Remaining an eternal student was the key to Andoni’s success
Like every millennial, Andoni Peña grew up in the age of exponential internet expansion.
At the point in time when he was taking his university course in Advertising and Public Relations, a communications transformation was underway; social media was booming. ‘I became fascinated by how large brands were connecting to end consumers and all the techniques that existed to publicise their products.’
He acknowledges that he was a bit lost when he got his degree, ‘but I saw there were opportunities in the digital environment that made me extremely curious, although I lacked expertise and knowledge’. After he finished his studies, he took a course by Google Digital Workshop on digital marketing, which he had heard about through his university. ‘It was an introductory course that helped you to understand what this new world was all about’, and it motivated Andoni to continue this personal learning process, even after he graduated.
For a young student, the fact that the course was free drew him in, but within only a month it had actually helped him to set upon his future career path, making a leap forward, both professionally and in his personal life. ‘Thanks to the course, I knew that I wanted to specialise in digital marketing. In the theory classes I learned about everything from metrics to sector terminology, and it helped me to feel more motivated to keep learning and developing in this sector.’
The course offered a mix of group assignments and meetings with industry professionals to learn from their experience, and as such it was a great foundation for the Master of Digital Marketing, Communication and Social Media course that he studied later, after moving to Madrid.
Following early roles with advertising agencies, where he began specialising in advertising investment and technology, he moved into a new role with Google, where he now helps various advertisers to get the most out of Google’s advertising tools.
He works shoulder to shoulder with engineers, who have shown him that life is a continuous learning experience, and that a growth mentality can take you a long way. ‘We explore multiple technological areas to offer customers the most effective solutions.’
If he had to give advice to young people who are looking for their niche, or trying to find a job opportunity that suits them, it would be to stay active. ‘You have to move a lot, knock on different doors and assume that the beginning could be hard, but the rewards could be great.’