Thursday, March 31, 2011

a digital learning adventure

On my birthday last year I had just flown into the US to start studies in digital marketing.

New York is a crazy beautiful city and was an awesome backdrop to the learning adventure I started in 2010. The city felt like a long-lost home and was home indeed for the first three-or-so months of my 27th year. 

I had hit a stumbling block in digital and had decided that I wanted to learn the rules from someone else (experts?) before trying to figure out how to break them at work. I headed to New York University to learn from "the best" with a sideline at MRM Worldwide, New York. 

Silly me - there are no real rules. Funny that I had to go all the way to the first, very mature-marketed, world to learn that? But it confirmed that I wasn't the only clueless person in digital marketing. What then? 

I got a happy illumination on a seemingly unconnected trip to the Museum of Natural History. I saw a caption beside their gigantic blue whale that said that, to this day, only 5% of the ocean has ever been explored. It made me happy to imagine that if such a small part of a bounded space has been discovered by man, how much more there is for us to express coming from the limitless space of ideas and creativity.

Coming back after months of art, music, theater, avenues, blocks, burgers, food trucks, footseps, free Wi-Fi, subways, trains, classes, work days and learning that I couldn't even process, I was grounded in the thought that ideas, especially digital ideas, can still break new ground. 

I hit reset on this blog, in how I thought it could help me keep processing this crazy space, and headed home.

No sooner had I gotten back to work when I shifted gears and ended up in Planning. How, who knew? I hadn't even realized as a student that this discipline existed. What a blessing, the learning adventure of my 27th year continued.

A new building, new team, new boss, new discipline. Hello one-pagers. Hello mental blocks. Hello duh moments (and people haha). Hello feeling like a lost strategist with no semblance of a plan. Many, many self deprecating moments. Overwhelmed-ness, yesterday, corrected by.

But fast forward nine months, a gazillion pitches, new friends, new creative buddies, a handful of pretty decks and four shiny new digital AOR's. There is no good way to summarize the insane learning that I've been so lucky to experience in this last year. 

But a happy thought - a note received from the Post Office on the day I turned 28. Warning me of a possible customs inspection but calling me to pick up a package. 

Almost one year to the day after I started my year of digital learning, a symbol for a milestone of a year that I will never forget.

- Bea Atienza,
*professionally certified digital media marketer*

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