The Shortcut Spark Academy. What I liked and what… not so much.
Updated: Jan 14
Six weeks ago, I joined the Shortcut’s Spark Academy to study marketing. After finalizing the course with my marketing strategy presentation, I’d like to briefly talk about my experience at the Spark Academy.
The Shortcut Spark Academy is a short study program for women and non-binary. The program consists of three modules: entrepreneurship, marketing and full-stack development. I joined Module 2 that was about marketing as this is where I plan to build my career and grow my expertise. Module 2 went us through all aspects of marketing from basics to growth marketing and analytics.
What I enjoyed about being at the Spark Academy:
People! It was a community where I didn’t need to explain how difficult it is to find a job in Finland. Or how uncertainty feels everyday on me. Or how hard it is to make connections in a new country. We are all in the same shoes! And I felt so much support and connection to my peers.
I had a chance to meet and learn from the best people of the marketing community in Finland. I had a session with Erica Terranova and her lecture about SEO. She brought her perspective to this controversial topic and I finally know how to approach it.
Anna Pogrebniak was also training us for the whole week! And she is such an easy-going and calm person! With Anna I learnt a lot about growth marketing and even tried to apply its principles to my side project.
Side project! Side projects are considered important to find a first job. But I struggled a lot as I did not know to approach it. While studying at the Spark, I created a Miro board that has all steps for the business launch and a marketing strategy for that.
However, there were some things that puzzled me:
Module 2 started right after Module 1 in entrepreneurship. So, many people just continued their studies. And there were mostly people with business and people who plan to set up a business. And these people also plan to do marketing themselves. But I plan to work for companies. Therefore, half of the course was irrelevant to me. The reason could be either my misunderstanding or the unclear course description. So, only the last two weeks were exactly what I expected from my studies at the Shortcut Spark Academy.
The Shortcut emphasizes the importance of networking in Finland. And they organize events to meet new people. But I’ve never joined them. I was not sure who these events were organized for and how I should approach them. So, I think it is not enough to hold a networking event. It would be beneficial to share practical tips and tricks how to overcome awkwardness and insecurity when meeting new people.
It was nice to study at the Shortcut's Spark Academy. I learnt a lot and got a valuable hands-on experience that I needed so much. I definitely became more confident about myself. I will follow events and programs that the Shortcut will organize to meet again at the premises in Kamppi.