As the growth manager for the on-demand workspace company Breather, Sidney Baptista gets to work in a rapidly evolving field. However, his career path wasn't always pointing him toward this role. Instead, a significant change took him into the world of marketing.
For six years, Sidney worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as an IT consultant. Deciding he needed a change, he left the corporate world to start a music and production company where he created Music & Arts Festivals. This led to a period helping various types of businesses, including a job as a Growth Hacker for a startup in the field of medical marijuana. He spent a few months learning new skills including earning his HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification. This period ultimately led him to the digital marketing program at Startup Institute.
“I chose to study digital marketing because I was interested in learning how to reach consumers in the expanding world of social media,” Sidney remembers. “With all of the noise out there, I wanted to learn how to navigate the landscape, collect and review data and create effective strategies.”
As he began the digital marketing program, Sidney had some concerns about how to reach his career goals. Although he had considerable experience in different fields, he still needed to jump from his past positions in the consulting world to one in a completely different, startup-focused arena. He wondered how he would stay financially stable as he departed from the relatively predictable IT consulting industry to a new career in digital marketing.
Sidney says Startup Institute helped him grow in many ways. First, it connected him to a community of other professionals where everyone had different skills and backgrounds to share and learn from, digital marketing being just one of them.
Another important concept he learned from Startup Institute was "drawing the owl," the idea that at some point in their career, everyone has to jump in feet first and draw, so to speak. The focus shouldn’t be on getting the details right or waiting for instructions. Instead, students are encouraged to take initiative and pursue their own version of the owl, becoming more individual and resourceful in the process.
For Sidney, Startup’s Core Curriculum proved especially useful, and strategies from it are still relevant to him today. This portion of the curriculum centers on the skills and mindsets that make Startup Institute’s alumni excellent candidates for the jobs they want.
“Marketing is always changing,” he states. “The most important aspect of the program was learning how to learn fast, take chances and iterate.”
All of that helped emphasize the importance of being an individual and not looking for a single, direct path to follow. Sidney thinks that the best things about his time with Startup Institute were the opportunities to network with a diverse group of people, and the ways in which he learned to build off of his existing skills.
Now that he has found his role in Breather, Sidney says he is "very satisfied" with his present job. Not only is he enthusiastic about his company's industry, but he also gets to take the initiative as a major representative for the Breather brand in the Boston area.
“I love the day to day challenges that come with working at a startup where I am creating best practices as I go,” he says. “When you experience success, you know that it is of your doing.”
Since Breather works in several different cities, including in Canada and the U.K., each individual location helps contribute to the larger whole. Sidney says that he's "enjoying the ride" in this position.
Since graduating from Startup Institute, Sidney enthusiastically recommends the program to friends and colleagues. He gets to combine his previous self-taught skills with those he learned while at Startup Institute.
“My goals are constantly evolving,” he says. “The SI experience was a vital piece of the puzzle in my quest for continuous learning.”
Ultimately, Sidney said that he “wouldn't change one thing” about his time at Startup Institute.