- Nov 26, 2021
- Aurora Gutierrez Ruiz
Trusting her marketing instincts, Aftan Chobot, CM, turned to the CM designation program for her next professional endeavour. A marketer at heart, Aftan leveraged her relevant marketing experience to gain her designation and move up in her career.
Tuning into a Marketing Career
Growing up, I was very entrenched in developing my musical talents. After high school, I continued on that path and graduated from Grant MacEwan College with a vocal performance diploma. It was a great experience as I was able to develop my natural skills that ultimately led to a three-year career working as a musician aboard a variety of cruise ships. When I came home – and I distinctly remember that day – my mom told me that I should pursue a career in advertising. It took some time for me to realize it, but she was right.
I found myself in a website management position for a car dealership which was the beginning of a career that I very quickly grew to love. It was here I realized that marketing would likely be my long-term career path. Thirteen years later, marketing has been at the core of all my professional endeavours.
Finding the Right Marketing Program
I had started a program with NAIT that was modular and could be built on over time: certificate, diploma, to a degree. As I began to take courses, they discontinued the program. At that point in my life, I was about to have my second child. Between working full time with soon-to-be two kids, I knew that pursuing a degree was going to take some time.
I also knew the rate marketing was evolving and that I would need to keep pace. I needed a program that would build on my work experience to elevate my knowledge and credibility. After quite a bit of research, I identified the Chartered Marketer program offered by the Canadian Marketing Association as the best way for me to achieve my goals.
Program Highlights & Marketing Theory
Presentation Skills, A Major Professional Endeavour
What strikes me about the CM program is that it allows participants to grow their confidence as professional marketers. Not only did I learn foundational marketing concepts, but I also learned about emerging trends and had the opportunity to apply my knowledge to weekly assignments. Being able to analyze my shortcomings and successes from previous projects helped grow my skills from a place of experience. This was highly effective in helping me fully grasp and adopt marketing concepts rather than just learning or memorizing them.
In Core 1, I had the option of doing either a written assignment or a video assignment. Although I was a musician who loved performing in front of people, public speaking was another story. The CM program encourages us to strengthen our weaknesses and as such, I opted to submit my assignment as a video. I can say with 100% certainty that the CM program has made me a better presenter. I developed the ability to give an informative presentation and (for the first time in my life) deliver it with confidence.
Expert Level on Brand Marketing: Specialized Electives
I often draw on many of the other courses’ knowledge in my day-to-day role. However, I had the deepest understanding of the topics within the Brand Elective. Not only did I learn about brand strategy and brand governance, but I was also able to build on this with some of my own knowledge. For example, concepts for how brand objectives interact with brand values, and how those values affect brand promise. This class was extremely rewarding and I know I will be referencing the materials from this elective many times throughout my career.
The Chartered Marketer program is one of the healthiest learning environments that I’ve ever been a part of. Although this industry can be quite competitive, both instructors and students are committed to collaboration, positive reinforcement, and constructive learning. Whenever I was struggling with an assignment or needing to muster up the confidence to take on the next project, I always felt supported. That is why confidence and teamwork are the two core values that come to mind and that have shaped me during my time in the CM program.
The Critical Role of Marketing
I think that many of the businesses I’ve worked for have tended to overlook the impact that marketing can have. It impacts everything from revenue to human resources, customer service, and more. Within each course, such as those on business financials and business strategy, the CM program has given me the tools to elevate the perception of marketing. It’s one of the biggest changes I’ve seen; marketing is a critical and strategic role within an organization.
Additionally, upon graduating, I was offered a position with a new organization. This position took me from a manager to a director-level position. There were many factors in securing this new role, but my professional development from the CMA played a big part. Settling into this new role, I use the resources from the CM program to make informed decisions on behalf of my organization.
To fellow Chartered Marketers
Expect collaboration in the CM program. Teamwork was at the core of many of the projects in our last course. It was an excellent kickoff to fully understand how to spot value in others and build a marketing team where people can be both fulfilled and effective within their area of specialization.
I would also advise interested applicants to carve out time to get through their reading materials. As a full-time worker, mother of two, and complete extrovert, I found it extremely difficult to make sure I had alone time to read. Between my husband and I, I put up my hand to handle all the driving for our kids’ activities. This created reading time without any distractions while I waited in the car for them.
All in all, being a part of the CMA community has been an excellent experience and helped me with all my professional endeavours. The instructors have been generous with their time even after completing my designation. I feel like I have an extended family of marketers that I can reach out to if the need arises. If I encounter a new problem or need advice, the CMA is there.
Director of Marketing
Aftan Chobot, CM, earned her Chartered Marketer designation this past Spring 2021.CM Graduates