Charlie Snell was looking for a job but found a course. It was while going through the Green Park online directory of companies and looking up the website of each and every one for job vacancies that she stumbled across Grow and then Digital Gum. ‘I looked at it and thought it sounded amazing,’ she recalls. ‘And I couldn’t believe the price!’
Charlie’s background is in IT where she spent 15 years working first in support before moving onto project management. After the birth of her two children, she decided it was time for a career break and to spend more time at home with her young family. ‘I quickly decided I wasn’t very good at being a stay at home mum,’ she laughs, and so she ran two direct sales businesses – Pampered Chef and Stella and Dot – as well as the school PTA.
By the time her eldest child had started secondary school and the youngest not far behind, Charlie decided it was time to put the kitchen goods and jewellery aside and return to work. But after almost a decade out of the industry, she felt she lacked both the confidence and the technical skills to get back into IT. ‘The whole cloud thing happened while I was busy being a mum,’ she adds.
Charlie joined the second Digital Gum cohort and took a great deal from every session. She particularly enjoyed getting to know Canva, learning how to make videos and the sessions on social media. ‘The aspect I most enjoyed about my direct sales businesses was the marketing and social media side,’ she explains. ‘I enjoyed it but couldn’t see it was a job – my mum called it “faffing about on Facebook”!’
She goes on: ‘I’ve never been a fan of writing but I really enjoyed the copywriting we did, although I’m still a bit clueless about virtual reality and augmented reality!’ Working with Smart Works, her cohort’s charity, was particularly valuable to Charlie. ‘I loved working on an actual real-life project,’ she enthuses, ‘and it was such a great charity as well.’
Before and during the course, Charlie was applying for jobs and going for interviews, and acknowledges the help Louize gave her in both refining her CV and interview guidance. ‘I couldn’t believe how much time she found for everyone,’ she adds. That support really paid off when Charlie was offered the post of temporary marketing assistant with Berkshire Community Foundation, a local grant-giving charity, just before Christmas.
‘It’s pretty perfect as I can work within school hours,’ she smiles. She explains that the course and the job overlapped impeccably, so she was able to speak knowledgeably in her interview about Canva, video making and social media. ‘The course came along at exactly the right time for me,’ she continues. ‘Without it – even if I’d got the job – I’d have struggled.’
Charlie is evangelical about the Digital Gum course and feels it came at exactly the right point in her life: ‘I maintain it’s the best money I’ve spent on anything. And meeting Louize is so inspiring as she helps you realise what you can achieve and do.’ She recalls buzzing at the end of every session. ‘I’d just like my children to be as enthusiastic when they come home from school!’