Brandeis GPS Blog

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Tag: Digital Marketing and Design (page 1 of 4)

Q&A with Steve Dupree

man smiles into camera

Steve Dupree, Program Chair of Digital Marketing and Design MS

Steve Dupree, program chair of the Digital Marketing and Design MS, has more than a decade of experience helping startups across multiple industries achieve $1B+ valuations through digital marketing and tactical customer acquisition. After receiving an MBA from Stanford University, he dabbled in venture capital before exiting to build companies again. Steve continues to invest in and advise promising entrepreneurs in his free time. In addition, Steve did his undergraduate degree at Brandeis – Go Judges! 

What led you to a career in digital marketing and design?

After graduating from Brandeis with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics, I sort of stumbled into digital marketing. At that time, few people knew and no one told me that math and science would be critical for the emerging field of digital marketing. It turned out to be a fun path: digital marketing is an interdisciplinary field utilizing math, economics, psychology, design, computer science, writing, communication and engineering. You use all sides of the brain.

What emerging trends in the field are currently exciting you?

One emerging trend that excites me is the uptick in companies trying to democratize personal data and give control back to individuals. In the past two decades, a handful of well-known companies have dominated marketing channels and been opaque about which data is collected and how it is used. I hope this is starting to change so that we can provide more value to consumers, reduce misinformation and level the playing field when it comes to folks having access to opportunities such as online job postings.

Do you have any tips or tricks for Brandeis GPS community members who are pursuing a job search in digital marketing and design currently or planning one soon in the near future?

When pursuing a job search in digital marketing and design, don’t just apply cold through company websites or portals such as Indeed or LinkedIn Jobs. For hiring managers, it’s difficult to surface you among dozens or hundreds of resumes if they don’t know you. Try to identify the hiring manager(s) and find a mutual contact to introduce you. If that’s not possible, contact them directly with a brief email stating your interest and a relevant question or offer to help on a project. DMD candidates in particular might look at specialized job boards such as jobs.GrowthHackers.com. 

As program chair, what are your best hopes for Digital Marketing and Design students and alumni?

My hope is for you to find a product, service or cause that you truly believe in and use your digital marketing and design skills to scale it up. Most organizations, whether they are for-profits, nonprofits, universities, governments or other institutions have some leaders at the top with really good ideas, but they don’t always know how best to implement those ideas. They need our help. They need people like us who can, for example, take complicated concepts and deliver them to mainstream audiences in meaningful ways. Some orgs prioritize marketing more than others. If yours doesn’t appreciate what you do or lacks the culture to grow, then find another one that nurtures you!

What is a fun fact that Brandeis GPS community members may not already know about you?

I’ve gotten really into board games over the past five years. Some of the games I kickstarted back in 2017 are still arriving and I don’t have space for them! I want to reduce the friction to discovering, learning and playing new tabletop games and there are a few pathways that look interesting. I’m open to exploring other perspectives and exchanging ideas about it.


For more information about the Digital Marketing and Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Alumni Spotlight: Paulita Chartier

Alumni Spotlight

Program: Digital Marketing and Design

Graduation Year: 2021

Paulita is from Dry Prong, Louisiana. In her free time, she enjoys reading, photography, hiking, and bike riding.

Q: Why did you choose Brandeis GPS?

A: I searched for months for the perfect digital strategy program. I wanted to learn SEO, content creation, digital marketing strategy, social media, and anything else that I could use to hit the ground running in starting a new job. I wanted to learn all the things I would have learned had I still been working but missed out due to being out of the industry for five years. And I wanted to learn it from a highly respected institution that showed good job results after graduation.

After months of research, I chose Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies’ Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design program. The program requires courses that directly meet the needs of students interested in becoming professionals in my intended career, which is that of a digital strategy and media expert. This is a job in high demand and compliments my 30 plus years in mass communication. Many programs offer certificates in digital media; however, I wished to bolster myself with as much education and expertise as possible, making a master’s preferable to a certificate program.

I thoroughly researched a plethora of master’s programs. My criteria included class relevance to demand, school reputation, and accessibility via online programs. Although I uncovered master’s programs targeted towards learning digital strategy, the school that came up heads above the rest according to my criteria was far and away Brandeis University’s GPS program.

Q: What inspired you to choose your field of study?

A: I’ve worked for 30 years in mass communication, primarily public relations, copywriting, design, and photography. I have truly loved it. One of the very best parts of my career was learning innovative technologies. The Mac debuted in 1984 and so did I, having graduated in 1984 with my Bachelors of Arts in Journalism. So I’ve grown up with the technologies as they have improved. My industry is zooming towards digital media and I wanted to become an expert in this field, so I chose to obtain a Master’s in Digital Marketing and Design.

Q: Did you enjoy your experience at Brandeis GPS? 

A: I tremendously enjoyed my time at Brandeis. The classes were the right size, the instructors were inspiring. The course material was excellent and prepared me for the new world of digital marketing and communications. 

Q: What have you been working on since graduation?

A: I plan to freelance with my own company, Chartier Digital Strategies. Mostly, I want to gain employment with a firm specializing in digital work and learn as much as I can from that organization. I don’t really plan on retiring until very late in life. I’m not sure what I’d do with myself!

Q: What advice would you give to incoming students?

A: Download all learning material as early as possible. Scan the expectations for the week. Then set a schedule and stick with it. You don’t want to fall behind. Don’t hesitate at all to ask instructors for help or advice. With me, they were more than helpful and they were kind! There are no stupid questions.

Q: What class did you find to be the most applicable to the work you do today?

A: Geez, it’s hard to say which has been the most applicable class. They all were very informative and often fun. The required classes kept getting better as far as being relevant in the real world.

Brandeis GPS Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

Refaya Priya ‘23

Lowell, Massachusetts

Sales and Marketing Coordinator @ Intertek Small Business Owner @ Renaz Stylofy Founder and Dance Director @ TDS

Program: MS in Digital Marketing and Design

Refaya is a Bangladeshi-American student living in Lowell, MA, with her parents and younger sister. Aside from her professional experience, she loves to do community service. She served as the youngest Cultural Secretary of one of the oldest Bangladeshi organizations in the New England area for the 2018-2019 term. It was a very successful term, and she was also awarded for her work. 

Refaya has also been dancing since the age of four and earned many National and International awards before she immigrated here with her family in 2014. She has since continued to dance and has a team of 30 people at present. In her spare time, Refaya enjoys spending time at the dance school she owns and spending quality time with her family.

Get to know Refaya Priya! 

Why did you choose Brandeis GPS?

Brandeis has a great reputation. It’s an honor to get accepted into a prestigious university.

What inspired you to choose your field of study?

I work in the marketing department at Intertek and run my small business part-time. We live in a digital era where digital marketing and design would help me in both the prospective side and the technical side of marketing. 

I also want to promote the work of my dance school outside MA to showcase our creative works. My team was the first Bangladeshi team to be invited out of state to perform in NY and CT. Digital marketing plays a huge role in today’s world, and any field must maintain the best of the best social image.

How have you enjoyed your experience at Brandeis thus far? 

Everyone has been so helpful. I am very much delighted.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the rest of your time at Brandeis? 

I am looking forward to exciting opportunities and gaining more insights into the new era of digital marketing. 

What are your plans for after graduation?

Higher level management positions and/or become one of the best young entrepreneurs taking my small business to reach new heights 😀

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Research the market where you want to study and only apply when you find a subject curious and interesting. This is because you enjoy learning when you find the field interesting. It’s like finding your ikigai. 

Faculty Spotlight: Digital Marketing and Design

Faculty: Garrett Gillin, MBA

Program: Digital Marketing and Design MS

Course: RDMD 135 Conversion Rate Optimization

Education: Drexel University, MBA

Bio: Garrett Gillin, MBA, is a Co-founder and Principal at 215 Marketing, a 2020 INC 5000 company and Google Premier Partner agency, located in Philadelphia, PA, where he oversees the development and execution of integrated digital marketing initiatives with a concentration on programmatic advertising, marketing automation, and advanced analytics.

Why is this course important or valuable to a Digital Marketing and Design student?

Oftentimes in marketing and design we are so focused on the tactics, that we lose focus of the bigger picture. The CRO course helps students take a step back and look at the full customer journey and identify ways to grow a business through small, incremental improvements at various touch points.

Why do you enjoy teaching this course? 

When I developed this course in collaboration with the department chair, Steve Dupree, we wanted to create something that was relevant and actionable to all businesses regardless of type and size. My favorite part of teaching this course is that students often can use what they learn immediately in their day-to-day jobs and develop a more holistic view of marketing and design that they can apply throughout their careers.

Anything else you would like to share with a student interested in enrolling in the course? 

This course may be a bit different from other courses you have taken. We use your current place-of-work (or a business you are looking to start) as the basis of each week’s assignment, so you can directly apply the learning to the company and industry you work in. Students have found this approach to feel more organic and actionable, while making the content more relatable.

 

For more information on the Digital Marketing and Design MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Communication for Effective Leadership

It may go without saying, but communication is a prevalent and critical component of today’s workforce. The skillset is especially essential for professionals seeking to excel in a leadership role. Regardless of industry, professional communications is imperative for leading effective meetings, mitigating crises, and navigating negotiations and conflict resolution.

“Communications is a critical part of doing business, especially in today’s environment. News travels fast. A bad customer experience can become a social media sensation before the CEO is even informed of the problem,” said Mary Caraccioli, Chief Communications Officer for The Central Park Conservancy. “On the flip side, you can use the power of social media to engage directly (and more deeply) with customers, employees and other stakeholders. You can use the power of the communications revolution to your advantage by making communications part of your business strategy.”

Mary Caraccioli HeadshotCaraccioli is teaching a master’s-level course in Communication for Effective Leadership, a fully online, 10-week class that will help students build on their critical thinking skills and apply oral and written communication strategies to solve organizational problems and drive organizational change. Throughout the course, students will focus on topics such as negotiation and facilitation, crisis communications and public relations, virtual and global communications, and stakeholder management.

By the end of Communication for Effective Leadership, students should be able to:

  • Develop, execute and measure communication plans to manage stakeholders, solve organizational problems and drive organizational change.
  • Adapt communication strategies and use digital technologies to align with organizational, cultural, virtual, and global needs.
  • Build a portfolio of communication campaigns including crisis response, company positioning, and media statements.

This course is available for professional development or as part of several GPS graduate programs. To learn more, submit your information or contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787 or gps@brandeis.edu.

Alumni Spotlight: Annie Harrison

Program: Digital Marketing and Design MS

Graduation Year: ’21

Current Company: The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

 

How a background in journalism has been an asset to my master’s studies and career in strategic communications & marketing

When I made the decision to transition from a career in journalism to a career in media relations and marketing, I knew I needed to broaden my skill set. While I had plenty of writing experience, I did not have a background in design or data analytics. I had taken a few graduate classes previously at another institution, but I hadn’t yet found a program that I felt would prepare me for the fast-evolving environment and challenges of communicating in a digital era.

I was fortunate enough to enroll in GPS’s Digital Marketing and Design program while as a staff member at the Brandeis Library, and immediately I knew I was in good company. Although my faculty and students came from different industries, we all had similar interests and had experienced similar challenges in our work, such as needing to increase newsletter open rates, improve user experience navigating websites, and make our content more accessible. It was encouraging to see so many of my peers had similar career paths and could relate to the experience of going from writing news articles to pitching story ideas and building multichannel marketing campaigns.

My writing background was an asset when I started the program, and I was eager to learn how to take those fundamental skills and create marketing content that was both concise and meaningful for our audiences. I appreciated how I could take each week’s lesson and almost instantly apply it to my work designing newsletters, building webpages, and drafting social media content. Being able to share my real-world successes and struggles with my classmates and learn from their insights helped me become not only a better writer but also a more strategic communicator overall.

I had only taken traditional classes before, so I was initially concerned about whether the online format would be a good fit for me, but I found that I felt more connected to my faculty and classmates through engaging in regular assignments and message board discussions throughout the week as opposed to seeing them in-person once a week. As a plus, the online format gave me the flexibility to work on assignments on my own time, whether it was during my lunch break or on a Sunday evening. I was able to complete my program within three years while working full-time, and within months of graduating, I was pleased to accept a new role as the senior communications specialist at the Heller School in summer 2021.

I’m excited about the new opportunities ahead, and I’m grateful to GPS for helping give me the tools and connections to take my career to the next level.

For more information on the Digital Marketing and Design MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Brandeis GPS Student Spotlight

Portrait of Adriana Dianderas.Student Spotlight

Adriana Dianderas ‘21

Wallington, New Jersey

Senior Designer, Healthfirst

Program: MS in Digital Marketing and Design

In her spare time, Adriana enjoys running long distance races, checking out new Broadway shows, traveling, and trying food from new places.

Get to know Adriana Dianderas! 

Why did you choose Brandeis GPS?

From my first touch-point with Brandeis GPS, they were, and still are, extremely proactive in responding to my questions and inquiries promptly. I also felt that the course curriculum was a good mix between marketing strategies and user experience design which was what I was looking for in my Master’s program. I also like that they were flexible with full-time employees and provided different options to complete your degree at your own pace.

What inspired you to choose your field of study?

There were two factors that inspired me to pursue a degree in Digital Marketing and Design. When I graduated college with a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design, the industry was still driven by print advertising. Nowadays, the industry is driven by multichannel digital platforms. I decided to invest in my education and learn digital strategies and design principles to stay relevant in my field. The second factor was to expand my current design knowledge and combine it with strategic thinking. I believe that this combination of marketing & design will help me in future leadership roles. 

How have you enjoyed your experience at Brandeis thus far? 

It’s been great so far! Professors are easy to get in touch with and are very knowledgeable about their fields. You definitely get to cover key aspects of the digital advertising business, such as researching and implementing user experience principles, budget planning, tracking leads and conversions, writing for digital, personalizing and optimizing content for web, and managing cross-channel strategies to support your company’s goals.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the rest of your time at Brandeis? 

For me, every semester is always an opportunity to learn something new! I have two more electives to take, for those in particular, I hope to focus on improving my project management and leadership skills.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I hope that after gaining in-depth knowledge of digital marketing and design at Brandeis, l  will end up in an upper management role where I could make decisions from a creative and strategic point of view. 

What advice would you give to incoming students?

To reserve time in the week to focus on school work. It is doable to go to school and work at the same time, but it requires time management and planning. I will also fully encourage incoming students to participate in the discussion forum and take advantage of all the assigned and recommended readings. There are tons of helpful tips and relevant information in those! 

What has been your favorite class to-date?

That’s a tough one! I would say Writing for Digital Environments and Digital Marketing Strategy.

Brandeis GPS Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

Portrait of Lauren Fox.

Lauren Fox ‘23

New Orleans, Louisiana

Social Media Strategist, PETERMAYER

Program: MS in Digital Marketing and Design

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys dancing, trying new restaurants, reading, and listening to new music. 

Get to know Lauren Fox! 

Why did you choose Brandeis GPS?

I chose Brandeis GPS because of the international student body, curriculum, reputation, and costs. 

What inspired you to choose your field of study?

I wanted to build a marketing portfolio that expanded beyond communications. Since I matriculated, I’ve learned about e-commerce, data, go-to-market strategies and ethics. I also wanted to learn more about user-experience/interface designs.  

How have you enjoyed your experience at Brandeis thus far? 

I enjoy the curriculum the most. It’s so important to learn about budgeting if you’re in the media/marketing industries. My classmates are experts in their fields and learning about their experiences have clued me into what other businesses are doing in our field. I have a support system at Brandeis and feel championed in my academics/career planning.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the rest of your time at Brandeis? 

I plan on graduating with honors, receiving potential awards, or career opportunities through alumni networking. 

What are your plans for after graduation?

I am really excited to become an adjunct professor. I would love to teach courses that review how pop culture impacts marketing. 

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Keep an open mind and utilize all the opportunities Brandeis gives to you! Reach out to your classmates; they will give you the support you need when you need help with classwork. 

What has been your favorite class to-date?

Any class taught by Meredith Fortney and Marketing and Customer Analytics taught by Ross Morrone. I have used what I learned in their classes in my career. Impactful courses for anyone who works with ecommerce and data. 

 

Defining My Career Goals with Brandeis GPS

Contributed by: Rachel McAllister, MS in Digital Marketing and Design Candidate (2022)

During my time as an undergraduate at Brandeis, I majored in Film, TV and Interactive Media. Through that major, I became exposed to the technical aspects of film and became interested in visual storytelling. As I looked into options for a post-grad program, I steered my search into the Brandeis GPS programs.

The Rabb school was offering seniors the option of taking two GPS courses during their senior year to accelerate their path to a potential master’s degree. Excited about this opportunity, I decided to take two courses in the MS in Digital Marketing and Design program. Digital marketing is a large part of today’s social and business climates, as it uses digital technologies for storytelling, communication and to market products and services. So, the program appealed to me as both a creator and a soon-to-be Brandeis alum.

It was then that it became clear to me that the Digital Marketing and Design Program was the best fit for my needs. Not only was I able to complete two of the required courses as an undergrad, but I also had schedule autonomy as the program is fully online. Due to the acceleration options I was offered as a Brandeis undergrad, I have the opportunity to complete the program in just three, 10-week sessions.

As a Brandeis student who went straight from undergrad to the master’s program, I advise all students who are looking to do the same or who are just interested in trying out new classes, to take advantage of this unique opportunity! My career goals to work in digital marketing for media have been more clearly defined since taking my first two GPS courses.

____

Rachel McAllister is a candidate for her Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design (2022) and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film, TV and Interactive Media from Brandeis (2021).

Why I Chose Brandeis GPS

We know that pursuing a master’s degree can be overwhelming, particularly for students who work full-time and are already balancing professional and personal commitments. We also know that every student has a unique reason that drives him or her to return to school and complete their degree.

 Hi, I’m Zanefa Walsh, a Brandeis GPS alum. I’m usually a private person but decided to share my why for pursuing the MS in Digital Marketing and Design because little did I know that the decision would be a stepping stone to where I am today: a digital communications and social cohesion consultant.

The fully online program, which consists of courses such as digital marketing strategy, writing for digital environments, and multichannel marketing campaigns, appealed to me during a time when I wanted to expand my knowledge to better meet the increasing marketing needs of my employer, which at the time was Brandeis. As soon as I learned that employees received 100% tuition remission, I started to explore courses even though I worried that adjusting to online learning would be challenging. I was delighted to learn that GPS offers the opportunity to take up to two courses before deciding to apply to a graduate program. After taking the two courses, I felt invigorated by the high-quality instruction and collaborative environment, that I applied.

I already had a master’s degree from another school, but the second time around as a graduate student differed from my first experience. I was now a mother, married, and working full-time. Finding ways to balance these conflicting responsibilities was essential. Yes, there were times when stress levels were high,  but it was my discipline, an invaluable support system, and effective time management that got me through the three-year journey. 

While expanding my knowledge was a major reason why I pursued this degree, deep down, it was so much more. My why was to prove to myself, and possibly other women of color, that taking on new opportunities and challenges leads to growth, whether you succeed or fail. No one else is as invested in your personal and professional growth as you. A year after completing the degree, I grew so much so that I had the confidence and determination to start my own consulting business in 2019.

With the knowledge gained from my GPS courses, along with over 15 years of work experience in the digital space, I now know what it takes to successfully conceive, produce, and execute a diverse range of data-driven multichannel marketing and communication strategies that build awareness, drive engagement, and foster a sense of belonging/community. Without a doubt, my decision to pursue a graduate degree at Brandeis GPS had an immediate and life-changing impact on my life.  

For more information on the Digital Marketing and Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

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