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Career Development

Rising in the Ranks: How One Military Spouse Unlocked Career Mobility From the Homefront

General Assembly
March 13, 2023

It was 2021, and Michelle Artreche was working at an edtech startup in a marketing role. Although she had a passion for the discipline, she wanted formal training. Michelle wanted a stronger educational foundation so she could take her career to the next level, though she wasn’t sure where to start.

As a military spouse, potential relocation was a fact of life—which meant enrolling in a traditional in-person training program wasn’t really a viable solution. She needed a flexible, career-focused program that could fit her life.

Through a connection on LinkedIn, Michelle heard about The Adecco Group U.S. Foundation Service Scholarship, which awards scholarships to women veterans and military spouses that can be used for courses offered through General Assembly (GA). She took the initiative to apply, landed an award for GA’s Digital Marketing course, and began a new chapter in her tech career story.

Michelle has parlayed her newfound skills into a role where she’s tripled her income—and continues to grow in a career she’s passionate about. She is an incredible example representing the military/spouse community and showing continuous growth as a professional in her field. Read the following interview to learn more about her journey. 

Start off by giving us a bit of your background with GA.

My name is Michelle Artreche. I’m a digital marketer who was given the opportunity to take the Digital Marketing course at General Assembly in 2021. It gave me the foundational support I needed—and the education to move forward in my marketing career. 

What were you doing before you took the course?

I was working in marketing and communications at an edtech startup. I had my hand in all the things, including paid and organic marketing. GA was super helpful because it allowed me to test out Google ads, as well as Facebook ads, and work with the team to put together a better strategy—which ended up saving the organization I was with at the time 35% on our Google ad spend. Plus, we increased leads. It was very helpful for me to take the skills I learned and implement them into my position at the time. 

What led you to seek out the support of the Adecco Group US Foundation? 

I learned about the Adecco Group US Foundation scholarship through another military spouse who posted on LinkedIn. I was able to apply for that scholarship and was selected for the award.

My drive for going after this opportunity was that I didn’t go to school for marketing. It was something I just picked up while working in marketing and operations, as well as other positions I had. I really wanted to get that educational foundation and experience—and I was able to do so with GA.  

Was GA the only bootcamp or provider of this type of education you looked at?

There were other providers who had digital marketing courses. GA stuck out to me because it was a full scholarship that I was able to get through the Adecco Group US Foundation. Also, it provided flexibility—I was able to take it part-time, which worked for my lifestyle, being a military spouse. I worked full-time and did GA on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

How did your experience with GA change your career and life path?

When you’re working in a startup, there are so many different tasks you’re given to do. GA allowed me to hone in on those skills and really put them to use in real-time. Working with my course lead, as well as everyone else who was in the course, we were able to combine our experiences to solve bottlenecks. That was something that really helped me out with my career. I saw that increase in productivity through the GA course, and it allowed me to identify new opportunities—and move into them. 

How does the job search and career process different for a military family?

With military families, spouses, and veterans, it’s very different from someone who is just out there living a life with no dictation from the military. One of the things that jumped out at me about GA was being able to take this course part-time, but also remotely. 

If my husband had orders, and we had to pick up and move during the process, then I was able to pick up and move GA with it—rather than stop everything I was doing and start a certification over because I needed to be there in-person. This was a huge, helpful piece in me moving forward with my career and my experience at GA. 

What advice do you have for other women veterans or military spouses looking to boost their careers or change fields?

I would recommend GA to women vets and military spouses who have been out of the workforce for a while, or are looking to move into a new career. A remote-friendly career within tech—as well as the ability to learn in a part-time capacity through GA—is something that’s super beneficial to your transition into a career.

What’s your top memory from the course?

Definitely interacting with everyone else who was in the course with me. It was really fun to connect with people who were already in marketing, or those in sales looking to pivot, or CEOs of their own organization. I got to learn from so many different people coming from different spaces, whether it be eCommerce or SaaS. My favorite part was working with them to find solutions to bottlenecks and other issues their organizations had with social media and paid advertisements.

Were you able to connect with classmates and instructors even though you weren’t in a classroom?

I did. I felt like I was able to connect with my TAs, instructors, and all of my other classmates. One of the beneficial pieces was Slack, which enabled us to communicate in real time. We also connected on LinkedIn and they’re all part of my network now. We speak to each other once in a while, especially when it comes to different marketing trends that are changing. It’s definitely beneficial and I felt that connection during the course. 

Was GA worth it, and would you recommend it to other military spouses or friends?

I would say GA was definitely worth it and I would recommend it to military spouses, again, who have been out of the workforce for a while. Or a veteran who’s transitioning out of the military and looking for a new career. The flexibility worked well for me and my family—and helped me succeed in achieving the certificate.  

Any parting words for our readers?

At the end of the day, this really was a life-changing experience for me. I ended up receiving my certificate, which brought new marketing opportunities, and I ended up earning 3x as much as I was prior to getting the certificate. So it does make a difference and I would recommend it. 

Are you a military spouse or woman veteran looking to make your next career move? General Assembly provides the skills, support, and connections you need to land a rewarding job that suits your lifestyle—all in one package. Explore our current offerings now.

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