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Why I Love & Believe in the DCI Apprenticeship Model

Posted by Matthew Pompa on February 7, 2017

Investing in your education is usually the first major financial choice many people make. Before you can buy a house, a car, afford all the great gadgets on the market you need a job to pay for it all. And you need an education to earn a job; well, more accurately, you need experience and results.


Matt is picutred on the far left with cohort 2 of apprentices.

I gained my experience the traditional way. I graduated from Baylor University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. I secured a job in my field but realized I wanted to do something more than just engineering. I enjoyed the business aspects of engineering, so I pursued my MBA at UTSA in project management. It was around this time I started to discover the field of digital marketing. Between studying and classes, I started a YouTube channel and blog about the science in film, comics, and videogames to get into this emerging field.

I used my research and engineering background to develop the content for my channel. I applied the writing techniques I learned in university, and my photography skills I developed as a Baylor Marketing photographer to produce videos. Finally, I used my project management abilities to maintain this small enterprise. When I began applying to digital marketing jobs, I had experience in creating and measuring content, and a nice portfolio which made securing my first digital marketing job much easier - the proof was in the pudding (or on the web more accurately).

However, I, like many others, also have some student debt to pay back. WOO!

That is why I think Digital Creative and the apprenticeship model is great! You leave the program without any student debt, but you graduate with so much more.

I connected with Brad Voeller, Founder of DCI, during a HubSpot User Group in Austin. He asked about my story and how I got involved in digital marketing. He seemed impressed with my career path and told me about his concept for Digital Creative Institute. I was sold!

I have had the opportunity to be an instructor for DCI from the very beginning to help apprentices with their digital marketing career growth. I worked with all the cohorts in San Antonio, so far, and I'm looking forward to working with the cohort in Austin - as I’ve recently transitioned into a new role in Austin.

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, I got to see cohort 1 - my friends - graduate from the first digital marketing apprenticeship.

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Apprenticeship applies an old school tactic to learning in this new field providing its participants the ability to develop real world skills and results. During their 12 month program, all the apprentices work a full-time marketing job while learning the basics of digital marketing and earning leading industry certifications. By the end of the program, all apprentices has a robust portfolio with real-world projects demonstrating their digital marketing mastery.

If some of this sounds a bit like my journey, it’s because it basically is - except about 5-6 years shorter, and much, MUCH, cheaper!

Beyond the resume building experiences DCI offers, I’ve seen some of the amazing experiences the apprentices have. My Pear Bear Pair buddy Reese Garcia traveled and met some of the top influencers in PPC, and I've watched fellow Austinite Victor Vo lead HubSpot user groups on marketing automation.

You actively work and learn the skills needed for digital marketing, and build your network by learning from some of the best digital marketers in the field.

I was beyond impressed by what cohort 1 accomplished as the first to go through the apprenticeship. The care Brad and his team have put into the program is phenomenal. Having gone through the traditional education system - and enjoying every aspect of my journey - I would have applied to be an apprentice with DCI rather than pursue a graduate degree. Although, the next best thing is to be an instructor!

Learn more about becoming an apprentice, and hopefully, we’ll get to meet at a class sometime soon!

DCI Apprenticeship Program


Matt is pictured second from the left with the DCI team at a HubSpot User Group in San Antonio.

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