#Thrive: The #NYU race so far…

I signed up for the New York University School of Professional Studies online courses, and I thought to myself, it’s only 8 weeks, I can do it.

8 weeks, for 1 module.

Then, I signed up for another module, and it’s in the same period as the first module. This module lasts for 2 weeks. Very intensive one.

And then, I signed up for another 8 weeks module, and it overlaps with the other 2 modules. I thought to myself it’s only 3 modules, I used to do 5 in a semester back in NUS, and I had time to do my freelancing work. 3 is nothing.

When classes finally started, I had to adjust my daily schedule to Eastern Time. Singapore is 13 hours ahead of New York. In case you wonder, I do attend the lecture the same time with my classmates. Evening class for them, super early morning class before work for me. Not that I am not used to waking up at 5am in the morning. I used to work morning shifts, and I start work at 6am. That explains why I sleep early. It annoys me when people calls me after 10pm. Thank god for iphone’s sleep mode. I don’t get disturbed and sleep in peace.

A couple of weeks into the 1st module, Marketing Principles and Practices, another module starts, Search Marketing. Every week there are readings and assignments to do. Although we are free to listen to Search Marketing’s webcasts at our own pace, but we only have 2 weeks to finish the lessons, do the assignments and discussions. There are so much to read and do, on top of a day job. I really mean it when I say my weekends are gone, and although it was a 4 day break this Lunar New Year, I spent quite a bit of time on my books, apart from spending time with my family and relatives.

Looking at the load and amount of things to do, I know I cannot manage a 3rd module. NYU gives you the flexibility to cancel a course with full refund as long as the class hasn’t started. That is a bonus feature of NYU. It’s sad that I couldn’t do another module, but I know dropping it before it starts is the best option.

A lot of friends have been asking me to meet up, but I tell everyone they need to wait till April. I am done with Search Marketing, but I still have a final paper and presentation for my other marketing module. Although they are all online classes, but the quality is not compromised. I can assure you the lecturers are awesome people, and there’s so much to learn from them. There’s no discount in the knowledge you can get, and whatever is taught in class is fully applicable to the real world. They are not textbook knowledge. The adjunct teachers are professionals in the marketing industry, and have their day jobs as well, running their companies and servicing clients. There’s just so much that you can discuss with them and learn.

So, it’s really become a 8 weeks stint, with 2 modules, a day job, and my life. 6 weeks have gone by, but it felt like so long yet so fast. I’ve done so much in these 6 weeks, and time just passes by so quickly.

2 more weeks to go. I can do this.

Now, it’s back to writing my final paper.



Understanding Search Marketing in deeper context

I am halfway through my NYU Search Marketing class. Cramming all lessons over the weekend. I chose this life, I am not complaining.

As I listened to the classes, I missed the days that I login to Omniture everyday at work. Everyday I am starring at different data, especially keywords and search traffic. Besides working with numbers, creating pivot tables and drawing different charts, it was also starring at page source. Sounds very geeky, but I think it’s so fun to investigate them. What are the keywords and tags, are the analytics tools tagged properly (this was of utmost importance to me! No proper tagging, I will get crappy data!)

However I am no techie. I do not aspire to be a coder. (even though many studies have shown coders are in huge demand) I am happy to have working knowledge of codes to do my work, I don’t need to how how to code a website. I’ll leave this to the developers and engineers.

On the surface, many people will think that Search Marketing knowledge is for people in the media agencies. As I go along in my class, it’s become more and more evident that people on the creative side needs to have the knowledge too. As a digital creative agency, if clients want to build a new website, you need to consider the technical aspects, search aspects of creating a good website. How do you optimize? (As in my previous agency, Proximity Singapore, “optimize” is the everyday word we hear!)

It’s not just having a crazy idea, but it’s not a website that Google will index properly. You need to factor in the technical considerations. For example, to have breadcrumbs in a page. Breadcrumbs help your page to rank better, but also helps in improving user experience.

Search Engine Optimization, whether you are on the creative or media side, digital or social specialists, it will always interact with your work. If you don’t, you might be avoiding it.

For me, it’s now back to lessons.