1. Rutgers University
Two-Day Digital Empowerment Bootcamp

When you think about how quickly the media landscape has transformed in just the past five to 10 years, it’s little wonder that most of us feel like we’re struggling to keep up. Looked at in the context of history, the pace is unprecedented: whereas the printing press took 500 years to affect one billion people, WhatsApp took just seven years. That’s breakneck speed. And everyone – from hotshot CEOs to Snapchat-savvy interns – has to put in the work in order to stay up-to-date.

This was reflected in the attendees of this two-day Digital Empowerment Bootcamp, presented by Rutgers University and organised by Hibiscus Media Group and Know How for Management Consulting and Training, held in April this year. Based in the Media Rotana Dubai, there were high-flying executives from huge Blue Chip companies, marketers and content creators from international law firms, multinational retailers and massive FMCG businesses. And a good portion of mums – who’d previously worked in media, marketing or business in some way – looking to go back to work or update their CVs. But despite our different backgrounds and situations, we all had one thing in common: the desire to get our heads round the new digital landscape.

Led by digital consultants Taru Jain and Prantik Mazumdar – who have a wealth of international experience with influential corporates to draw on – the sessions were lively, interactive, challenging and extremely useful.

Split into eight sections across the two days, there was a balanced mix of case studies, tips and resources, class exercises and networking time, as we covered the latest best practice and scope for growth in online, mobile, search, social media, apps and analytics. The hosts weren’t just talented and engaging speakers, but were able to offer specific advice to each participant’s individual digital issues based on the real-world case study scenarios that we played out. We were given advice and insights on digital marketing strategy, user experience customisation, tracking and measuring return on investment, as well as tips and tricks for social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. Best of all, Taru and Prantik’s no-nonsense approach totally demystified all that jargon and the abbreviations that usually make digital seem so intimidating (SEO isn’t the mysterious beast everyone would have you think it is!). We came away from the course with a certificate from Rutgers University, a lot more confidence and perspective in digital marketing and online growth, and some handy business cards from the fellow participants. With so many online courses in digital out there, having face time with such interesting people was really worthwhile. And in such a competitive marketplace, having a qualification like this on your CV not only demonstrates that you have the latest, up-to-date knowledge in this crucial area, but it also equips you with the confidence that you do, actually, know what you’re talking about. We’d highly recommend it.

The next Digital Bootcamp will be in 2018. For more information on future Digital Empowerment Bootcamps or online digital marketing training courses, contact ad@hibiscusmediagroup.com or call 054 449 8593. Deb.hibiscusmediagroup.com

2. Hopscotch Career Clinic

October 15, DIFC

Hosted by PRCA, one of the oldest PR associations in the world, this session is not just aimed at PR and comms professionals,  but at anyone who might be able to benefit from a bit of positive PR in their lives (everyone, then!). For more information, and other training courses, see Hopscotch.ae/events/ 

3. Mums@Work CV Writing Workshop

November 8, JLT

A 3.5-hour workshop with career coach Zeta Yarwood offers practical advice and support for you to effectively show a potential employer the value you can add to their business. Zeta will work one-to-one with everyone in the workshop (10 max attendees per workshop) and you will leave with a CV ready to showcase your skills in a concise and comprehensive way. Dh300, for more information and other training courses see Mumsatwork.ae/events.

4. Google Digital Garage

learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage

Free tutorials from Google itself on everything from your website to search, social media, online marketing and beyond. Choose the topics you want to learn, or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe.

5. Digital Mums Training Programmes

digitalmums.com/learn

This UK-based company offers several online courses designed to train mothers to become social media managers. Aimed to fit around a mum’s busy schedule, there’s a course for those with no relevant experience, as well as one for those with some kind of PR, marketing or comms experience, and they are both 24 weeks long, requiring 15 to 20 hours of work per week. Since social media management can be done from home, it’s the ultimate flexible job, and you start work straight away managing live social media accounts. The courses are accredited with the CPD Standards Office, one of the UK’s foremost vocational and skills-based certification body. Dh8,728 - Dh14,550 depending on the course you book. 

Read more from baby and child:  

6 things to consider when returning to work post-baby

'Sometimes I stay late at work to avoid seeing my kids. Am I a bad mother?' 

The UAE working mum’s survival guide

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