"Squared Online became addictive - I really wanted to do it"

Posted by Holly Maunders on 28 August 2018

Nicholas Smith | Squared Online Graduate | Hong Kong 2018 

Nicholas Smith-1

Squared Online grad, Nicholas Smith, is the General Manager of 5-star hotel brand Kerry Hotels, by Shangri-LaThe impact that studying Squared Online had on the way he works is truly inspirational, so we wanted to share it with you!

I really threw myself in. remember celebrating the opening of our new Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong mid-way through Module 4 of my Squared Online journey. I even managed to attend the live class that night...

A few weeks later, I bought airline connectivity en route to a sales trip and ended up finishing the course flying across the pacific. It became addictive - I really wanted to do it." - Nicholas Smith, General Manager, Kerry Hotels by Shangri-La.

Read on to learn more...

What made you decide to study Squared Online?

There were a number of topics the team were discussing which I didn’t fully understand – I was concerned I’d get left behind and I wanted to be more effective.   

I understood some of the basic terminology, but strongly felt that I needed to do something to improve how I approached strategic planning. It was then that I took a leap of faith in Squared Online as it had been recommended to me by a colleague. 

What did you find most useful about Squared Online?

I benefited greatly from the collaborative aspects of Squared Online – working with a team of people who arent in front of you.  

Coordinating times to work with a group based across different time zones also really opened my eyes to how life can really be changed. It was a great learning curve for me and really linked to the way we were doing business at the time I was studying.  

How has studying Squared Online impacted the way you work?

Squared Online enabled me to take a step back and identify areas of our marketing strategy where we could improve and how we could cast a wider net to promote the presence of Kerry Hotels in Hong Kong. We ended up building a really strong strategy as a brand and are very present in Hong Kong digital media. 

The intention was already there but learning on the course how we could re-target using budget in a much more cost-effective way, was priceless. We spent less money than we ever would have by drawing from what I learned on the course. 

A lot of this came down to the way I changed how we were working with agencies. The way I did business became much easier as I understood what they were talking about. I used to just take agency recommendations, but our meetings are now much more meaningful. It’s like I learned a new language. 

How did you find the experience of online learning?

I really threw myself in. remember celebrating the opening of our new Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong mid-way through Module 4 of my Squared Online journey. I even managed to attend the live class that night.  

A few weeks later, I bought airline connectivity enroute to a sales trip and ended up finishing the course flying across the pacific. It became addictive – I really wanted to do it. 

Any anecdotes you'd like to share with anyone looking to study Squared Online?

Sometimes you lose the thirst for learning – you're just asked to make decisions. You don’t always put time aside to sharpen up. What came out of this for me was the realisation that I should have started Squared Online before. 

Now I’ve got more of an appetite to study something else. I've got a Harvard account, but this was a very different type of learning. There are some seriously cool people on there! 

Squared Online is the award-winning digital marketing leadership course developed with Google and powered by AVADO. The programme is designed to build leadership and collaboration skills through an interactive and hands-on approach and helps marketers develop their knowledge and confidence in all things digital.

Want to hear more about how Squared Online could impact your career?

For individuals, call: +44(0)20 3911 3359 / +65 (0)6876 7908, or email: admissions@wearesquared.com.

For companies, contact our Corporate Partnership Team: sam.stretch@avadolearning.com | +44(0)730 856 761 (EMEA)sonia.yao@avadolearning.com | +852 9383 5016 (APAC)


Topics: Digital marketing, Business, Digital Transformation, Training, Student stories