Arielle De La Roche
What does your job entail?
My job is to maximise business opportunities and to amplify the PwC brand through online mediums. My role stands on four main pillars, namely content marketing, search marketing, social-media marketing, and analytics.
How did you obtain your current position?
It was advertised on LinkedIn.
What particular skills are required in your career?
A successful digital marketer must have a mix of creative, analytical and technical skills. Creativity is essential when it comes to developing content (copy, graphics or video) that will appeal to the target audience, while analytical skills help evaluate the impact and return on investment of that content. Useful technical skills include HTML, CSS, and graphic-design tools.
In what way does your qualification relate to your work, whether directly or indirectly?
My qualifications in language and literature have made me a storyteller – and marketing today is largely about telling a brand’s unique story. This may seem very abstract; it took a lot of introspection and quite a few internships for me to figure out how my degree translated into the real world. But, if one of your life goals is to find a career path that makes you excited to wake up in the morning, it’s totally worth the effort!
What are your day-to-day activities?
I maintain the firm’s digital-communications channels, ensuring that its website and social-media profiles are kept up to date with dynamic content, all within strict brand guidelines. I collaborate with the firm’s lines of service to create social-media and emailing campaigns aimed at generating leads and driving awareness about their services. I also build reports to evaluate campaign performance.
What are the best and most challenging things about your job?
The best part of my job is that I get to sit at the same table as top-level management, since they are my main clients, so to speak. I get to experience their leadership skills first hand. The most challenging part of my job is that digital marketing is an ever-changing landscape. I always have to be ready to adapt to, and make the most of, the latest trends in tech.
What other student- or community-based activities did you participate in during your studies?
I worked part-time at my residence, at Student Records, at the Knowledge Commons computer lab, at the Student Orientation and Advocacy Centre, and at Careers Service. I also served as the Vice Chairperson of Amnesty International’s UCT Chapter, and was a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. To what extent did you make use of the Careers Service while you were at university? As an intern at Careers Service, I had no excuse for not using all the services on offer! The career consultations and CV reviews were particularly useful. Through the MyCareer portal, I applied for leadership training at Google, by far one of the best experiences of my life. I literally lived the movie, The Internship!
What advice would you give to students wanting to do what you do?
If you have not studied marketing or Web development, you can still work in digital marketing. What you need is a genuine interest. There are so many affordable or free online courses out there for a lack of relevant qualifications to be a barrier to entry. You can start experiencing the job by building your own personal online brand or by volunteering. A lot of non-profits or student organisations on campus are looking for volunteers to manage their online presence.
In retrospect, what advice can you give to students about how to approach their career-development journeys?
Research possible career paths, experiment with them through internships, jobshadowing or volunteering, and talk to as many people as possible about your aspirations as well as your doubts.
What degree options are recommended for this sector?
Digital marketing is open to all degrees, but Marketing, Media and Communications, or Advertising might be an advantage.
How best should students use their time at university to give themselves a competitive edge in your field?
The student body is a challenging audience – students are constantly assailed by marketing messages. If taken seriously, participating in any student association’s marketing or communication campaigns will give you an edge that can easily rival actual work experience. The university also offers access to a lot of relevant online courses that can give you practical technical skills such as skills in photography, HTML basics, or Photoshop.