How Anthony Lopez’s Career Pivot Connected Runyon Saltzman and 2U

Anthony Lopez got his start at the integrated marketing and communications agency Runyon Saltzman as a digital marketing intern in September 2020. He landed a full-time position with the company that December, and just seven months later received an exciting promotion to his current, more senior digital marketing role. 

But his journey through the digital marketing world actually began in April 2020, when a desire to pivot away from his previous life working a variety of odd jobs — like appliance installation and driving for FedEx — inspired Anthony to spend a formative 18 weeks with the UC Davis Digital Marketing Boot Camp, powered by Trilogy Education Services, a 2U Inc. brand. 

What gave Anthony the idea to hit the ground running on this exciting career transition? Surprisingly, a brief stint selling life insurance.

“I started to see the importance of marketing and branding when I had to familiarize people with what I was doing as an agent for an insurance agency,” recalled Anthony. “That led me to start thinking about concepts in digital advertising like funnels and conversions, and also made me want to experiment with Facebook advertising.”

Another motivator to make the leap was the pandemic. Anthony explains, “It was just this weird change of going from in-person events to digital-only ones. That, coupled with my previous work situation, convinced me digital marketing has a real place in the world, and is only going to continue growing in popularity.”

Learning to market himself

Upon enrolling in the boot camp, Anthony was faced with a challenging but enjoyable learning experience from day to day. A large part of why he felt empowered to succeed was due to how class lectures encouraged him to proceed step by step through the learning material. “Having the instructor be available to answer any of my questions let me and the other students take our time to really learn all the different features of digital marketing, which was really beneficial,” said Anthony.

One of the group projects Anthony worked on was a midterm presentation on a marketing project for a Sacramento-based food bank. Looking back, Anthony says that working collaboratively through remote Zoom meetings and learning to manage large projects with teammates prepared him to succeed in the digital marketing landscape. 

While the boot camp curriculum was foundational in equipping Anthony with real-world skills, it was the Career Services department that really bolstered his marketability. “After I graduated from the program, the Career Services team helped me build my portfolio and resume,” recalled Anthony. “Every step of the way, they prepared me to stand out when it came to applying for jobs and internships.” 

Building 2U’s fruitful relationship with Runyon Saltzman

Thanks to a mutual friend, Anthony was able to make an important connection with a digital director over at Runyon Saltzman which would lay the groundwork for his next two years in digital marketing. Following two interviews, he became the first person from the UC Davis boot camp to be offered a digital marketing internship with Runyon Saltzman — thereby establishing an exciting precedent which has continued to benefit graduates of other Trilogy-powered digital marketing boot camps. 

“Runyon Saltzman has been pleased with my performance up to this point, especially as someone who didn’t have any prior marketing experience,” said Anthony. “From there, the company became interested in the boot camp program. So, when we were looking to bring on a new intern, we chose another graduate of the UC Davis Boot Camp who was driven and engaged in what we do.”

Currently, the digital marketing department at Runyon Saltzman has hired three individuals from UC Davis Boot Camps, and Anthony believes the company will be sourcing more successful boot camp alumni to further enrich the company’s marketing presence. Best of all, this talent delivery pipeline from Trilogy-powered boot camps to Runyon Saltzman will soon be extended to other corporate departments for which 2U offers applicable boot camps. 

“I want to do my part to keep helping the company excel,” explained Anthony. “This partnership with 2U is mutually beneficial and has the opportunity to make a big impact on the digital marketing industry.” 

Embracing the role to enrich digital marketing’s future

Upon joining Runyon Saltzman’s digital marketing department, a new hire should expect to perform their role in a variety of different ways. For example, on any given day, an individual might work with Google’s Ads and Analytics platforms while optimizing and reporting on existing marketing campaigns to help develop successful new ones. The company prides itself on its ability to harness the “power of creativity, insights, technology and curiosity,” relentlessly trying innovative new approaches that maximize customer ROI. This mission tracks with Anthony’s rapid and multi-faceted experience with the company over the last two years — and he couldn’t have gotten to where he is today without the boot camp.

“The level of skill and knowledge that I was able to enter the agency with as an intern really allowed me to push the envelope for the digital marketing department at Runyon Saltzman,” said Anthony.

Going forward, he hopes to blend more of his boot camp learnings with the expertise he’s gained from two years of digital marketing experience at Runyon Saltzman, helping him to grow while remaining on the cutting edge of his field. 

Anthony sums up his digital marketing journey best: “From where I started to where I am now, I’ve been introduced to a lot of different areas of the digital marketing landscape. But there are a lot more places for me to go professionally that can also benefit the company, such as the Metaverse, and I’m excited to bring all that new technology to our agency to empower clients while also helping 2U continue doing what they do best.”

Are you excited by the idea of a learning program that can get you started on a new journey in the world of tech, all while preparing you to make your mark in the workplace? Check out UC Davis Boot Camps in coding, data analytics, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and UX/UI to get started.

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