In her early career, Kelly Kraft was mainly customer-focused. As a client success coordinator turned specialist turned senior manager, Kelly has been on the front lines to ensure that her employers’ businesses—first at ZeroCater and then to Broadly—attracts and retains qualified clients.
Marketing is very similar—albeit more behind the scenes.
“I love the diversity of the work you get to do in marketing,” Kelly says. “You have the opportunity to connect with many different people and impact how they perceive the product, solution or brand that’s in front of them. Marketing taps into your creative abilities and empowers you to think outside of the box to deliver results. It’s never boring, and I love that!”
So it’s no surprise that when an opportunity to dabble in customer marketing at Broadly arose, Kelly jumped at the chance. Intrigued by the marketing-centered work, Kelly was hooked on transitioning into a full-on marketing career.
But to dive head-first into a new career in marketing—and to really succeed in the customer marketing role at Broadly—Kelly knew she needed to gain the education and real-world skills to effectively transition. After a couple of conversations with colleagues who recommended our Certificate Program in Marketing and reviewing the curriculum, Kelly took that first step on her educational journey.
Oh, and her company offered an educational stipend, allowing her to complete the certificate at no cost to her—win, win!
We were encouraged to work together and learn from each other throughout the courses. I highly recommend the marketing certificate!
Tell me about your experience going through the classes.
I joined the certificate pre-COVID and enrolled in primarily in-person classes, which best suited my work style. I really enjoyed my courses and actually became close friends with a few of my classmates.
The instructors were very knowledgeable, encouraged questions and class engagement, and were open to feedback and to make the class the most impactful for us.
Most of my classmates were working professionals and it was important to the instructors that their classes accommodate our work schedules but still made the classes engaging and worthwhile. We were encouraged to work together and learn from each other throughout the courses. I highly recommend the marketing certificate!
Did you take any of the classes online?
I took Marketing Research: Concepts and Techniques online due to COVID; it was my last one to complete the certificate. It was difficult at first because the instructor had planned the class to be in-person and had to shift on a dime and make adjustments. After we got settled in, the class went well.
You were working in both customer service and marketing at Broadly at this time.
After a few courses and a hybrid role in marketing and customer success at Broadly, I moved into a marketing specialist role on the marketing team. This was exciting because I was able to work directly with the VP of marketing and soak in as much knowledge as possible.
Right before my final class, I started a new position at a company called Marqeta where I’m a corporate communications associate. I’ve been there ever since.
I was proud of myself for completing the curriculum and doing well enough to help me move into a new career.
What advice would you give to a student who is starting the certificate?
Make sure you’re ready. The classes aren’t meant to take up a huge amount of your time, but they are still a time commitment. If you want to get the most out of them, make sure you’re prepared to do the work and absorb the information.
Especially if you work full time, make sure you’re choosing the courses that you’re most interested in and are ready to carve out the time to do the work.
What does earning this certificate mean for you personally and professionally?
I was worried about going back to school while I had a full-time job. I’m always impressed by people who are able to take new courses and still focus on themselves while having a packed personal and professional schedule. I was proud of myself for completing the curriculum and doing well enough to help me move into a new career.
During my time at UC Berkeley Extension, I was able to move from customer success to a full-time marketing and communications role at Marqeta and couldn’t be happier with where I am now.