Roman philosopher Seneca once said that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” a quote that is now ringing very true for TJ Spruyt.

Spruyt, a recent graduate of the University of Lethbridge’s Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) program, didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out the day he enrolled in the program was a very lucky one indeed.

That’s because Spruyt, a veteran police officer with the Winnipeg Police Service, jumped at an opportunity to start a new business after a class project inspired him to do so.

“I’ve been interested in digital marketing for a while. My wife and I have three boys and I figured with the pandemic and no hockey season for them, if I was going to take this course it was now or never,” says Spruyt, who completed the course online in four months through uLethbridge’s Calgary Campus.

“I took this course as digital marketing is something I thought I’d enjoy doing once I retire from law enforcement. I’m really glad I did as I took so much away from it. For our class project we did a presentation using realtors. I felt there was a good opportunity there and decided to pursue that.”

Spruyt has since started a side business ( providing digital marketing services to real estate agents.

“With realtors, it's all about generating leads; SEO and social media are pretty important. With that being said, I feel that email marketing definitely has potential to cultivate and maintain clients for the realtors I’m working with.”

Spruyt attended class via Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday evenings, allowing him to juggle his work schedule, volunteer responsibilities and family life with the program’s curriculum.

“Our instructor was phenomenal. We would discuss all the digital marketing topics and he would often bring in guest speakers. He brought a ton of great insight to the course that he was able to pass along to all the students. The live client portion was a great bonus as we got to work in groups and do presentations,” Spruyt says.

“I can tell you I didn’t know much about digital marketing before I took this course. The material was really good but the in-class portion, along with the live client presentation, is what made it a great course. I would highly recommend it.”

To learn more about the Certified Digital Marketing Professional program, visit the University of Lethbridge’s Calgary Campus.

The University of Lethbridge’s Calgary Campus is based in downtown Calgary and provides credit and non-credit programs geared towards working professionals.