Niyati Desai was building a successful marketing career in her native India when a move to the United States interrupted that trajectory. Then she took time off to have a child.
The business world kept on moving, though, with new digital tools and techniques transforming the marketing field. So when Niyati started thinking about going back to work, she realized she’d need to get further training.
That’s when she discovered the Certificate in Marketing Management (now known as the Certificate in Strategic Marketing
). The program helped her update her skills and credentials, and by the time she finished, she had an impressive portfolio. Suddenly, her job applications were drawing interest and interviews. Within a month, she'd accepted a senior account manager position at the Seattle travel startup Utrip.
“I never would have gotten this job so fast without my UW experience,” Niyati said. “Going back to school was one of the best decisions of my last eight years.”
Why did you decide to take the certificate program?
I knew going back to school was the best way to learn skills I had missed while taking time off from work. Also, I had studied only in India, and I wanted to experience education in America. Having the stamp of a U.S. education from one of the most reputable colleges here is a dream.
Getting the certificate was also affordable, instead of going for a master's degree. I was really fortunate that the UW was offering the certificate program. It was perfect for what I was looking for because I lacked a lot of the internet marketing skills.
Do you think earning this certificate helped you land your new job?
Oh, yes. I feel for me, the most prominent thing was having the UW certificate. Not only having the UW label on your resume, but having the latest skills too.
For example, when you look at the job market, everybody wants you to understand Google Analytics. In the program I learned a lot about analytics, and when I went to job interviews, I could say I mastered something applicable for the job. The certificate program offered a heads-up on a lot of different things.
What else about the program helped you attract attention from employers?
I worked on various project assignments during the program. Then I found a free website and started putting the projects into a digital portfolio.
It was shocking — the third day after I posted my digital portfolio and updated my resume, I got two calls for interviews. I had three interviews total, and I got two job offers. One of them was UTrip, where I’m working now. I highly recommend that students who are looking for a job start thinking in new and creative ways to get noticed by employers.
What did the instructors bring to the program?
The professors were outstandingly amazing. I can't commend them enough for helping me grow my skills. They made sure every class was so intriguing and interesting; you looked forward to coming to the next class.
Did you make connections with other students?
Our class was amazing; we all connected really well, and everybody was super helpful. We recently created a Facebook page, and any time people have job openings in one of their offices they post about that. Even on a personal level, I connected with a lot of other students. We've become friends.
What was the best thing about the program for you?
The class was very diverse. Everybody came from a very different background, not only the marketing field. That really helped bring different perspectives to light. The group projects were like magic in making people come together, making things come alive.