How Loretta Constant Turned Pandemic Disappointment Into New Career Opportunities
For Loretta Constant, a decades-long career in sales and communications hit a bit of a snag with the arrival of COVID-19. After receiving her communications degree from Middle Tennessee State University, Loretta worked in telecommunications for several years. This eventually led to a sales position with Capital Christian Music Group, a company that frequently produced live music events at churches.
Unfortunately, the company began losing business when social distancing became a necessary measure to combat COVID-19. Loretta’s full-time position eventually transitioned to contract work, leaving her wondering how to move forward.
Around this time, Loretta happened upon an Instagram ad for Vanderbilt University Digital Marketing Boot Camp. The ad seemed to be calling out to her specifically, since Loretta was already curious about the possibility of sharpening her digital marketing skills.
At her previous job, Loretta was able to branch out from her sales role into the digital realm when she worked on a few company blog posts. She also couldn’t help but notice that when COVID-19 hit, the sales team was relegated to contract work before the digital marketing team.
Everything seemed to be pointing her in the digital direction. Eager to take a chance and shape a new future, Loretta enrolled in the boot camp — a decision that would completely change her career trajectory in just a short time.
A supportive digital community
The boot camp was a welcome challenge for Loretta. The program teaches students the ins and outs of digital marketing in just 18 weeks, during which they receive training in marketing strategies, campaign development, and analytics tools. They also gain experience using popular tools like Facebook Ads Manager, Google Ads, and WordPress.
In moments of doubt, Loretta reached out to Kate Rogers, the program’s Student Success Manager. Kate provided continual encouragement and shared helpful resources. Loretta took full advantage of office hours and credits her boot camp instructor, Omar Fonesca, with putting in the time to help her confidently tackle each topic covered.
During the boot camp, Loretta discovered a new talent for building audience personas. She especially appreciated the deep level of collaboration involved in each project. Loretta immediately felt both challenged and inspired by her classmates in the program. She jokes about how some of her younger classmates helped her learn how to use her new MacBook.
It was easy to connect with peers, even in a remote setting. Although she lives in Tennessee, Loretta would have faced a significant commute had the program been in person. Because she was still working part-time in addition to juggling her course load, the boot camp’s online format was a huge time-saver. She also appreciated the opportunity to continue her education without any further interruptions from COVID-19.
As a bonus, being remote allowed Loretta to work with classmates from around the world. Loretta and her former classmates still stay connected via Slack, where they continue to share articles and thoughts on digital marketing trends.
A two-week job search
Shortly after finishing the boot camp, Loretta landed her current position as a social media coordinator at Revelation Media, a company that promotes and distributes films. All in all, the job search only took about two weeks. The boot camp’s Career Services team helped Loretta retool her resume and LinkedIn profile, which she hadn’t updated in years. They also shared job postings and sent Loretta’s information directly to potential employers — a few of which contacted her immediately.
When she received her job offer, Loretta reached out to Omar and Kate for advice on how to proceed. They were each very supportive and talked her through accepting the offer.
As a social media coordinator, Loretta uses much of what she learned in the boot camp on a daily basis. She runs the company’s social media accounts, strategizes campaigns, and bids on ad space. Google Analytics, one of the programs Loretta found most challenging to learn in the boot camp, is now something she uses nearly every day.
A new business
As if landing an exciting new job wasn’t enough, Loretta also decided to launch her own business using skills gained in the boot camp. After hours, she runs The Balloon Company by Lo, putting together balloon arrangements for weddings, birthdays, and other special events.
The boot camp helped Loretta understand the importance of creating a logo and having a social media presence — two steps she has already taken for her own business.
While the boot camp taught her the skills to digitally market her new business, just the act of completing an educational program during a pandemic was enough to instill confidence in Loretta. “The boot camp really opened my eyes to all of the different possibilities for my life,” she said. “I never would’ve started my own company if it hadn’t been for this experience.”
Looking to find your future? Check out Vanderbilt University Boot Camps and find your path to an exciting career today.