digital Marketing Major and IMC Major courses. "Bow Valley College provided me with the daily skills I need to perform tasks related to my job," says Amber.
As a digital marketing manager, Amber builds marketing campaigns, cold calls prospective clients, and manages existing clients through HubSpot. "I practised quite a few of these skills at Bow Valley College," she says. "The College gave me the knowledge to go into the job and the confidence to ask questions and perform in a marketing role."
To find out about admission requirements and view the course descriptions, visit the IMC page.
Posted on November 22, 2019
Story by Julie-Anne Cleyn, photos by Chris Bolin