Author: Prajakta Vaidya

From Sales to Getting into the Creative Field, Partho Found his Calling at Schbang.

This is Partho. 

He is a regular guy with a BBA degree and a passion for photography.

While in college, he took up a sales job at a BPO to earn some money on the side.

After graduating, he worked for a while as a content writer and learnt the basics of SEO, email and social media.

His interest in photography is what brought him to MyCaptain- he was looking for a digital marketing course that could help him increase his account’s reach and share his pictures with the world.

After doing his research, he shortlisted a few courses- but finally settled on MyCaptain

Earlier, Partho was a little sceptical as someone who was not a part of the Zoom Class generation, but the mentors at MyCaptain made sure that he fit right in, helped clear all the doubts he had, and even cracked jokes with them. 

There was a comfort level that was developed between the Captains and the rest of the batch- something that Partho had never thought would happen. 

He attended all the live classes and asked a lot of questions. He also remembers repeatedly asking if he would actually receive lifetime access to all the course material- he couldn’t believe that the content would be with him forever.

Partho was excited about the projects he got to work on, as they were valuable add-ons to his portfolio. He was learning, growing, and thinking- in his words, “not a lot of things made me really ‘think’ think before this course.”

He admitted to needing a lot of help with his resume and portfolio building and agrees that he would be clueless without the help of Akarshan sir.

Srishti, the Program Manager for Partho’s course, is someone he talks fondly about, “She has been so helpful and made sure that all the questions I had were answered”.

This story gets its happy ending with Partho accepting a job offer from Schbang as a Direct Marketing and Automation Executive, even before the end of his course. 

Congratulations, Partho! If you’re interested in switching your career to content and copywriting, sign up today.

Defying four generations of engineers to pursue a career in social media: this is Khushbu’s story.

“As I signed up for the Digital Marketing Pro Course, I realised my interest in the field was genuine- I began picturing myself in a career so distant from what civil engineering graduates usually do. This image of who I could be, if I just gave it a chance, was frighteningly close, and very possible. Was I actually going to defy four generations of engineers and pursue something so offbeat?” 

Khushbu Thakkar is an engineering graduate who took the first step towards her interest and now is pursuing her passion in the field of Social Media. Read her story.

Tell us about yourself!

I belong to a family of civil engineers- my father, grandfather, and great grandfather were all very proud of their jobs and social status.

So it was clear to me, once I completed my 12th standard, that I would pursue a career in civil engineering. Then I would either work in my brother’s firm or prepare for government exams. My entire life had been planned out for me, to a tee.

But that was soon about to change.

How did you find out about MyCaptain?

I am a person with varied interests, and writing was one of them. Absent-mindedly, I’d scribble the ideas I had on the last page of my Structural Analysis notebook. I’d even created an Instagram account for my writing. It was a fresh change from the monotony of college life.

One day I was in class, scrolling through social media when suddenly something caught my eye- a webinar on how to improve your writing skills. 

I knew I had some good ideas, but I had to improve overall as a writer, so I thought, why not!

So I signed up for it, and I absolutely loved every minute of that hour-long session. The speaker gave us practical useful tips we could start using that could instantly improve my work.

I then checked out their website. MyCaptain stood out to me as it was a platform that had a lot of courses in both beginner and advanced levels, in creative and non-technological fields. It felt like they were a pioneer, leading the way in a world where only technology seemed to be celebrated. 

How was the MyCaptain experience?

A few weeks later, I took up their Creative Pack. There were quite a few courses I could choose from, from Creative Writing and Novel Writing to Digital Marketing and SEO. The next few months were a blur as I took up course after course, trying to imbibe information from everywhere.

I took up the Freelance Writing Course and, as posting on Instagram increased my interest in marketing and social media, I took up the Digital Marketing Course as well. 

Around this time, I was in my final year of engineering, and placement season was approaching quickly. I realised then that I did not want to sit for placements, and I did not want to work at my family firm. I wanted something that would help me get into the creative orbit, maybe into the world of social media.

Then I got a call that would do just that. 

An executive from MyCaptain was on the other end. “Would you like an opportunity to switch your course of life?” he asked. “Would you want to learn about digital marketing in-depth and get a guaranteed job in this field?” What, I thought. How is that possible? How can a platform guarantee a placement offer?

Yet that is exactly what I had been looking for, and I took up the course.

As I signed up for the Digital Marketing Pro course, I realised my interest in the field was genuine- I began picturing myself not working in my brother’s firm, in a career so distant from the four-year degree I had studied for. This image of who I could be, if I just gave it a chance, was frighteningly close, and very possible. Was I actually going to defy four generations of engineers and take up something so offbeat? Would my parents agree? What would they say?

How was the Digital Marketing Pro Course?

My will to learn everything I could in those three months only increased by the day. Once our course started, we were all added to a Slack channel, where we had access to useful reading material. We also had challenges and doubt-solving sessions, and every month we had a Minor Project that stimulated our minds and made us good collaborators.

The course itself was well-designed. I loved the case studies we had because learning about brands and their marketing strategies was amazing and inspiring at the same time. I also really liked the tasks we had to work on because, unlike any other course, these tasks challenged us, every week, to apply something new we learned in a more practical sense. 

And to my delight, the same experience I had with my mentors during the previous courses I completed was waiting for me here. Rather, it was even better- more helpful, more professional.

These mentors were not even a decade older than me, yet the knowledge they had over these fields was massive. They’d worked with huge brands, yet they were so humble and approachable throughout. I never once stuttered before asking them ‌questions. A huge shout-out to Captain Megha Jain- she was the most supportive and helpful Captain I had.

As the course drew to a close, I realised my journey so far was amazing- not only had I learnt a lot, but my confidence in myself had redoubled. I was no longer that girl, uncertain about her future. I was now setting my path in stone, in a direction I wanted and I chose.

The 100% Placement/Freelance Guarantee.

The recruitment process began soon after the classes got over and was a smooth experience overall. The Placement team at MyCaptain worked diligently and were very responsive, answering even our silliest doubts about the interview rounds and processes.

Another important part of this program was the placement training- where we were guided by experts on topics like how we could build our resume for a particular company, how we could optimise our LinkedIn accounts and even how we should communicate in group discussions.

Then interview day arrived. Despite it being my first time giving interviews, they went by frictionlessly and without much incident. I thought I did pretty well, but still prayed I would get through.

I got an internship at a web development company, where I handle their entire social media- that is six platforms including Instagram, Meta, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora. Currently, I am interning at an organisation as a Social Media Executive. 

With the help of MyCaptain, I could switch paths and actually pursue a career in Social Media, which is something I’d wanted to do.

Signing off!

This experience with MyCaptain was like a mega buffet- I got to taste so many things, and I could go back and take second helpings of the items I loved most.

I would recommend this course to anyone who is looking for a career change, or a switch in fields entirely. This course definitely helped me set my foot on solid ground, and I am sure it will help you too.

Want to understand what the buzz is all about? Sign up for the MyCaptain Digital Marketing Pro Course.

Understanding Graphic Design Course Basics.

– What is Graphic Design

We all know that graphic design course has been trending for a few years now.

But what exactly is graphic design? And can just about anyone pursue a career in it? Let’s figure it out.

Graphic design is a structured form of design that helps a user achieve a particular goal through visual communication techniques.

There are three responses to a piece of design — yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.

Milton Glaser
Gray Laptop Computer Turned-on

– Why become a graphic designer

If you are a creative and organized individual, a career in graphic design might be ideal as it requires imagination and organizational skills. A graphic designer’s life is full of everyday challenges about how to express a creative brief through design.

You can choose between working full-time with a company or freelancing, which gives you the flexibility to choose your clients and your working hours (albeit only sometimes!). And once you find what works for you, you will eventually be more productive and be able to harvest the benefits of working for yourself.

The demand for graphic designers is also increasing by the day. In fact, the graphic designing field is expected to grow by over 10% in the next 5 years. This is good news for those entering the field. Even though there is a lot of competition, almost every company nowadays needs an in-house design team.

– How to become a graphic designer

You do not need a formal education to become a graphic designer, although you do need to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of the field.

In creative domains like this, a portfolio holds more value than a degree. You could try doing a part-time diploma or even a certificate course. They give you the benefit of a cohesive learning experience, with all material in one place.

Some graphic design courses include tasks or projects that you can complete to get a practical, first-hand experience of the design field and the different applications involved. A few courses even offer internships or jobs, so you can apply your theoretical know-how directly with a company or client.

– Required Skills

Analytical skills- Graphic designers should be able to perceive their work from the client’s point of view to ensure the desired message is being conveyed.

Computer skills– Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or Figma to create their designs.

Creativity- Graphic designers should be able to think of unique ways of communicating their design brief to their consumers.

Time-management- Graphic designers, especially those who are freelancers, often have to work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

-Understand the principles of design

You need to keep an eye out for design details that both improve your work and also impair it. It goes without saying that there are a lot of intricacies in the course of graphic design, but these basic principles should help you get started with creating all kinds of graphics- whether they are logos, app designs, banners, advertisements, or web content.

  1. Contrast– Contrast is an important design principle, as it lets you emphasize the most important aspect of a design. High contrast, whether in terms of colour (black and white), font (traditional and modern), or weight (thick and thin), can help guide the viewer’s eye to the most important part of the design first.
pigeon flying on air

2. Balance– Balance lends stability and structure to a design. This doesn’t mean that all your elements have to be the same size or completely symmetrical, but that your design should be comprehensible to the viewer. Every element that forms your design (text boxes, images, and shapes) has a visual weight of its own, so it’s important to be familiar with them as you create. Now, symmetric balance means that the weight of the elements is evenly distributed on each side, whereas asymmetric balance uses colour, scale and contrast to achieve a flow in design.

3. Alignment– Alignment helps create a pleasing visual structure and flow to your design. It creates a seamless visual connection and gives an orderly appearance to the design elements. Left, right and center are the most common styles of alignment, but you could also align elements with other elements in your design.

4. Hierarchy– Visual hierarchy refers to the weightage being given to different aspects of design. For example, if you want to emphasize a particular heading, you could increase its font size or use a different, bolder style to highlight it. You may also place it higher than other elements in the design, giving it more focus and adding to the visual weight it carries, thus giving it a higher place in the visual hierarchy.

5. Repetition– Repetition is a fundamental design element, especially when it comes to creating cohesive designs, as in the case of branding. Consistency in the use of elements such as brand colours, fonts and illustration styles, help people recognize the brand.

6. Proximity- Proximity helps create organization on a design, grouping together similar or related elements to form a relationship between them. It is used such that bringing together similar elements helps declutter and organize the entire design. Proximity is usually employed in menus, lists and grids.

7. Colour- Colour is one of the most important principles of design, as it is a very obvious visual element. Colours can help you communicate feelings and emotions without the use of a single word, alluding to the adage- a picture is worth a thousand words. Understanding the basics of colour theory helps you use colour to your advantage. For example, yellow is considered a warm colour and is associated with energy and happiness, whereas blue is a colour that tends to make people feel calm and trusting- that is why a majority of logos are blue in colour. Another important use is brand colours. Defining how each colour is used can help create consistency within your work and improve the overall brand image.

8. Space- Aside from the part of the design you are filling in with text and images, there is some empty space wherein no elements have been placed. This white space, otherwise known as negative space, creates shapes and can help highlight the most important parts of your design. Negative space is used extensively in logos.

9. Typography- Typography is a principle of design that deals with arranging a message in a legible and aesthetically-pleasing composition. It is different from calligraphy or lettering in that in typography, we use pre-existing typefaces. Typography helps create visual consistency and harmony in a design, whether it is on a poster or a website.

– How to create a design portfolio

Your portfolio should contain written and visual overviews of projects and significant pieces that you’ve been involved with. It should also include an insight into skills you have, methods you’ve used, and the impact of your work, along with any relevant outcomes and/or lessons you’ve learned.

Here are a few tips that can help you build a graphic design portfolio:

  • Choose only the best of your creations. You might want to showcase all your work, right from when you started, but that isn’t such a good idea because potential clients or companies really only care about your best work.
  • If you have worked for any client in the past,or if you have done a professional case study for a brand, be sure to add that to your portfolio as well.
  • Describe the creative thought process behind your work, so it may be clearer to someone who isn’t a designer.

– Applications of Graphic Design

Graphic design is used in various functions. Some of its applications are:

  • Complete branding
  • Packaging (anything from food wrappers to appliances)
  • Print media (books, magazines, newspapers, flyers and hoardings)
  • Online art (websites and banners)
  • Apparel design (t-shirts, tote bags)
  • Album covers, film and television graphics

– MyCaptain’s Graphic Design Course

MyCaptain offers a course on Graphic Design wherein the learners not only understand the basics of design and work with different tools like Adobe Illustrator, but also practically apply their theoretical know-how and build their first portfolio.

After the 4-week LIVE course, learners can also get internship opportunities in the field.

77 percent of the learners who took up the Graphic Design course have said that it has helped them and they are likely to recommend this course to a friend or colleague.

– Future scope in the field

The employment of graphic designers is projected to grow by 5 percent through the course of 5 years, that is, up to 2026. In fact, the employment of graphic designers particularly in computer systems design and related services is projected to grow 20 percent.

Companies are continuing to increase their digital presence, requiring graphic designers to help create visually appealing and effective layouts of websites.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies in order to remain competitive.

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12 Steps to Start Writing

So you want to get into writing..

Maybe you have journals full of scribbled poems, or people have told you you have a way with words. 

And so you want to try. See if you can be a writer. Express emotions you’re feeling or experiences and anecdotes with just words.

But where do you start? 

Nobody is born a writer. You become one, much like the oft-quoted rough diamonds that undergo a brutal polishing process to result in bright jewels. 

So this is where you can begin.

1. Read.

To express that reading is important to write.
Reading can help improve your vocabulary.

It is an almost unspoken rule that to write well, you must read well.

This is something very important, and the reason is simple. Reading helps you find inspiration, increase your vocabulary, understand grammar rules– the list is endless.

It doesn’t matter what you read– fiction or nonfiction, blogs or newspaper articles. This is where you start.

Read everything you can get your hands on because that will subconsciously become a part of you. You’re only the sum of everything you’ve seen, heard and read.

So read, and then read some more.

2. Start Writing.

Now, you actually start.

Write a sentence every day.

If you don’t know where to begin, use a prompt list. They are a great place to start, if you need inspiration or want to challenge yourself.

All you have to do is to get up and write every day.

Set a target for yourself, whether it is a word limit or a time duration.

And write, write, write.

3. Keep going (Discipline).

If writing is your priority, as it must be if you’re reading this, you need to set goals for yourself.

You need to stick to those goals. And they need not be big things. Even writing for 30 minutes daily is a good goal.

Motivation is one thing, but you can’t always be motivated- so you have to learn to be disciplined. You need to hold yourself accountable for those goals.

Catch yourself slacking off, and reward yourself if you’ve done well. But keep going.

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards.”

4. Learn (Take classes).

To learn more to write.
Take classes and improve the way you write.

There’s no limit to how much one can learn. Choose your means of learning, and dive right in.

There are thousands, if not more, of YouTube videos on any given particular topic that you can watch and understand.

Alternatively, there are courses that you can take, both online and offline, that can help give you an overview of all things writing. 

5. Create a swipe file.

This may include your favourite blog posts, stories, poems, articles, headlines and emails.

Every writer, marketer and designer has one- it mainly serves as inspiration for you to go through on a certain rainy day, where you can’t seem to come up with anything to write. 

6. Don’t edit (yet).

Austin Leon, author of Steal Like an Artist, mentions, “The computer is really good for editing your ideas, and it’s really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, but it’s not really good for generating ideas. There are too many opportunities to hit the delete key. The computer brings out the uptight perfectionist in us–we start editing ideas before we have them.” 

Writing and editing are two different steps in the writing process; do not mix up their order.

I have caught myself doing this as well, and the only solution I’ve found to it is to actively stop myself from using the backspace key before I’m actually done with a piece. 

7. Explore.

Explore different types of writing.
Explore the different writing styles to find your niche.

Now that you’re in the flow, try out different things.

Maybe you like to write poems. Still, push yourself to write things you may not like, like longer articles.

Understand what you like and why you like it, and also what you don’t like and why. You might realise things about your writing that you haven’t noticed before like maybe you prefer poems without a rhyme scheme, or opinionated pieces do not resonate with you.

This helps you understand your work as a writer, and what you can do best.

8. Edit.

Now is when you use the backspace key.

In fact, editing is like rewriting your piece. And rewriting might sound like a terrible thing, but it doesn’t need to be so.

You now know the thoughts that were running through your head when you were writing, and you get to rethink the way the sentence is written. And so you have a better chance to shape these words the way you actually want. 

9. Put it out there.

There are multiple benefits to putting out your work online– whether you start a blog, website or even an account on social media. 

-Your account essentially becomes an online portfolio, and everyone can see the work you do. This is especially beneficial if you’re interested in freelancing or getting commissioned work and earning a little, on the side.

-It could help with consistency. Obviously, there’s a fine line between posting regularly and obsessing over your content. But in a sense, it keeps you accountable for your writing, especially if you need an external push sometimes. 

-You could join related communities online. They have competitions, e-meets, and you could connect with people in your field and increase your network as well. In fact, you could also ask for feedback regarding your work. But tread cautiously, the internet is a crazy place.

-Your stuff could go viral! It’s not something you can aim for–but again, the internet is a crazy place, who knows what could happen!

10. Focus.

Focus on improving your writing.
Focus is key to being a good writer.

You’ve probably written a bunch of stuff by now, experimented with things you know you don’t like or think are tedious.

Now, it’s time to choose a niche.

Becoming a writer doesn’t just include writing books or blogging. In fact, there is a wide variety of types and styles of writing that you could explore–copywriting, social media content creation, journalism, content writing, microblogging, scriptwriting, novel writing, creative writing and humour writing are just some of them.

11. Try (freelance writing).

Now that you know your niche, and you have at least a few people in your network that you have had conversations with, it is time to step out and look around for gigs you might be able to help with.

Consider your existing skills as you talk to potential clients, and, especially as you are just starting out, prioritize experience over a paycheck. Gradually, your portfolio will develop, and you can dive head-first into the world of freelancing.

12. Continue to keep writing.

Consistency is key, and that’s all there is to it. Follow steps 1- 12, and repeat, in any order.

Keep writing, keep your social media account/blog/website active, and you will definitely start to get various opportunities to write.

And voila, somewhere between the editing and re-editing of your two-page document, and a few (hundred) cups of coffee, you are now a writer. Not to say you always weren’t– you just had to hone your skills, as any craftsperson does.

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