Empower // Reinvent // Succeed


Investing in Yourself: A Grad Reflects

Investing in Yourself: A Grad Reflects

Derek Brott is a graduate of CCPE’s Social Media Marketing and Meeting & Event Management certificate programs. He took a moment to share his thoughts and experiences about continuing his education:

My relationship with the College of Continuing and Professional Education started in 2014. I was looking to gain an edge in the job market and expand the services I offered through my digital marketing business. As I looked through the catalog, the Social Media Marketing Certificate immediately caught my attention. Since my degree is in marketing, I thought this would be a perfect fit to round out my skills.

Just to make sure this would be a good fit, I attended one of CCPE’s Open House events. The instructor, Tyra Burton, is a marketing genius with a ton of knowledge around entertainment marketing, digital marketing, and of course social media marketing. I was immediately sold on the program and signed up that evening.

Throughout the class, I learned about all the different ways I could use social media and the tools that have been built around social networks — in an effort to expand my business and network for nearly FREE!

One of the many great things about programs offered by CCPE is the small class sizes. This offered Tyra the ability to focus on the students individually and gave more opportunities for discussion on real-world scenarios. The knowledge base of the students spanned from barely having a Facebook page to social media managers already in the industry. Tyra kept the entire class interested throughout the lessons and made sure she was moving at a pace everyone could keep up. Overall, I can’t say enough good things about this class and the instructor!

The next class I took with CCPE was Meeting & Event Management. Since I took the Social Media Marketing class in 2014, my career has moved towards events — with an emphasis on management. In my job, my team focuses more on the audiovisual aspects of events but with a team of 11, planning and management is a huge part of my daily operation.

I actually stumbled across the listing for this class in one of CCPE’s quarterly catalogs. The program was part of the cover story, and as I read through the description I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to expand my knowledge of the event management industry.

As I sat through the first few classes, I was amazed at the intricacies of meeting and event management. Each week we covered a new topic such as catering, transportation, budgeting, site selection and the list goes on.


The No. 1 benefit of this class is that they bring in experts. The instructors are industry professionals who are living and breathing the material they teach.


These instructors are dedicated to their craft and are graciously spending their evenings passing on the knowledge they have gained in the field. If nothing else, this class is worth the network you gain from meeting the instructors and fellow classmates. From the expert knowledge I obtained after attending this class, I am able to communicate better and offer better solutions with other support groups that I interacted with in the event industry.

Now, reflecting back on these classes, I have found they have complimented each other well. Social media is one of the best ways to promote and interact at events. If you aren’t working in some kind of social media strategy for your events, you are no doubt missing out on potential clients, vendors or even venues. No matter what your meeting or event topic is, there is a social networking platform out there that can enhance your message.

I would recommend either of these classes to everyone — especially the Social Media Marketing certificate program. Social media isn’t going anywhere, folks! Yes, they are for entertainment, but you would be amazed at the potential these networks have to promote you and your business.

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