Three recent graduates from our Digiblox Digital Media program share their thoughts on the future of work, from technological advances and the importance of upskilling to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their careers.

As part of our recent Transnational Meeting, hosted by Eduart Projects in Prague, we had a panel discussion with three recent graduates – Lilato Madiri, Katerina Dimitrova Hristova, and Raquel Vallejo Palma– exploring the impact of our Digiblox training on their working lives. We caught up with them at the event to learn more about their thoughts on the importance of digital skills – and the Erasmus Plus program.

CI: How did you find out about the Digiblox program?

Lilato Madiri: After my degree, I did about three internships in one year and it was tough to crack into the industry, as everybody knows, just to get into an entry-level role companies are now asking you for up to three years of experience! A Google search led me to Capacity London, and this particular program, so I signed up for the Digital Creative Marketing course.

CI: Where was your Internship?

Lilato Madiri: I did a 3 – month internship with Prague Morning, which was funded by Erasmus Plus. That was really interesting, I think, because I came in at a time where Prague Morning was re-calibrating and rebranding what they were all about, from the design of the website to embracing new technologies and moving online. It was a fun environment.

CI: What sort of experience did you get?

Lilato Madiri: My background was in journalism, so I was getting more experience writing for print as well as for web, and the training within the digital marketing course itself was particularly interesting in terms of learning more about social media marketing. At first, it was really full-on because I was bombarded with all of this information and I thought ‘How on earth am I going to use this after the program?’ but it was really useful further down the line.

CI: What are you working on now?

Lilato Madiri: I’m currently doing freelance journalism and I work for brands in content writing and, I’m finding the information that we were taught on the Digiblox course is something that comes up a lot. I can pull into that information in terms of skills and tools, which is really useful.

CI: How has your career been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Lilato Madiri : Obviously this pandemic has not been fun and different peers have been made redundant, and various things, but what is interesting is that the creative industry in terms of content writing is thriving and more jobs have opened up. In comparison to many of my peers, I am very lucky in terms of still having work on a freelance basis, as the crisis has impacted people with careers in areas such as gastronomy or retail, for example.

CI: How has the technology evolved? Is it necessary to continue to upskill?

Lilato Madiri: Constantly! I think Google garage has been my best friend in terms of staying updated and staying learning. The digital media industry is constantly changing with software and new technology. In different industries they use different tools, for example, I could be with working with a lifestyle brand that are completely happy with me working with Microsoft Word, but a retail-based industry might prefer working with Magenta, so there’s a lot to stay on top of.

CI: What part of the Digiblox training did you find most valuable?

Katerina Dimitrova Hristova : It was super-valuable working at Roy Hunter in Prague, in the professional marketing department. I enjoyed being part of the team and , in particular, seeing what the different functions of the marketing team could be. It really helped me to realise what I would like to do, and what direction I would like to push towards. The skills I learned were also ones that I could apply to my own business, so it was really worthwhile and I’m super happy I did it.

CI: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your career path?

Katerina Dimitrova Hristova: Before the pandemic, I was working as an events photographer but, now, all the venues are closed, so I needed another avenue. With my digital skills, I felt confident enough to apply for a position at a software services company as a marketing officer, so at the moment I am employed on a part-time contract doing a very similar job to my internship in Prague.

CI: What skills did you take away with you?

Katerina Dimitrova Hristova: I learned so much ! I had never been part of a marketing team before, especially in digital marketing, and at Roy Hunter, they did things to a very high standard, so I learned from the best! Before the Digiblox training, I used to try and learn things from online workshops but actually seeing how they did things in a professional environment was the best experience I could get. Working closely with the different people in the team gave me a very in-depth practical knowledge of, for example, how I can run digital adverts for myself or clients. I had watched online tutorials but it’s not the same as someone sitting with you and explaining the process as well as outsourcing some small tasks for you to do; this sort of practical experience was invaluable.

CI: Were you happy with your internship? What were your areas of responability?

Katerina Dimitrova Hristova: I was assigned my own project and I was supervising myself by the end of my internship. As somebody who was self-employed, I have a really good discipline, and I know how to gather the resources I need to complete the task, so this was a role I was comfortable with. The Head of Europe asked me to start working on a new project which was around account-based marketing, so this was a fantastic skill to get in such a short time frame. I was also delighted that I was trusted with something that had a strategic impact on the company itself. I also appreciated the trust they had in me, and I think that this is because they saw that I could work independently, which was great. After all, I appreciated having the responsibility.

CI: What was your experience of the Digiblox training itself?

Raquel Vallejo Palma: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had only been in Prague for two months and completed my qualification online. I enjoyed the experience and went to the training to determine if this was the field in which I would like to work.

CI: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your career plans?

 Raquel Vallejo Palma: The situation has not been easy, because here in Spain, many people are struggling a lot to get a job. As a result, I am going to do a Masters Degree in Digital Marketing because I think I need more education in this field and I want to develop my skills further. But the Digiblox programme helped me to realise that this is the direction that I want to go in. I am developing a personal project and working as a freelancer, and I’m open to all opportunities but, to be honest it’s a very hard situation with the pandemic. However, I believe that digital marketing is the future and there is a lot of opportunities even though it’s difficult at the moment.

CI: What did you enjoy most about your internship in Prague?

 Raquel Vallejo Palma: It was a very valuable experience but what I enjoyed most was the international aspect of my work. Firstly, it was great to have the opportunity to work in a different country and, secondly, there were people from all around the globe at the company I worked for in Prague. That was a great experience because I really learned how to communicate with people from different cultures, and I think that’s a very important thing to know.

CI: What challenges did you encounter during your work placement?

Raquel Vallejo Palma: As my mother tongue isn’t English, working in a multicultural environment was the biggest challenge! The practical assignments and projects were my favorite parts of the Digiblox training, but some of the more technical aspects were more complicated. In one of our self-based projects, we had to focus on the fundamentals of creating an advertising campaign, which I really enjoyed. Digital media didn’t make sense to me before Digiblox, and the practical aspect made a great impact!

First published on Capacity Ireland, LinkedIn.