By Zach Siddiqui, Marketing and Communications
If there’s one thing that defines Lucy Jakoncic, it’s the effort she pours into what she wants to accomplish. After over two years of working toward her Diploma in Marketing Management, Lucy is now taking on Douglas College’s newly established Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing – and the pressure doesn’t ruffle her at all.
“Goal setting is a really important part of my life. And whether it comes to career, fitness or personal goals, I always stick to them,” she says.
“To me, figuring out what my goals are and helping other people figure out theirs is the key to success. And that’s what I want to achieve.”
Investing the effort
The BBA in Marketing is an eight-semester program. It blends classes on business and marketing theory with practical learning in the field. After completing the degree’s first two years, students can specialize in Hospitality Marketing, Digital Marketing Communications Management, Trades Marketing or Professional Selling and Sales Management – the latter being the concentration Lucy began in Summer 2021.
However, Lucy didn’t always have a business career in mind. She first started at Douglas for the Nursing program, but quickly decided that the career path wasn’t right for her. After that, it was at her mother’s suggestion that she chose to explore the marketing sphere, and she enrolled in the Marketing Management Diploma Program – though she admits openly that the transition wasn’t seamless.
“When I started this program, I hadn’t done sales classes or anything before,” she says. “So I was shy. Quiet. I hated doing things I wasn’t already skilled at or navigating any kind of website or software I wasn’t familiar with.
“Being here really taught me to adapt – now I push myself. Now I enjoy doing things that are out of my comfort zone.”
The original plan for Lucy was to finish her marketing diploma and transfer to another school for her bachelor’s. Through her friends in the program, she was excited to learn that she could complete her degree at Douglas.
“Why leave when it’s all right here?” she says.
Read more: Mechanic shifts gears to business owner with dreams of running one of the most successful auto repair shops in the Tri-Cities
Tested by the marketplace
For Lucy, one of the key aspects of her diploma – and by extension, the BBA – was the practicum component. Students in the BBA program will be able to take on a practical project as an intern with a local business.
“As much as the early parts of the diploma made me fall in love with sales, I was still missing the learned confidence, the real experience,” she says. “Back then, if I were to go for a job interview, I wouldn’t have known what to talk about.”
Securing an internship through her program at Douglas quickly changed that. Not only did Lucy develop hands-on experience through her new workplace, the Senior Services Society of BC, but after her practicum ended, the employer hired her for a paid full-time position. Now, she works with them in content creation, social media management and marketing campaigns.
Her professional portfolio has only diversified since then. She also manages social media for Wilson Media, a digital marketing agency, and balances her two jobs with studying for her degree at Douglas and a real estate license from UBC.
“I want to motivate other students to pursue this degree,” she says. “To know that the work you’re doing in this program is not just a course or busywork. It’s worth your full effort because it gets your foot in the door, it gets you the experience and it can even turn into something more. Just like it has for me.”
Read more: Investing in Douglas put this grad on the path to financial and career success
Reaching the targets
Speaking from experience, Lucy emphasizes that the BBA is accessible to anyone who wants to dive in and do the work. That includes not only Marketing students like herself, but also anyone looking to switch in from a different field of study.
“If you like marketing, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you,” she says. “Even if you’re not studying it already, there’s room for electives from your original program, or from other subjects you want to explore first. There are paths to just bounce in and get started.”
Lucy’s parting advice is this: Take it seriously, because what you put into the program is what you’ll get back out.
“I love the organizations I am working at now,” she says. “I’ve learnt so much. And as an individual, I’m now confident and prepared. Once I complete my BBA at Douglas, I’ll crush the interview for any marketing position.”
As for what that position might look like for her when the time comes? When it comes to setting that particular goal, she’s open-minded.
“Here’s the best thing about marketing,” she confides. “With so many possibilities out there, you really don’t know where your career path may take you.”