Introducing the Nominees for the 2017 Gymnasium Excellence in Learning Award: Douglas Smith

Douglas Smith is one of four nominees selected for our Gymnasium Excellence in Learning Award. This award is sponsored by Aquent and Vitamin T and serves to spotlight a Europe-based individual who has demonstrated enthusiasm and initiative for learning in 2016. With a prize of a trophy as well as the coveted Standards Collection of ebooks from our friends at A Book Apart, the award both recognizes the hard work of the honoree and equips them with the tools necessary to assist them in continuing their efforts. Though Laure Navarro was ultimately named the winner, read on to learn why Douglas and his work caught our attention.

Douglas, a copywriter, says he was initially interested in our Writing For Web & Mobile course as he wanted to expand his understanding of the topic and had heard that Gymnasium classes are “very thorough and completely professionally-oriented rather than being sales-y or full of hype.” The course, which covers content creation, the role of design, keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO) writing, and user experience (UX), gave Doug the confidence to “press ahead to practice this new knowledge and seek work in this field,” and even inspired his longest blog post describing the meaning and relevance of SEO.

The course influenced the creation of multiple pieces of work as showcased in his online portfolio, including copy for page tags and meta descriptions. As Douglas put it, the knowledge and skills taught in the course play a role in his everyday professional life as “the course’s main thrust of creating content around feedback from highest-value clients and studying the language used by target audiences has formed the keystone of all conversations with potential clients.”

Thanks to Milo Goodman for his contribution to this story.