31 Y.O. college student | SEO made me do it

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I am a 31 year-old returning college student, and it’s pretty awesome. 

Last April I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is, and remove what I considered to be a big obstacle blocking future opportunities and portability of my career. Sure, I know certain folks have been very successful without graduating college, and there’s not really a degree path that fits snugly with the type of online marketing I’ve chosen for my career. However, I decided that this is something I want to accomplish for myself and have one less challenge to overcome should a great opportunity arise.  In actuality, I’m pretty sure it was my move to online marketing (or “SEO”) that gave me the drive to do it.

I’ll admit, for a few years I was intimidated about returning.
Would I be “the old guy”?
Would I be the one who can’t keep up and slows the lectures down?
Can I balance paying bills and going to school?

But above all of that was my overall lack of drive, or lack of perceived value in a degree without a clear path forward in my life.

Before I got into inbound marketing, I worked in Customer Serivce, and had what I considered to be a good job, but not one that had a future, or a clear path to something better.  Perhaps the best way to put it is, I dreaded when people at parties would ask what I did for a living.

In the past I’ve talked about my career change in passing, but I’ve never really examined the full impact of what this opportunity did for me in multiple aspects of my life. Perhaps the most succinct way of putting it is this; self-actualization is an amazing motivator.

It’s not that I ever considered myself to be a marketer, and I certainly don’t think that I’m a salesman. Selling really creeps me out. Helping people find things they want/need, though, that’s a totally different story. Making the internet a better place, making things easier for customers and brands, and advocating for our brand to offer the kind of experience the customer expects are all things that come naturally to me. In some respect, the work I do is almost pre-emptive customer service; let me help you out before any problem has a chance to arise.

An overview of online marketing. A simple grap...

An overview of online marketing. A simple graph that represents the major components of online marketing(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once I got over the initial elation of “working on the internet”, and the natural high that comes with having a better outlook on my professional future, I determined that I needed to do more to put myself in a better position overall.

Some of those items are reflected in my posts earlier this year, while others are in my mind but yet to be pushed into existence. The longest of these steps, without a doubt, was the decision to change my major (I was originally going to school for Fine Art before I ceased enrolling back in 2003) and take on three years of organized study, on top of the learning that has to be done to remain effective in online marketing.

Which leads us to where we are today. I certainly could (and maybe I will) write volumes about my experience going to a major university at my age, the unique rewards and challenges, and several other related topics.  For the time being, thought, I’m finding it to be not only a challenge I am up for, but one I am enjoying every step of the way.

After-all, it’s not everyone who lands a job in the career they want, then goes to school for it. Way to be unconventional, Ryan.


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2 Comments on “31 Y.O. college student | SEO made me do it”

  1. 1 RyanGPhx said at 6:28 am on February 28th, 2014:

    31-year-old college student | SEO made me do it http://t.co/UWysSWbniQ New on http://t.co/9zRCCJ1AkD

  2. 2 ColleenHawk said at 6:34 am on February 28th, 2014:

    Excellent post, Ryan. “@RyanGPhx: 31-year-old college student | SEO made me do it http://t.co/szmL4IXd9o New on http://t.co/DkIQ7pQul1