This September marks three years since I took the leap into teaching, although it didn’t really feel like a leap at all. Having undertaken my CIM Professional Diploma in marketing in 2007, and since gaining over 12 years industry experience (from both agency and client side), and setting up Realise in 2014, it felt like the next natural step to teach.
Some of my early experience of teaching was around training others, whether staff as part of a team learning how to use our CMS, or client training on social media. Over time I began creating specific training courses for clients, which required knowing their processes and how they work as well as the technical and platform details to put these together into courses their teams would really get value from. Rather than an off-the-shelf solution, clients would rely on receiving tailored information with helpful examples so they could really hit the ground running when they returned to their desk.
As I became more senior in my marketing career, I found that graduate or junior marketers would increasingly come to me for advice about how to progress their career in the industry, or even how best to gain experience and enter the marketing industry in the first place. I’ve been pleased to offer support and experience to local University students through our internship scheme since 2016, and enjoy helping marketers learn and develop.
I’ve found some of the biggest rewards can be working with students towards the beginning of their marketing career, or those progressing in their roles internally. Teaching marketing courses through the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing courses) means that tutoring is more than just delivering a lecture. I support students to understand and apply the syllabus and achieve their goals (100% pass rate from students I have tutored since starting in 2016). For students undertaking coursework, in the main part, their own organisation is the case study, so the employer benefits from their project work as well as a more rounded and developed employee.
I particularly enjoy aspects around students’ career progression as individuals. For example, one student I worked with earned a promotion during the course and went on to receive a fantastic job offer and opportunity with another employer, no doubt which the studies helped earn.
One aspect that I wasn’t expecting though is how well training and consultancy (under Realise Marketing) can benefit each other. The CIM is keen for their marketing tutors to be practitioners as well as trainers, and it is clear to see how industry experience adds value to both the content and the application of knowledge for students. After all, examiners (and ultimately, employers) are looking for real-life application and learning is no longer just about textbooks and theory.
Realise’s consultancy arm is also benefitting from the training experience, with companies able to book onto our digital marketing courses directly, via partners, or request bespoke marketing courses to be created. Both require industry experience and to be up to date with latest developments and best practice in social media, SEO, web and digital marketing as a whole.
I look forward to continuing to offer CIM courses, digital marketing training and consultancy, as well as our internship scheme under Realise Marketing and supporting the next generation of marketers.