Earn These DM&A Certifications First

There are many free digital marketing related certifications on the internet, and the PSAMA Digital Marketing & Advertising division was sure to leverage more than a few of these this year. Here is what we think are the most advantageous certifications to prioritize.


The American Marketing Association partnered with Lynda.com to assemble several individual courses which cover topics from email marketing to optimizing your web page design for user experience and conversion. The following is a short list of the critical courses to watch within this learning path:

  1. Online Marketing Foundations:

    • Start to understand the basics of how one goes about marketing online

  2.  Content Marketing Foundations:

    • Learn how to write content that is interesting and useful for your audience

  3.  SEO Foundations:

    • Understand what Google does behind the curtain within barely a couple of seconds to provide content to consumers that is relevant to their search and learn how you can boost your content to the top of those results

  4. Social Media Marketing: Facebook and Twitter

    • See the varying interfaces between Facebook and Twitter and some of the valuable tools they provide

  5.  Learning Conversion Rate Optimization 

    • Learn about the conversion funnel and how to improve yours for less drop-off and more conversions

Google Analytics / AdWords

Out of the goodness of their hearts, Google has developed free courses online to help people get certified in using Google Analytics, AdWords, AdSense, etc. The newest manifestation of this service, Google’s Academy for Ads, has comprehensive courses, some video and some text-based, which will guide you through the process from starting your Google Business account to using advanced capabilities within their platforms.

In the Google Analytics Individual Certification, we start off with GA for Beginners. After introducing what GA is and does, they dive into the interface layout, basic reporting practices, campaign and conversion tracking. After completing the introductory course, you move over to the Advanced Google Analytics course which takes you through data collection, processing and configuration, as well as advanced marketing tools and techniques. The final part of the free certification is a 90 minute, 70 question examination which tests your understanding of the material covered through both courses.

Overall, this course is a big help in learning how to use GA and also learning what it means to be a digital marketer. For many, GA is an essential part of their online marketing efforts and it acts as a reference for which they base critical decisions on. With analytics being of massive desire in the job market, the Google Analytics Individual Certification is a great course to understand how to be a digital marketer and to boost your resume.

HubSpot Inbound Marketing

Last but not least is the Inbound Marketing certification from HubSpot. This course is extremely useful as a tool to better understand the conversion funnel for marketing online and how all the different techniques and platforms of digital marketing play into that.

They start with the essentials of an effective inbound strategy and continue on to talk about SEO, content marketing, social media, email marketing, and more. Each person who teaches the different segments of the course are all certified HubSpot professor who are considered experts in their field and can speak to best practices and winning techniques which prove helpful for understanding how to implement inbound marketing techniques for your own purposes.  We definitely recommend you prioritize this certification if you want to get a really strong depiction of what it means to be a digital marketer.

DM&A members have worked on some awesome certifications, but the ones here definitely stand out and are excellent learning platforms for those who want to go above and beyond from your normal class schedule to really stand out amongst competitors in the job market. Those are just the kind of people we have here at PSAMA.

PSU x Google: Non-Tech Career Information Session (10/19/17)

On October 19th, Penn State was proud to welcome back a PSU Alum turned Googler, Ms. Kelsey Bonsell. Kelsey graduated in 2013 with a degree in Advertising and PR, from the College of Liberal Arts and maintained a great track record at the Schreyers Honors College. She came to Penn State to recruit as many Penn Staters as possible, for open internships and full-time roles at Google for the year 2017-2018.

Kelsey worked as a former Marketing Manager at GiveCorps, before being recruited by Google for a full-time position as an Account Manager. Kelsey also mentioned how along with her full-time job, she devotes 20% of her time recruiting Penn Staters. The information session was mainly focused on what Google was looking for in their candidates and what their work culture was like. Kelsey also walked us through her career path, and how she transitioned from Penn State to Google.

“Google looks for four key aspects in their candidates, they are, leadership qualities, role-related knowledge, cognitive ability, and Googleyness”, said Kelsey, as she explained what it takes to really stand out as a candidate when applying to Google. She also emphasized on how important it was as a candidate to show your passion for learning. Because she works as both an Account Manager at the Chicago office, as well as recruiting on college campuses, she told us if you’re passionate about a specific role, you can always test the water somewhere else.

That’s the type of exposure you get from working at Google. Every Googler leaves their mark, contributes to their mission, and understands their ambiguous but consistently evolving culture. It’s important to create products that have planetary impact, because that means we can learn and contribute as a valuable member that helps connect and impact so many people around the world

Executive Board Member of the Month: Ashley Woncheck

The executive board member of the month goes to Ms. Ashley Woncheck, who is the Associate Director for the Nonprofit Division in PSMA. The Nonprofit Division is PSMA's newest division, which was established in the fall of 2016. The Nonprofit Division was created from PSMA’s prior community & social impact projects that the executive board worked on in previous years.

Ashley is in her junior year in the Smeal College of Business, and is majoring in Marketing.  Over the summer she had the opportunity to intern as a Client Relationship Specialist at Management Science Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is not only interested in Big Data and marketing analytics, which she got to explore at her job, but also has a passion for market research and creative writing.

Although it is her first year as part of the Penn State Chapter of the American Marketing Association, she is excited to have achieved the position as the Associate Director of the Nonprofit Division. She is not only involved with PSMA but is also, an active member of Eclipse, which is a THON organization and is also a member of Women In Business (WIB). In addition, Ashley has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and aspires to one day either open her own business or invent a product. She believes adaptability, experience and ingenuity are huge keys to success, in addition to having a true passion for what you do.

Her dedication and hard work can be seen in her accomplishments and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Way to go Ashley!

John Hopkins Regional Conference

The 5th Annual John Hopkins University American Marketing Association Annual Regional Conference is approaching soon - it is taking place on Saturday, November 4th. t is strongly recommended that members go to the John Hopkins University Conference to gain valuable experience, and to continue to develop skills needed to be have a successful career in marketing and digital analytics.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Analytics and Consumer Engagement”. Influential speakers including members from Facebook, Under Armour, Procter & Gamble, and Buzzfeed will be attending, in addition to local marketers. Also, students have the opportunity to participate in an optional case competition, which is being presented by an executive from P&G. Those who register for the conference receive the 1-page case and rubric in the last week of October. Students are encouraged to form groups of 3-4, and must construct a powerpoint presentation including research and recommendations for the company to present to the judges at the conference.  There will be a total of $500 given in prize money for the top three case competition winners. This would be a significant opportunity to get real-world professional experience in developing a marketing plan for a company.

The event is scheduled to take place from 8:00am to 4:00pm at John Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland. Students would leave early Saturday morning, and return to campus after the conference has ended. Since the case competition is optional, rides will be coordinated based upon those who prefer to leave after the speaker presentations, and those who plan to participate in the competition in the afternoon. The cost is $15 per person, but members of the American Marketing Association will be reimbursed by PSMA. It also includes a light breakfast and lunch. Students must register by Friday, October 27th. Chapters from around the country, as well as many speakers from major corporations, will be attending. This conference is one of the best investments that you can make as an aspiring member in the marketing field. It can inspire you, and give you the tools necessary to to start a career as a young professional.

The Top 5 Resume Questions Answered

Resume writing is one of the hardest, yet most important things that college students need to do. It serves as your initial contact with employees and is the most critical item in determining whether or not you will obtain an interview. And the worst part is, employees typically spend less than 45 seconds reviewing your resume. So how can you ensure your resume contains everything a recruiter wants to see? Here are the top 5 resume questions students have with answers to master resume writing.

Do I need to include an objective?

While an objective statement is optional, including an objective can be an effective way to briefly express the specific purpose of your resume. You may tailor your objective toward a specific position within a targeted organization, or you may create a more general objective that is widely applicable to your desired career field of interest. The latter is especially effective if you plan to distribute larger quantities of your resume to multiple organizations.

How important is it for me to include my GPA?

Many organizations and graduate schools use GPA as a criterion for identifying viable candidates to continue through the application process. If your cumulative GPA is a 3.0 or above, it is beneficial to list it. Remember to verify that it accurately reflects the GPA that an employer would find on your official University transcript.

What if I have no paid/internship experience yet?

If you have not yet gained paid work experience, consider alternative experiences that can demonstrate your knowledge base and other qualifying attributes. Community involvement, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities are all prime examples of experiences that may be included in detail on a resume. As with summer or part-time work experiences, you can highlight your transferable skill sets as they pertain to opportunities of interest to you.

Do you have to use a bullet points to describe your experiences?

Elaborating on experiences using bulleted points is strongly recommended when building a resume. Each bullet should be no more than 1-2 lines long, and you may use up to 5-6 bullets to describe each listed experience. It is important to use bulleted points to not only describe duties involved in various positions, but it is an opportunity to highlight skills and qualities that you have developed or enhanced. When evaluating resumes, employers look for ways to determine the most qualified candidates. By adding detail to your experiences, you can more effectively demonstrate the value you can bring to an organization.

Is it necessary to include a skills section?

A skills section is not required, but it can be an opportunity to effectively display additional skills that could set you apart from the applicant pool. Technology-based or computer skills, foreign language knowledge, and other field-specific skill sets and certifications are appropriate to include. It is important to objectively indicate your level of knowledge or aptitude in the skill sets you choose to highlight. Using qualifiers such as “Proficient in...” or “Fluent in...” are acceptable as long as they accurately reflect your degree of knowledge. You may also list skills and languages with which you are familiar or have basic knowledge—just be sure to describe that level accurately.

For additional help with resume descriptions check out this helpful action words resource: https://careerconnections.smeal.psu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2015/10/Action-Words1.pdf