George E. Kyriacou is the Digital Marketing Manager for UNICAF and he is in the centre of spreading awareness about the UNICAF Scholarship programme.
What is your professional and academic background?
I am an experienced digital marketing professional with a well-balanced mixture of business, people and digital skills. I graduated with an MBA from the University of Surrey in the UK but I always had a keen interest with everything that has to do with digital and the web. Therefore, I continued my professional development, receiving the Master CIW Certification, which allowed me to gain a much deeper knowledge into the digital industry and helped me to land various jobs with UK companies as a Senior Webmaster. I have also been professionally trained in PRINCE2 and Agile project management methodologies and I hold a thorough knowledge and understanding of effective strategy planning, design, development, implementation, marketing and optimisation of digital projects across all media channels within a product lifecycle.
Could you please tell us when you joined UNICAF and a little bit about your position?
I have joined UNICAF back in August 2014 and I have never regretted a minute of it. As a digital marketing manager I am responsible for developing, implementing and managing marketing campaigns that explains all about the UNICAF’s Scholarship Programme and promote our partner universities’ Online Degrees. I play a major role in enhancing our brand’s awareness, especially in Africa, in our effort to increase access to Quality Higher Education to underprivileged students.
As a marketer, what are the challenges when promoting UNICAF?
When it comes to promoting a higher education programme to international students, especially in Africa, you bound to face various marketing challenges. One of the biggest challenges we face at UNICAF is the inability to increase the reach of our message in various African countries because the internet penetration is very low and access to the right technology is sparse. Still, having our message out there doesn’t necessarily mean it will be fully understood, so we continuously need to optimise our content message tailored for different audiences and devices.
Would you say that there is a shift from traditional campus studies to online or has it been constant the last few years?
I couldn’t agree more with that. Here at UNICAF we live and breathe about online learning and we know from first-hand experience that its popularity is increasing at a very fast pace due to the widespread availability of high speed Internet access. Online degrees have become a perfect option for the individual who may not be able to enrol in a traditional classroom institution. And especially in our core market of Africa, even though lots still need to be done in terms of internet availability, there is a clear steady strong growth in queries related to online education that fills the gap of a huge student demand but a small number of graduate schools.
When not at work, what do you like doing?
Family and friends for me are very important and I cherish the time with them as much as possible. And probably the most spoiled out of them all is my dog, being with Rocky relaxes me a lot. Well most of the time let’s say! In my spare time, I like to read whether it’s the newspaper online, our e-mail or social media I constantly try to keep up what’s going on with the world. And of course I love football and I try to follow my local football team whenever is possible. Finally, time and money permitting I always try to get away at least once a year and experience new places and cultures!
And lastly, tell us the best and worse experience you had in your time at UNICAF.
I can’t think of a bad experience with UNICAF. As I have mentioned before, I have never regretted a minute of me working here so far. Our UNICAF scholarships helped thousands of students otherwise unable to afford to study for a Quality Higher Education Degree. When you have people writing to express their gratitude about how UNICAF helped them change their lives, is the best ever experience you can get. I just wish I was able to extend our offers to as many people as possible but I am confident with the developments happening in Africa, we will be able to reach more and more people.