This is my story:
Becoming a professional whitewater kayaker or going to community college: that was the real decision that jet-fueled my career. Giving up the dream of kayaking around the world for a desk job was not an easy decision. Sometimes I still look back and wonder, but the rest of the time I am charging forward and making it worth it.
At first I figured if I couldn’t BE the kayaker, I could be the guy filming them! This led me to going to community college at Lehigh Carbon Community College. While there I got my first “real” job working for PBS Broadcasting creating local TV segments. While it was really cool seeing my work air on TV, I found out that broadcast what not where I wanted to spend the rest of my career. While getting my associate’s degree, I continued to study hard, work as an IT lab monitor, and engaged with the college. In turn, I was nominated and received the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team Scholarship, an honor bestowed on only 20 students across the country. This award paid two years' tuition to any of the designated Pennsylvania state universities. While most state colleges offer broadcast and media degrees, I did not want to stay in broadcast (or start over fresh). After some digging, I found 1 school in the frozen tundras of Edinboro Pennsylvania that offered a cool degree that caught my attention, Bachelors in Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University. While there, all of the liberal art classes ingrained a great lesson that is very relevant to analysts today: Everything must have a purpose, or it is an utter waste of time. No matter how perfect the paint strokes are, nobody will notice, remember, or care if a work is meaningless. This stands true today with data.
While in college, I made most of my income as a remote editor for the Mortgage News Network. Under my first mentor, Joel Berman, I gained a great appreciation for the business side of things and wanted to find out how I could turn my media productions into profit. This gave me a natural interest in learning Google Adwords in 2016 where I could apply my media skills. Putting two ads out and seeing which generated more income felt like printing money, but legal. Soon after college, I landed my first awesome job where I was in charge of managing social channels and content for Blue Mountain Ski Area. Unfortunately, my time at Blue Mountain did not last long. Following that downer, I found a warm welcoming team at BestCigarPrices.com where I learned the power of product giveaways. Due to advertising regulations in the Tobacco industry, many companies turn to social media content strategies since they are “Free”. I cannot say enough good things about the team there but the long commute soon began to take a toll and I found another opportunity closer to home, Dealer World.
Their motto preaches Professional and Personal Growth. Following that motto I have grown through many roles in my first years of employment with them. Remember when I mentioned I was studying Google Ads in 2016? That didn’t stop and I gained great knowledge of Google Analytics and Tag Manager through e-nor’s Google Analytics Breakthrough. A few months into my time at Dealer World, the Vice President of Digital left on short terms. I saw an opportunity and took the chance to take over the analytics of a growing company and haven’t looked back yet. Since that day, Dealer World has tripled in size and now has over 50 automotive dealership clients from coast to coast, from Bugatti to Honda. Today, I am continuing to develop our data department as Dealer World continues to grow at “Turbo Speeds.” Part of that growth was thanks to my contributions and was awarded Employee of the Year. We are all looking forward to becoming one of the industry's best performance partners.
The latest chapter in my career development is the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak where I have found myself as a statistic of unemployment. I have used my connections during this unfortunate time to gain access to premium Adobe Training where I continue my studies for the next big opportunity.
None of the growth in this story was handed to me. It is a product of my diligence and determination.