Digital Advertising Associate with Mothership Strategies
An Interview with Samuel Hernandez
Please Note: This is an interview we conducted with Samuel, a fellow that completed the SkillBank program in the Spring of 2022. This testimonial was transcribed from an interview we conducted with him.
What is your current role?
I am a Digital Advertising Associate with Mothership Strategies. They're based in Washington, D.C. and they also have a couple of locations in NY. My main day-to-day responsibilities include the daily pacing of the campaigns that we have going on and heavily working with our digital fundraising team.
We work for a lot of political packs and our main goal is to fund and raise as much money as possible for the upcoming cycles and are heavily involved in targeting certain people and getting the name of certain caucus’s names out there right now.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background prior to joining SkillBank.
I completed my undergraduate degree from 2014-2018, and shortly after that I started running a gym, I was a manager for a corporate gym called Planet Fitness. I did that for 2 years while I was completing my master’s degree.
Shortly after my graduate degree, I got into paid media on a whim, because I had a lot of friends and family in the industry. I landed a really cool job in paid media with a digital marketing agency in NYC. Shortly after that, I realized that I didn’t have the necessary skills to be successful in carrying out my responsibilities. After that, I had a sales job for a little while until I decided to enroll in SkillBank. I wanted to get back on track to pursuing paid media and enrolling turned out to be the right decision for me.
What sparked your interest in digital marketing/paid media? Why did you choose to pursue a career in digital marketing?
A lot of my interest and influence in wanting to pursue digital marketing came from my educational background, I come from a family of business. I had no doubt that I would land something in the marketing field or business administration. What really sparked my interest in it was the freedom of time and the ability to bring my work to whatever it is I want to do. I do not have to worry about morning traffic — a lot of the daily things that people try to stay away from.
I wanted to have the ability to make an impact on a company but also have the flexibility. I can go for a mid-way walk or go grab lunch really quickly, it’s really easy on the mind.
How would you describe your experience with the Paid Media course?
For me, SkillBank made things extremely easy. At first, I felt really overwhelmed because of the exact thing that I was running away from. It rose a lot of question marks for me. My experience with the instructors and the career coach made things super simple and structured. I knew on that certain day this week, I was going to be speaking with Sanjida (a SkillBank career coach) about such and such. A lot of the questions that I had, were answered prior to me even having to ask them.
As far as the course load, I always tell people that you get what you put in. I’m a firm believer in that. This is something that I wanted to do and dedicated 15 hrs of my own time. The coursework itself is self-paced, I liked that a lot, but at the same time, I always tell people that if this is something you want to do, you have to do it consistently if you want to get better at it. The coursework is extremely relevant to what I am doing now such as building decks. I learned to take the most important information to showcase and be able to speak to it. SkillBank really helped with my analytical and communication skills because it was something that I have been wanting to improve on.
I didn’t realize that I was really good at painting the picture — we talked about sales funnels a lot. If you don’t come from having that background and knowing that type of terminology, it can become very confusing but, I caught up very quick to that and now I am able to apply it to any campaign that was put in front of me.
A lot of my time at SkillBank was spent with looking at Nike, Adidas, and other companies and brands that I was familiar with and expanding them. I started small and elaborated more on it. I really thought through how they structure these campaigns and who they target and why.
If you’re willing to jump into it and submerge yourself into the content, there’s no reason that any person can’t catch on or be successful. It just takes effort.
How are you applying the skills you’ve learned at SkillBank?
For all of the certifications that I received during the course, I am glad I have them. Besides my day-to-day at work, it has opened up the opportunity for me to work as a freelancer and start my own side hustle. This is a really good advantage that I have at this point. Growing up, I always that about what am I good at and this is one of them. I love that I am able to expand someone else’s business for them and have a presence in that sense.
What advice do you have for prospective fellows who want to join SkillBank?
The biggest thing that I would push, there is a reason why you chose SkillBank. You have to put yourself in a mindset for 12 weeks/3 months, that "I’m going to do this". Essentially, 3 months from now, I will be in a way better position than I am in now. There were a lot of unknowns for me, but I would say you should trust your intuition, that’s pretty much what I did. I had a feeling that I needed to change something up because the way that I am doing things isn’t working right now, what can I do? I found this program. I knew that I could do the coursework because of the schooling that I have done in the past years, and I saw this opportunity as no different.
The only difference was that I knew there was something clear at the end of the tunnel if I were to complete SkillBank as opposed to going for a 4-year degree and not knowing what’s there for me after. SkillBank along with other programs like this is totally worth it.