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In spring this year, I was working away for my clients, when I heard about a webinar we had coming up. I was intrigued, because it was for a marketing course, specifically for tech marketing. With my tech client's big dreams in mind, I joined the webinar to learn more ways I could help him expand his business. Our webinar was curated by Chantel Elliot, and she covered everything that we would go over in a new course, OnRamp.
As soon as Chantel was done speaking (and after some discussion with my coworkers), I decided to apply. A few months later, I was officially on my marketing journey.
Ok, I get where you're coming from, but hear me out. I went to college for graphic design. I spent 6 years working as a marketing coordinator. I work as a marketing Virtual Assistant. I have taken marketing courses online and watched a zillion videos about it.
But regardless of all of that, something was missing. I needed to learn theory. I can execute any marketing strategy super easily... but I don't have any formal marketing education. So this was a primary motivator for me to look into OnRamp.
Another motivator was my clients. They are all wonderful, and I want to give them my best work. That something was still missing. The theory something. If I wanted to give my client my best work, I needed better education.
After submitting my application, I got in! I was on my way to learn more about tech marketing and, I later learned, growth marketing. I also am able to say I have the prestigious honor of being part of the very first OnRamp Cohort.
Meeting the OnRamp team was an amazing experience. We were able to learn from some talented individuals with years of experience. It's owned and facilitated by some amazing women: Carey Houston and Chantel Elliot, our instructors and Sarah Morrill. We were also lucky enough to learn from some amazing guest speakers, and guest instructors like Vicki Laszlo, who brought knowledge and real-world experience.
Cohort 1 was made up of some amazing individuals coming from many different walks of life. Even though our course was online, we were able to connect and become friends. We had some amazing discussions, laughed and even cried together. In many ways, we all gained a professional network, and 13 new best friends.
While I could talk for hours about how amazing the people of OnRamp are, the meat and potatoes is, of course, the course content. Over 4 months, we covered just about every aspect of digital marketing:
We literally learned how to be the entire marketing package... all in 4 months! Which is certainly more than I was expecting when I started.
Our content was also delivered in a way that was easy to understand and incredibly practical. I've definitely taken marketing classes where the instructor has focused more on selling themselves then teaching marketing, and OnRamp is definitely not that. The instructors and speakers have all worked in marketing. They told us the truth, and were more concerned with what we learned then selling themselves or the program. Everything was very genuine.
That being said, I had some particular takeaways for myself.
These takeaways mean a lot to me. Writing is always something I've struggled with, so has the need to be perfect, networking and being confident. I can now honestly say writing copy is comfortable. I would rather design something, but copy no longer seems like a big looming concern.
While my need to do the most and be a perfectionist is not easily quelled, my experience at OnRamp helped me to loosen up. I'm more ok with doing enough then doing the most. I learned the importance of being "lean and mean", and not stressing out about marketing overall. I've adopted the attitude of "Ok let's try again after we figure out what's happening", which is very freeing.
Being an introvert, networking has always completely eluded me. I always avoided it. I didn't wanna. Too peopley. Thankfully, working with my cohort has taught me that networking is not so intimidating. Everyone was super friendly. We all came from a place of a growth mindset, so everyone was easy to get along with. Even our guest speakers, professionals in big important positions, were easy to get along with. Networking isn't so bad.
My last and most important takeaway is a massive confidence boost. After our bootcamp, my marketing knowledge has grown so much. I know I can walk into any marketing meeting and bring my best work. I learned more about business in general then I ever have. I felt validated for what I already do, and filled the gaps where I could improve. The combination of our curriculum and our cohort allowed me to grow more than I expected.
After 4 months of online learning, we made it! And we all achieved so much.
Do I recommend OnRamp? Definitely!
While OnRamp's focus is to help students get a career in the tech industry, the skills we learned are proving valuable across many industries. As a virtual assistant that works at a tech company an with tech clients, I can say that if you're considering OnRamp, do it. I got so much value from it, and I think you will too.