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How a Digital Marketing Course Helped an Entrepreneur Address a Skill Gap

A wise professor once told this writer, “I only ask busy people to help me out. The ones who are free never have time.” The real meaning of this witty comment might have escaped me then, but came rushing to me on interviewing this Emeritus learner. Kabolobari Bornu is a Nigerian entrepreneur who is currently based in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, where he is pursuing a PhD in Food Technology and Hygiene from the Near East University. His recent tryst with an online digital marketing course brought him to Emeritus to complete the Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing from Imperial College Business School Executive Education. We got in touch with him to understand what drives him and learn about his experiences.

“I like to keep busy,” says Bornu, adding meaning to my professor’s words. If you are driven and you have the intent, you will always find time to do more. Let’s take you through his learning journey in detail that encapsulates his experience as a multilingual student and young professional on the cusp of a promising career. And by the end of it, we will hopefully never be able to say we don’t have the time to invest in ourselves.

A Day in the Life of Kabolobari Bornu

learner-story-bornuBornu began his academic journey from the University of Benin in his home country. He moved to Turkey in 2016 to pursue a master’s in Food Engineering from the Near East University, where he is currently a PhD scholar on the brink of receiving his Doctorate. But even before that, Bornu began his career as an entrepreneur in Nigeria when he founded Gombros, a logistics company.

“While I am here in Turkey, I am exploring the real estate businesses and working as an Admission Coordinator for a couple of universities,” he answers. That’s not all! “I am also in the process of setting up a water production unit in Nigeria. Some equipment has already come and some is in transit. So, we shall be up and running in a year,” he says.

Why Digital Marketing?

With an academic inclination to biosciences and an entrepreneurial aptitude, why did Bornu choose an online digital marketing course? He explains, “in the age of the internet, all marketing is digital marketing. Also, digital marketing is at the heart of IT products and services. You need a thorough understanding of it to be successful in business.”

It was a combination of needs that led him to a digital marketing career. Firstly, there was a need to support himself financially while pursuing higher education. Secondly, he wanted to acquire skills that would help his business ventures in the future.

“With analytics you can understand what you need to concentrate on and where you can skip paying attention. It prepares you with an edge to confront the competition,” he adds. “Digital marketing is a very critical part of everything I do,” he explains, tying up his diverse portfolio of work and education into a neat bundle.

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How Did You Discover the Online Digital Marketing Course You Wanted to Pursue?

“I was speaking to a friend from the UK on how I wanted to have hands-on marketing experience. So, he recommended digital marketing,” Bornu recounts. Initially apprehensive, he assumed that a digital marketing career would require programming knowledge but his friend laid his fears to rest. “You are smart and you will manage to do it,” his friend said to him. After this, he browsed through several digital marketing online courses until he settled on the Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing from Imperial College Business School Executive Education at Emeritus. “I found the modules to be detailed and in line with the kind of training I wanted,” he explains.

Does the Option to Work and Study From Anywhere Sweeten the Deal?

“Working on your PhD is a lonely journey,” begins Bornu. He adds, “You are likely to spend your hours alone in the library and there is so much to complete in terms of research.” And here’s the catch; you aren’t really earning anything substantial for all this study. “So, the option to work and be productive while earning good money as you go about your daily routine is definitely a plus,” he admits.

How Does One Manage Time While Doing So Much?

“I know how to multitask,” he says. “In fact, I hate being idle and enjoy managing many different things at the same time,” he adds. “So, when I realized that I am at the tail end of my PhD and don’t need to spend as much time as I had in research, I decided to utilize my spare time to take up this online digital marketing course.”

Did Emeritus set a realistic expectation of how much time he was expected to spend on this program? “Studying or time management has never been a problem for me. That said, the expectation setting was on point with this program,” he responds.

Top 5 Skills You Picked Up for the Future

The program covered a wide range of subjects under the umbrella of digital marketing. But, Bornu picked the following as his key takeaways from the course:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Email marketing
  3. Marketing analytics
  4. Lead generation
  5. Sentiment analysis

The Most Impactful Part of Your Learning Journey

“Learning from Karen Howells was the most exciting part of this journey. Whenever she came online to teach, she produced ‘hope’. It moved something in us and we started believing that we can actually do whatever it takes,” he says, while picking mentorship on the course as the one thing that will stay with him.

On that note, Bornu added that he had worked extensively on his LinkedIn profile that now features his capstone project from the Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing from Imperial College Business School Executive Education. He also added that he was ‘open to work’ and ready to make an impact with the many skills he has picked during the course of his upskilling process.

The Emeritus Advantage

Emeritus Careers affiliated with the Professional Certificates offers a complimentary and optional Career Development course to participants and helps them access additional, individualized career coaching and resume referrals to employer partners. We have partnered with organizations like TTEC to connect with prospective employers. Brands who are looking to reach out to great talent like Kabolobari Bornu can learn more here.

By Anwesha Barari

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

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