Instant Teams Success Stories: Meet Rene Keaton
On a given Monday morning, you can find Rene Keaton, a Marketing Intern at Instant Teams, attending team meetings, brushing up on her emerging digital marketing skills, or setting up a swag and apparel shop for the company’s growing internal team. Today, Rene’s reality might look drastically different if it weren’t for her decision to give herself a chance and dive into a digital marketing course with Instant Teams Academy.
Our stellar content team caught up with Rene to learn more about her background, evolving experience, and how the Instant Teams Academy's Digital Marketing course helped her land her current position with Instant Teams and open doors for her professional future.
A Snapshot of Rene
A 27-year veteran of the military spouse community, Rene met her husband Philip in high school through a pen-pal set up while he served in the Marines as a part of Desert Storm. After two years of dating, Rene left her Engineering studies, and she and Philip were married near the end of his military contract. Now a civilian, Rene found a full-time job working at a local product embroidery shop, and her husband joined the workforce. Rene continued to grow her expertise in product embroidery and, within fifteen years, had worked her way from casual employee to Site Overseer of a company located in Ohio and then as a Production Manager for a company in Tennessee.
The horrific events of September 11, 2001, inspired Philip to re-enlist in the Active Guard Reserves. Within a few years, Philip joined the Tennessee Air National Guard and obtained an active duty position. The couple received their first Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to Colorado shortly after.
Then, in 2016, Philip was medically retired from service due to a progressing traumatic brain injury, and Rene found herself thrust into the role of full-time caregiver overnight. She started to network with military-connected support groups, including the Yellow Ribbon Fund and Operation Second Chance, and to explore professional opportunities that would allow her to fulfill her new responsibilities at home.
Introducing Instant Teams Academy
One day, Rene saw a post through the Yellow Ribbon Fund advertising a data-driven digital marketing course through Instant Teams Academy. Stepping out of her comfort zone, she applied for a scholarship on a whim. Two weeks later, she was thrilled (and surprised!) with the news that she was selected for the scholarship and enrolled in the September 2020 cohort of Instant Teams Academy’s Digital Marketing course. We asked Rene what she gained from the Digital Marketing course:
“I feel like Instant Teams Academy opened doors and provided me with new opportunities to learn digital skills and make me a valuable contributor to Instant Teams as an Intern. It also helped my self esteem to do something from myself and focus on my professional future, instead of just caring for my husband. I feel more accomplished and equipped to step into a digital marketing role thanks to the Digital Marketing course.”
Logging into the course on day one, Rene was unsure what to expect. At nearly 50 years old, with zero digital marketing experience, she was nervous she wouldn’t fit in with her cohort or have the basic skills needed to benefit from the new information. Five weeks later, Rene had a solid understanding of Google Ads and Analytics, content and email marketing, and digital strategy.
We asked what advice Rene would give to someone considering enrolling in an Instant Teams Academy course:
“Just do it. You never know what opportunities might arise from Instant Teams Academy’s course, or how useful the skills you learn might be in your future. I never imagined I would be stepping into a new, digital career at nearly 50 years old, but here I am - and loving it!”
Conquering her uncertainty and investing in herself paid off: Rene currently interns with Instant Teams in a 6 week paid remote internship experience. She’s an integral part of the creative and marketing team and using her new digital marketing skills and past experience with commercial embroidery to set up Instant Teams' first ever company swag shop!