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Five Minutes With GetSmarter Student Elani Bosman

What's it really like to take an online course? We chatted to Elani Bosman, a junior digital campaign manager, about her recent experience with GetSmarter.

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GetSmarter partners with world-leading universities to select, design and deliver premium online short courses – but what's it really like to take one of these courses of training?

To find out, we chatted to Elani Bosman, junior digital campaign manager at Associated Media Publishing, to find out more about her recent experience of taking the University of Cape Town's course in Brand Management, which is one of a selection of courses offered by GetSmarter.

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Bosman describes herself as 'a full-blown coffee lover with a keen interest in anything digital marketing-related'. Born and raised in Pretoria, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities in 2012 at Stellenbosch University, and started her career in the sales industry in 2013. 'I worked for over five years as a sales manager, property consultant and sales strategist,' says Bosman.

'I discovered my passion for digital marketing when I completed the Brand Management short course via GetSmarter in 2018, which inspired me to make a complete career change and enter the digital marketing industry,' she adds. 'I am always up for a challenge and enjoy being part of a dynamic team in a fast-pace working environment. I still  have much to learn, but my goal is to move into a digital brand strategist role: to grow a brand within the digital space with a strong emphasis on consumer insights and innovation. 

And when it comes to leisure time? 'On weekends, you will find me on my surfboard in the ocean, jogging along mountain tracks or curled up on the couch with my dogs and a glass of Merlot,' says Bosman.

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Five Minutes With GetSmarter Student Elani Bosman

What made you decide to study via GetSmarter in general?

I’ve done quite a lot of research on online short courses as I wanted to upskill myself as a working professional, without physically having to attend classes after work or in the evenings. GetSmarter’s course variety and outlines stood out above the rest. Also, the fact that you get a certificate of completion that is accredited by the University of Cape Town is a huge bonus.

Why did you decide to study the Brand Management course in particular? 

The whole concept of building and managing a brand has always been a topic that I've found intriguing,  and I wanted to learn more about. So when I had a look at the selection of courses that fell under GetSmarter’s ‘Marketing' category, this course was simply the one that truly ‘spoke to me’ at the time.

Thinking back to when you first started the course, what were you most looking forward to about it?

As a sales person, I was only familiar with the process of ’selling the existing product/brand’ to a client. I was looking forward to learning more about what happens ‘behind the scenes’ of what I am selling – the process of building, growing and maintaining a product or brand in a competitive market. 

How do the actual courses work? 

The course is actually a lot more interactive than one would expect from an online course. There are video introductions for each module presented by the course tutor, and there is also a chat forum in which you are allocated to a specific group. In this group, you are encouraged to interact with your fellow classmates by discussing given topics on a daily basis, which also forms part of your assignment mark.

The course material is highly interactive and guided too, and consists of a combination of detailed class notes, videos and infographics. Each module covers a variety of well-known brands, which made it extremely relatable, exciting and fun. As part of an ongoing assessment that formed most of our final mark, we had to create our own blog and discuss any brands of our choice in relation to the relevant module on a weekly basis. We also had to read our fellow classmates' blog posts and provide constructive feedback, which was also really helpful.

GetSmarter is all about online studying – what were the advantages of that for you?

Being a working professional, the main advantage was that I was able to study in my own time and in the comfort of my own home without it interfering with my work.

And were there any challenges or difficulties that came up as a result of studying online? 

Ironically, the advantage of studying online is also the challenge – making time to study at home after a long day at work can be exhausting. It does require a lot of self-motivation, time management, dedication and perseverance. Towards the middle of the course, we all started to feel the pressure and felt quite drained. However, the support and words of encouragement from our tutor and fellow classmates on our group forums made it a lot easier – we were each other’s support network, which really made it so much easier to push through to the end.

Would you recommend studying online via GetSmarter to your family and friends? 

Definitely. I would always encourage anyone to upskill themselves, and GetSmarter enables you to do so, even if you are working full-time . They offer a great variety of relevant courses specifically designed for working professionals, and completing one of their courses will leave you feeling that you have gained much more than just a certificate. 

Do you think you might study through GetSmarter again in the future? If so, which courses are on your wish list?

In a heartbeat! The courses on my wish list are the Digital Marketing Analytics and User Experience Design short courses.

Did you know? Right now, all House and Leisure readers get R2000 off one of these online short courses by leading South African universities offered by GetSmarter.
Simply visit our special offer page here to discover how to activate your discount – as well as read all about the full range of online short courses by leading SA insitutions that are on offer.
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