Over the past six months we've had a number of students and graduates write about their experiences of training with us. Some themes? It's not easy. It's not always fun. You learn A LOT. And ultimately, skills are gained and confidence is boosted on the way to finding work that works.
If you're looking for a direct insight into what Digital Mums is really like from the women who have actually been through it then read on.
It seems right to start with the very first blog ever written by one of our students. Tasneem wrote her blog halfway through the Programme and gives an insight into what the experience is like while you're actually immersed in it.
The main thing I’ve learnt over these past eleven weeks is that the way to thrive on social media is to focus on inspiring emotion in your audience. While it’s true that you do need to do a bit of luring and enticing, what’s important is to spread your message with a dash of humour and a human touch.
2/ Pastures new and beyond: My Digital Mums journey Suzy was made redundant while still on maternity leave and three months pregnant with her second child (shocking but sadly all too common). She ended up having to claim Job Seekers' Allowance until she could receive her statutory maternity pay, and her confidence was at an all-time low. Possibly the most rollercoaster personal journey of all the blogs here and well worth a read.
It has been a rocky road at times but I love my life now and I am so excited to start this new chapter in my career. I have a supportive family, great friends and now a wonderful new career path. I would definitely recommend Digital Mums and cannot wait to get freelancing.
-- Suzy Todd
After a long career in the TV industry, Ruth was at a crossroads. She wanted a career that challenged and inspired her, but that didn't keep her away from her family for 50 hours each week. Debating whether there was such a career, she signed up with Digital Mums. From never having even logged onto Twitter, she went on to run a highly successful campaign and is now a fully-fledged social media manager.
I have found a career that has enabled me to exploit skills that have been lying dormant for years. I actually get excited about work. It truly is a profession where no two days are the same.
-- Ruth Gilbey
Sarah dives into the course content she learned while on the Programme and finds it's not so different to her previous experience as she imagined. Most importantly, however, she commits to referring to herself in the third person as 'the Dinosaur' throughout, which makes the entire thing a hilarious read.
Despite times having changed and the Dinosaur’s trepidation, there are lots of similarities between marketing old-Dinosaur style and New World Social Media. But with social media, in theory you have more control and transparency than with old fashioned marketing methods where it was much harder to assign an order or interest to a specific marketing action
Louise looks at her own experience with Digital Mums and contrasts it with the way her own children learn. A great analogy that subtly unpicks some of learning concepts that underpin what we do.
Children are learning and growing all the time, everything they come into contact with holds the promise of a new experience or lesson. I wondered if there was anything my daughter could teach me about learning. As it happens, there are many things that we can learn from our kids, especially when it comes to learning itself.
Pip went on maternity leave just as social media was beginning to surge in popularity. After seven years out from the workplace, she struggled adapting her very considerable, but slightly old-school, marketing skills, which in turn started to affect her confidence. Fast forward six months and things have changed.
It has been an exhilarating experience. The sheer excitement of learning again, the incredible joy of knowing your client is thrilled with the progress that you are making and the virtual high-fiving of the other mums on the course have all proved to be just the confidence boost that I needed. Best of all, my children haven’t suffered by having an absent Mum in the process because the course has fitted in perfectly with my part-time availability.
And the award for the best blog title goes to Karen Jones. Don't be fooled by the lighthearted title - Karen delves into her stressful commutes and the tough existential angst she felt while on them. Ultimately, there's light out of the end of the tunnel though. A great motivational read for anyone on the fence about making a big, life-changing choice.
The decision to overhaul my life was not an easy decision, but it was the best decision I’ve made. I now work, and I have a family, and rather than feeling that I am failing at both, I’m now enjoying them again, hugely.
-- Karen Jones
After being made redundant (just before Christmas no less) Victoria wasn't sure what her next step would be. As I'm sure you can guess, that next step was to retrain as a social media manager with us. A great one that highlights the benefits of having supportive peer-to-peer environments when learning.
Although we have only known each other a matter of months, to me my fellow Obamabelles feel like old friends. We all get on so well and the support for each other (on and off the course) has been absolutely phenomenal!
9/ Digital Me
Claire pulls no punches in her blog, going into the difficulties she faced juggling training with Digital Mums while caring for three young children. She even went as far as questioning whether it was worth doing at certain points. However, she stuck at it and came out the other side, eventually finding her new Digital Me.
The transformation from frustrated, lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem stay-at-home-mum is almost complete, as I am in my final week of this marvellous, exhausting experience. I’ve found ME again!
Emma was a freelance Sales and Marketing freelancer looking to train in social media, and offer her clients a more well-rounded service. After scouring the web and coming up empty-handed, she finally came across us. The benefits went beyond just learning about social media though.
Not only have I learned about Social Media Management on this course, but I have been exposed to a wealth of information, ideas and recommendations from some of the most talented ladies I have had the pleasure to encounter throughout my career.
-- Emma Hulbert