October 21, 2020 5 min read

Being curious has led Mick Kopis, Marketing Director at Protech Group, down many roads in the marketing world. Thanks to all that, he’s earned a reputation as a full-stack marketer who’s always willing to lean in and explore what’s new for the road ahead.

A Little of This, A Little of That

Smiling portrait of Mick Kopis

Marketing covers many different aspects, and there are so many career paths out there in the industry. I consider myself a bit of a full-stack marketer.For most of my career so far, I’ve worked in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). I like the challengebecause most things need to be built from the ground up, and you can apply your skillset and knowledge every day. Over time, I have learnt to develop my expertise in marketing strategy and planning, branding, content marketing, social media, communications, public relations, and analytics. I even learnt the basics of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to do some graphic design work.

Born and raised in Montreal, I am also fluently bilingual. I strive to be a modern-day renaissance. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Leonardo Da Vinci and I have the same birth date! As much as it is cliché to say that in marketing, there is never a dull moment and every day presents a new challenge, well, that’s my reality and that’s what I enjoy the most. It forces me to take on a holistic marketing approach, and better understand and master all aspects of it.

From Textbooks to Real Life

I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a major in Marketing from HEC Montréal and a Master’s in Marketing from the City University of Hong Kong. Post-graduation, I’ve been passionate about marketing, sales, business development and helping grow start-ups, medium-sized businesses, as well as multinational companies, in both B2B and B2C markets. Marketing evolves like its consumers and their preferences, which is pretty frequently!

Therefore, it’s also a great idea to keep up with trends. As a matter of fact, I’m currently enrolled in the Chartered Marketer (CM) program offered by the Canadian Marketing Association. The two-year, online program is an opportunity for marketers to learn the latest in marketing tactics and how they integrate with business objectives. The fun doesn’t stop there though. I really enjoy the Continuing Professional Development aspect of the Program. In order to maintain the CM designation, marketers need to earn credits throughout a three-year cycle through community participation, formal assessment, research, and writing.

Become A Chartered Marketer

I started my career as a manager for an energy consulting firm. I learnt a lot and developed many hard skills like website development and graphic design from that role, so I’m forever grateful for it! Right now, I currently work as a Marketing Director at Protech Group, a leading multinational paint, and coatings company. I also co-founded and lead marketing for a start-up called Little Angel Medical, which utilizes the power of AI to provide medical screening tools for babies that parents can perform at home on their mobile devices. Finally, I created a social initiative project, entitled BriteHike, which generates local, positive impacts on people and our planet by hiking around the world. For hiking aficionados, four of the Seven Summits were conquered so far.

Marketing aside, you can find me painting abstract, scuba diving or hosting a wine tasting event.

The Great Search

Landing a first job post-graduation is difficult. Even for my friends that were in other fields took several months to land that first job. You can easily get discouraged and feel worthless, after years of effort studying so passionately. When I was searching for my first career job, I was questioning my career path and wondering if I made the right choices. Heck, I even completed a master’s degree to try to stand out in the market.

Smiling portrait of Mick Kopis

I believe it is important at first to never turn down an opportunity, and always be willing to try. Even if it’s not exactly the job role or industry you dreamed of, it’s ok because that can evolve as your career progresses. Marketing encompasses a lot. Chances are that your first job will not (or very minimally) relate directly to your studies in the field. And that’s ok! You will not be an expert at first, nor understand how SEO works or how to navigate through a WordPress CMS. That’s ok too. You will be challenged and required to learn many of the hard skills in marketing as you take on your first job. Trust me, that's the fun part!

My first career job post-graduation was a Sales Consultant role at an energy consulting firm. I took the opportunity to learn sales, one aspect of marketing, and better understand the B2B marketplace. A few months later, the company I worked for was seeking a full-time Marketing Manager and I applied internally. Perhaps it was a bit of luck, but if I didn’t accept that initial Sales Consultant job and give it a shot, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to become a Marketing Manager.

The Quality Checklist

  • Be curious and try to get to the bottom of everything that you do. Not because you must. But because it’s fun to better understand your industry, company, or even a job role. So go ahead, talk to colleagues from other departments about their day-to-day or learn new processes outside your job role.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and your mistakes too. Be sure to stand up for your successes but also raised your hand when things aren’t going well. It shows a lot of character and helps build trust with your colleagues and supervisors at any workplace.
  • Lead by example. Leadership is an action, not a position. Trust yourself. Be positive and forward-looking to inspire everyone around you for the better of the business.
  • Be fearless and remember, change is good, and that’s why it’s important to constantly look for new and better ways forward. Don’t be afraid to question old practices because if you have a better idea, your team or company will most probably be willing to change. Dare to be different!

Go for It

Leo Burnett, one of the greatest American advertising executives of all time, once said:

When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get them, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either. 

So, go for it, whether it is in your professional or personal life. “What’s the worst that could happen?” Honestly ask yourself that question, and you’d be surprised with the answer or lack thereof!

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