Now a senior product marketing manager at Granular, Sophia Fox once thought she’d build her career on political science and international relations—subjects she’d studied since middle school. After receiving her undergraduate degree in political science/international affairs from UC Riverside, Sophia was unsure if this was the path she still wanted to follow in her early career.
So she decided to explore marketing and took a few courses at UCLA Extension in order to learn the fundamental principles and practices. Those courses piqued her interest and she soon set off on a new career as a marketing director at Flashpoint Graphix.
Soon after, Sophia moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and seamlessly transitioned into a role as an in-stream creative media specialist at Netflix.
“When I moved to San Francisco, I wanted to continue my education in marketing,” Sophia recalls. “With UC Berkeley Extension, I found that I was able to transfer the coursework I had already completed through UCLA Extension in Marketing and Brand Management. I was also thinking of the prestige that comes with UC Berkeley.
“The ultimate goal for me was to take my learnings from the coursework and immediately use it in my professional career. I strategically picked the courses that were most applicable to my professional goals at each respective stage in my career. They helped me gain exposure and deeper insights that were directly applicable to my current or future professional goals, and would give me opportunities to strengthen my professional tool kit.”
Currently working in the agtech space, she sat down with us recently to share her journey.
What was your overall experience going through our classes?
I absolutely enjoyed most of my courses, both online and in person. They empowered me to contribute to other students’ learnings and vice versa. Many of the instructors were also great!
Could you tell me about your role at Granular?
I just started as a senior product marketing manager at Granular, a company in the agtech space. I am responsible for go-to-market strategies from product positioning and messaging to campaign strategies, and cross-functional alignment and collaboration for successful launches. The Certificate Program in Marketing provided a great foundation that I was able to leverage in both this and my previous role as a senior manager of Product Marketing at Zenfolio, a photography portfolio platform.
What does earning this certificate mean for you personally and professionally?
I not only gained foundational and practical knowledge in a space where I did not initially have formal education, but completing the certificate is an accomplishment that validates my career choice and path. Not only do I love working in marketing roles, I love learning and validating learnings in actual practice.
I am already thinking about taking another course in product management and product marketing if I can find the time! I believe it is great to periodically take courses and self-educate in a space where things change and evolve overnight.
What advice would you give to a student who is starting the certificate?
It is absolutely okay to take your time and not feel like you need to cram everything in at once. I preferred to pick and choose (or even stack rank) the coursework based on what I wanted to learn now, what I needed to learn now and what would help me take the next steps forward in my career.