In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to share experience, insights and advice with your peers so we can all learn from one another. With this in mind, we are having conversations with members who have completed our MSc in Digital Marketing and Analytics, to understand the importance of life long learning, and upskilling in times of uncertainty.

For this week’s instalment in the series we’ve chatted to Regina O’Shaughnessy, Marketing Manager, Payzone and Founder, By Regina.

MII: Hi Regina, in your own words how would you describe the MSc in Digital Marketing and Analytics?

The MSc in Digital Marketing and Analytics is an excellent course for both experienced and unexperienced marketers in an ever-evolving digital world. As technology continues to develop, along with the tools available to digital marketers, this course informs and reinforces the fundamentals of marketing and applies them in a digital context. The mix of academic lecturers and industry practitioners teaching the course provides colour and context while still grounded in theory. Students are presented with assignments and projects which invoke critical thinking, strategic planning, and analytical assessment all of which relate to digital marketing problems and opportunities which real life clients are experiencing. Each of these capabilities and problem-solving techniques are crucial for the modern marketer, and this course helps to develop knowledge, understanding and the skills to execute effective digital marketing campaigns.

Why did you decide to complete the programme?

Digital marketing is one of the most rapidly changing disciplines in marketing. As a marketer with on-the-job digital experience, I wanted to get a full understanding of the world of digital and how to effectively measure campaigns and activity. I feel that any career in marketing requires digital knowledge and ability to execute campaigns. This course provided me with new knowledge, campaign experience and industry contacts which have given me the confidence and opportunity to further develop my career.

What aspects of the programme did you like?

My favourite aspect of the programme was working with real-life clients who needed our help. Each semester we worked with at least one business who needed support in an area of strategic digital marketing. I felt that by working on these projects we were getting hands-on experience while providing ideas and strategies for businesses who may not necessarily have had the resources to seek consultancy help.

I also enjoyed the mix of theory and practice across the modules. We had academic lecturers along with industry experts which I feel works really well. We got to learn from people who have studied and taught digital marketing and analytics for a number of years, along with professionals who execute digital campaigns in their everyday job.

Would you recommend the programme and why?

Yes, I would absolutely recommend this programme. I think anyone who lacks digital marketing experience or has an interest in the world of digital marketing would benefit from this programme. I feel it sets the foundations for how to build successful digital strategies, adapting the course content to reflect current industry trends.

How will you incorporate your new found knowledge into your current role?

From Day 1 of the programme, I was applying the knowledge I learned to my job at Payzone. As we have adapted to a world where so many of our interactions are digital, the skills and learnings from this programme have helped me to do my job better and helped me to understand the digital consumer.

Completing the programme has also given me the self-belief I needed to launch my own side business, By Regina. I have turned a hobby into an ecommerce business venture where I am utilising the skills and experiences gained to build a brand in an online world.

How did you find studying and completing the programme during a global pandemic?

I am traditionally a classroom learner. I love the interaction and opportunity for discussion which can be achieved through in-person learning. The pandemic hit as we were mid-way through our second semester, with all classes suddenly shifting online. Online learning was brand new to me and to many of our lecturers. Once we made the switch and became familiar with the technologies, I began to enjoy it. Lecturers adapted well, and through ongoing feedback and discussions our classes were effectively delivered online.

Without the need for commuting to and from campus, I found the won-back time to be very precious. Working full time, completing a master’s and launching a business were all welcome distractions to what was happening in the world around us. I think if there was ever a time to complete any form of study it’s during a pandemic!

How important do you think lifelong learning is to the marketing profession?

Lifelong learning is critically important in the world of marketing. In an industry so reactive to changes in technology, we, as marketers need to continue to learn about the technologies, trends and changing consumer behaviours.

While the ground rules and fundamentals of marketing and consumer psychology remain the same, they way in which we respond and communicate needs to evolve in line with technology changes.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the programme?

The programme has not only taught me about digital marketing and data analysis, it has provided me with experience and learning beyond the classroom. It has helped with how I interact with my colleagues and how to navigate my way through various scenarios. I have learned a great deal about myself, my capabilities and my future aspirations as a marketing leader and business owner.