From Biochemistry to Digital Marketing: How I Broadened My Career Path

Tiago has an educational background in science, but became curious about digital marketing when he entered the workplace.
Even when working in a scientific environment, he saw the value that digital marketing knowledge and skills can bring to a role and a business, and he decided to enhance his skillset. Here’s how he did it.

by Alison Lightfoot on 9 November 2022

Tiago Braga Carlos, a digital marketing graduate from CareerFoundry

Meet Tiago. With a background in biochemistry, scientific research, and molecular biology, you might not think he’d be destined for a career in digital marketing!

But when he entered the world of work, he began to realize the value that digital marketing can bring to any industry and any business. He decided to deepen his understanding and study with CareerFoundry. 

We spoke to Tiago recently to find out what his experience was like on the Digital Marketing Program, how he plans on using his newfound knowledge in the workplace, and why he feels a digital marketing skillset really is suited for any career path.

Hi Tiago! Please can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background?

I am originally from Portugal, where I grew up and lived until I was 22. I studied biochemistry at Porto University, and went as an exchange student to Sweden. During that period, I got invited to stay for three more years, to do my PhD within the same subject.

After my PhD, I took a sabbatical year and did a round-the-world trip. I then continued my trajectory within the field of research, but this time in a company. I spent half a year working in San Francisco, before I returned to Stockholm. I was offered a position with a small company there working in the field of oncology, and I was there for eight years. 

Wow, what an interesting background. What made you turn your attention to marketing?

During those years working in Stockholm, I got more and more interested in what was happening “outside” the lab, and how the value of the projects I was involved in was translated in the context of the business.

With that in mind, I actually went back to university and started a master’s in marketing. That proved to be quite challenging as the last time I had been in a classroom was 20 years ago! But it was also rewarding, as I managed to test myself with a completely new way of thinking and looking at the world around me.

What were you doing before you discovered CareerFoundry?

I was actively looking for a job. I had wrapped up my master’s studies, and was trying to find jobs where I could combine my marketing knowledge and my scientific background.

And what made you want to further invest in digital marketing and study with CareerFoundry?

Having completed the master’s in marketing, I felt that I had good theoretical knowledge, but I lacked some practical experience. 

Also, the master’s program didn’t really focus on new trends or tools that are crucial nowadays—and those are essentially digital. So it was a great opportunity to come across this program at CareerFoundry, and be able to expand my knowledge even further!

You took the free digital marketing short course before signing up for the Digital Marketing Program. What did you think of the short course?

It was a good introduction for what was coming. I immediately got a good feeling because the material was quite easy to follow, and it was full of very practical exercises, which was what I was looking for.

I’m pleased to hear it. And how was your experience during the program itself? Do you have a particular highlight?

I liked the way it was structured. I enjoyed that it gave me the chance to get acquainted with relevant tools, and have practical, hands-on experience being guided through those tools and their processes. 

A quote from Tiago about his experience on the Digital Marketing Program at CareerFoundry

What was the most challenging part of the program?

Coming from a scientific background, everything related to creativity was the most challenging part for me. 

Also, I actually landed a job in the meantime (while still studying), and it became trickier to organize my time between job, social life, exercise, and the tasks from the course.

I see. Great news about the job though! Before we get to that, can you tell us what your relationship was like with your mentor and tutor?

Ah, my relationship was great from the beginning! Stefanie was always so supportive, available to provide feedback on my tasks, and discuss things that I was hanging more difficulty with. She had great ideas when I was stuck, and things were really so much easier after I consulted with her.

Let’s talk about the portfolio projects you created in the program. What did you enjoy about creating them? What was challenging about the process?

Each project posed a different challenge, and required different approaches. I enjoyed that a lot; the fact that I was learning so much, and applying that knowledge into something practical, and seeing a result.

A screenshot of Tiago's digital marketing portfolio project
Want to see more of Tiago’s project? Check out his Intro to Digital Marketing portfolio project.

The challenging parts, for me, were always the ones that required creativity. I always felt uneasy when I had to design posts or an infographic, or come up with a color palette. 

What I enjoyed the most was getting the chance to have hands-on experience using digital tools and different marketing channels. Also, as the projects were in completely different subjects, it was fun to have so much variety in my work.

A screenshot of Tiago's digital marketing portfolio project
Want to see more of Tiago’s project? Check out his main portfolio project.

You’re now working as an account manager for a biotech company. Has the Digital Marketing Program has helped you upskill as you hoped?

Totally! It gave me so much knowledge, so many tools to learn, and also a great way to structure ideas, and action plans. In my current role, I am able to take some of these learnings and try to apply them,  even though I am not strictly involved in marketing activities.

As I mentioned earlier, being in a working environment triggered my initial curiosity of the world of digital marketing. Happily, I’ve managed to make a transition to a position where I apply most of that knowledge!

That’s amazing, congratulations! What would you say is the most rewarding thing about a career in digital marketing?

Lots of things come to mind. Being in possession of new skills that can make me a desired professional by companies, the fact I can apply this knowledge to any sector or role, being able to discover and experiment with new ideas, iterate, and develop them—these are all important to me. 

More practically, I’d say solving problems, conducting A/B tests, improving customer experience, and engaging audiences. All of that also resonates with me and my personality, so those are definitely what I consider as rewards for this career path!

What are your hopes for your future career?

I hope that I can be more and more involved with digital marketing and make use of what I’ve learned so far. 

I think being part of a marketing team can be fun; the exchange of ideas and trying out new things. Now that I have the basis, I want to further develop and apply these skills.

Sounds great. Finally, what advice would you offer to someone thinking of taking the CareerFoundry Digital Marketing Program?

If you are someone who likes to explore, experiment, and learn from your results, you will have a great time on the program! 

On top of that, you will be well accompanied and supported by the CareerFoundry team, who will help you at each step of the way. Good luck!

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Tiago! I wish you lots of luck in your future marketing career!

Feeling motivated by Tiago’s story? Get a taster of digital marketing with this free, introductory short course. If you’d like some help figuring out your options for a career change, book a free call with an expert program advisor.

by Alison Lightfoot on 9 November 2022

About the author

Alison Lightfoot

Originally from northern England, Alison’s marketing background ranges from gaming, to sports, to the arts. When she’s not writing about CareerFoundry’s inspiring alumni, she can be found doing yoga, reading a weird book, or exploring new restaurants and cafes around Berlin.