This chapter is coming to a close for The Digital Arts Experience’s Marketing Director, Emily Angell. She’s been at the DAE for nine years and will move on from here to pursue her lifelong goal of music. Emily is truly going to be missed but isn’t gone for good. Those who have been around The DAE for a while know that people that move on from The DAE never really leave entirely! I’m beyond thankful and excited to be able to help fill her position as the new Content Marketing Assistant.
Both Emily and Lory have made me feel comfortable throughout the training and have been extremely helpful in the process of getting me up to speed. Before Emily departed, I was able to get more insight into her time with The Digital Arts Experience and her reaction to the surprise video the staff put together to commemorate her experience.
What year did you come to the DAE and what was it like?
I came to The DAE as an audio engineering and music instructor in 2012. During my interview for the job, our space back in White Plains was still under construction, but it was shaping up to be a cool place. I remember being super excited to impart my knowledge of music and sound production to kids, especially in the studio that was being built.
Also, from day one, Rob asked for input from the team on how to make The DAE better. It was the first time I felt like my skills would be put to good use in a job I was excited about. Back then we were solely focused on teaching digital arts classes centered around music, film, and photography. And in that first year, while we gained momentum, I started learning about Scratch coding and began to develop The DAE’s Scratch curriculum. Within those first two years, we pivoted the original model of classes into a broader range of digital arts classes. It was an interesting but rewarding challenge to be a part of.
How did you adjust from in-person to online when the pandemic hit?
It was my mother who first suggested to me that The DAE think about offering online classes. She had been following the pandemic’s progression overseas when virtually no one (including myself) was considering its implications. I think I had mentioned it in passing to the team a few weeks before shutting down, but once we realized the seriousness of what was happening, we pivoted within a matter of days.
We quickly threw together some online offerings but no one really knew what was going on, so the first couple of weeks there wasn’t much enrollment. We took that time to figure things out ourselves – so I suggested we offer a “pilot program” free of charge to our network of students. It was a big hit and we took that week to work out the kinks in our system, from how to use Google Meet effectively, to come up with a system of how we would get class links out to our parents and offer customer service. It was a learning curve, but I was proud of our team for being so creative and mobilizing as quickly as we did. We ended up running online programs all summer long, and into the fall, winter, and spring.
We also had a bunch of kids enroll in online private lessons. We still have online classes enrolling for summer 2021. It’s been cool to understand how much we can expand our reach with online programs in addition to coming back to being in-person again.
If you have one piece of advice to give me what would it be since I’m filling in your role now?
My one piece of advice when it comes to marketing would be to keep our communication authentic and valuable.
Our mission is unwavering, our programs are amazing, our instructors are unique and they love what they do, and our staff members are warm and helpful.
So it’s really just a question of communicating these things effectively to parents who are looking for a place where their tech-savvy kiddo can shine.
What was your reaction when you saw the staff video?
Oh gosh – My reaction to seeing the video the staff made for me was … emotional! They put together a bunch of old footage and paired it with our admin team and some instructors saying really nice things, and it brought back so many feelings from the past nine years. We worked really hard over the years and learned a ton.
Sometimes you don’t realize the impact you have on people, so it really touched me to hear that. I cried! (Hahaha) It was really nostalgic to take that trip down memory lane and heartening to hear how much faith my team has in me for the next part of my journey.
What’s your takeaway from this experience?
My takeaway from nine years here… is pretty hard to describe in a few sentences. If I have to sum it up, I’ll say great friendships and a full toolkit to help with my next adventure. I’ve learned SO much during my time here, from becoming a much better recording engineer, later teaching myself code basics, to learning the Adobe Suite, figuring out how to capture and edit images and video, basic typography, and later inbound marketing, along with other important life lessons like how to become a better writer, and how to talk to people even though I tend to be introverted.
My coworkers became my close friends during my time here. I take with me some fantastic memories and a feeling of being fully equipped to begin writing life’s next chapter.
Follow Emily Angell here: www.emilyangellmusic.com