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Getting Unstuck: Reinvent Your Career by Going Back to School

data-video-title="Getting Unstuck - Heidi Bennett"

Feeling Stuck

Heidi Bennett spent most of her career as an in-house writer and editor. She loved the creative work, but when she wanted to get more involved in messaging strategy and leadership, she found herself feeling stuck.

"I felt like a fly trying to get through glass,” Heidi recalls. I could see what I wanted. It was just right there and I couldn't get there and I kept beating against that barrier. I finally realized that [the barrier] was skills and experience that I just didn't have.” To get those skills, Heidi decided to go back to school.

Making the Leap

Heidi already had a bachelor's degree, so she chose Ensign's one-year digital marketing certificate program. She wanted an in-person learning experience rather than an online option, plus the convenient location and affordable tuition made Ensign the perfect choice.

"I quit my job, though I didn't have to. I could have done both," Heidi says of her decision to go to school full time. "But I was able to stop working, so I did."

Returning to student life after decades away was exciting but also difficult. "It's always hard to be a beginner again. It's humbling, and it's the only way to keep learning," she admits. "You can't learn when you think you already know everything. So it was good to break out of old routines and 'get comfortable being uncomfortable,' as they say."

An Enriching Experience

Any fears of feeling out of place at Ensign quickly melted away. Group projects with younger students and international students were initially daunting but became a highlight. "I was afraid I'd feel like the mom, but I never did," Heidi shares.

Supportive faculty made a huge difference too, particularly one web design instructor. "He interviewed all the students in the class about their career goals," Heidi explains. "I had a hard time letting go of the idea of being a writer and content creator, which had been my identity for so long. He said, 'You know you're good at writing, but you also are doing really well in your more technical courses.' He encouraged me to explore that more. I'm glad I followed his advice."

Heidi loved the hands-on learning opportunities like running real social media campaigns for companies.

"I was scared to mess up on someone else's business site," she says. "But really, that's the best way to learn, especially in this field. And I didn't destroy anything!"

Heidi also appreciated the Ensign's spiritual environment and how it bridged the sacred and secular in learning.

"It was nice to have that combination," she says. "Starting class with a prayer and spiritual thought...I came to enjoy it and to feel like there wasn't that barrier between my academic learning and my spiritual life."

Launching a New Career Path

While Heidi's digital marketing certificate alone may not have directly landed her a new role, it put her on a path toward a total career shift.

"The digital marketing certificate got me unstuck and put me on a new path," she shares. "That path led to an internship that led to a full-time job, and then a UX/UI certificate from another school. All of that combined, plus my previous experience, got me the job I have now, which is pretty close to my dream job."

Looking back at her "beginner" days of running social media campaigns in class, Heidi has no regrets about taking the risk to reinvent her career.

"It was absolutely worth it because of the things I learned, the people I met, and the experiences I had," she says. "I could not have landed my current job without going back to school, without being a beginner again."

For working professionals dreaming of a career change, Heidi's story shows it's never too late. With courage to become a beginner again and take a strategic educational path, reinvention is possible.

Are you ready to get unstuck in your career? Contact our admissions team to find out how you can get the skills you need in a way that works for you and doesn't break the bank!

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