How do you become a PPC master when almost no colleges teach Google AdWords and when most entry level positions require 3 years experience? Through being self-directed and connecting to the larger community of professionals to build your skills. Here's the story of an English major who become a PPC master in 2 years by adopting an apprenticeship and growth mindset.
Reese Garcia graduated from Baylor University in 2014 with a degree in English. After landing a content writing job after college, he realized he wanted to learn more and taught himself Google Adwords. Through various roles and an apprenticeship program filled with mentoring, Reese was able to accelerate his PPC learning and career.
He loves drumming, meditating, and Kanye.
Overview of Reese's career path:
- Digital Marketing Analyst at World Car Auto
- SEM Manager at Pear Analytics --> promoted to Director of Paid Search in 6 months
- Senior PPC Account Manager at Klient Boost
We sat down with him to explore his journey to becoming an apprentice and the decision to take on the PPC world.
What did your path look like right out of college?
I really thought I was going to be a technical writer. I spent a lot of time focusing on technical writing jobs and got rejected to several of them and there were a couple of jobs along the lines of copywriting because I thought that was something I could do too. By luck I got a job as a Content Writer with World Car Auto then my marketing career launched from there.
How did you learn about the idea of apprenticeship?
I read Robert Green’s book, Mastery, that looks into the lives of successful people. By reading that book I discovered these masters (from Napoleon to Steve Jobs) used apprenticeship as a part of their learning and I realized what apprenticeship is from a historical context. That reframing of my perspective on what apprenticeship is and could be really changed how I felt and motivated me to choose the apprenticeship path. Eventually that landed me my job at Pear Analytics as SEM Manager.
Why did you choose to participate in the apprenticeship program with DCI?
I felt like an element of mentorship was missing from my life.
How did you learn PPC and Google AdWords?
I was mostly self-taught. I got my AdWords certification after teaching myself outside of work hours. After enough independent study to gain credibility, I was able to do some analysis and make suggestions to my boss about paid campaigns. It wasn’t too much later that my company let go of their outsourced PPC vendar and gave full control over the company analytics to me. Ever since then, I haven’t let go of PPC.
How did the apprenticeship program help with your role and promotion at Pear Analytics?
There was an elective in the program I did that focused on AdWords Scripts. It’s something that I had known about for a while but didn't have experience with. Digital Creative connected me with a professional who uses the tool often and after spending some sessions with him, he shared a lot of knowledge and I was able to incorporate many scripts into my own work; it has saved me hundreds of hours in the long run. As a more introverted person who loves to learn, it’s amazing when someone else can help me meet people who want to teach me things and share their knowledge. Otherwise, it would be hard to find these people and meet them on my own. To meet other like-minded people who want to learn and teach, is hugely awesome.
What’s another favorite part of the apprenticeship?
The other apprentices and our group as a whole. At the beginning of the apprenticeship we all did a Strengths Finder test and the one strength we all had in common was Learner. To be in a community where everyone speaks the same language of learning is rare and refreshing. It’s cool to be around people who actually care about growth.
How is the apprenticeship benefiting you long-term?
The way I think of the apprenticeship experience is building a moat around my career. While the bulk of my interest is still in PPC, I’m happy to be building a moat around it, or protecting it and strengthening it, by broadening my digital marketing skill set that I might use in a future job.
What are your future plans?
Wherever I am, I hope that I can be in some position to make people better at the skills I specialize in. Especially as someone who was self-taught before the apprenticeship, I care that people have the right tools and people around them to learn new skills.
Reese continues to learn new skills at Klient Boost in California. He also engages regularly in a Facebook group for PPC and SEM Professionals. Join the group today!