Career Stories: How Ingrid Tafuro Owns Her Narrative

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When asked how the digital marketing industry in the United States compares to that of her home country, Brazil, Ingrid Tafuro says that digital marketing is a global language.

“I still have most of my network there and they have been trying to follow their path in terms of digital marketing. I mean, besides the cultural aspect, their perspective is really correlated,” she explains.

Tafuro’s journey to digital marketing has not been linear. Following her pursuit of an undergraduate degree in São Paulo, a few communications-related jobs, a stint in nannying, and an international move, she is now discovering new passions and producing work she is proud of. 

As the Digital Benefits Content Specialist at Insperity, Tafuro combines her love for storytelling and thorough understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). Learn about her journey, thoughts on transferable skills, and more, below.

To find additional resources and information related to digital marketing, visit the Career Engagement Network Digital Marketing Pathways page.


A Journey Begins 

Before relocating to the United States, Tafuro graduated from Paulus Faculty of Technology and Communication in São Paulo, Brazil with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. 

Tafuro has always had an interest in content. “I believe in stories,” she says. Although her idea of journalism has evolved since starting college, she has to put her degree and passion to good use. She has worked in everything from publishing to reporting, and then, to her first position in web marketing. 

“I was realizing that the market actually requires more. I wanted to see if my content was engaging enough and converting. I think that’s why I decided to dive deep into SEO after my first experience in 2014,” she explains.

To supplement her work writing content and analyzing social media metrics for a B2B (business-to-business) company, Tafuro made a decision to pursue a more specialized skill set in website engagement and Google Analytics. But, as fate would have it, there were plans taking shape for her to gather a different set of skills first.

Unexpected Turns

Nannying

After moving to Texas a few years ago, Tafuro found herself working for a friend as a nanny. This job allowed her to apply her creativity when crafting her story for future positions. 

Tafuro’s friend, former boss, and mentor, Rachel Jackson, would say, “In your new work, you are still going to have to deal with different personalities; and then you’re going to see that it’s got to be related somehow.” And that, Tafuro did. 

“It helped a lot,” Tafuro says. The soft skills she gained as a nanny, most notably time management and interpersonal communication, have helped her tremendously in her current work.

Boot Camp

While gaining useful soft skills as a nanny, Tafuro recognized that she wanted to get up-to-speed on changes in the marketing field. “I felt I had to upgrade my skills. They were a little rusty,” Tafuro recalls. 

She enrolled in the Digital Marketing Boot Camp at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business. “I wanted to see what the market is actually requiring for digital marketers.” 

While Tafuro explains that many of her classmates in the boot camp had experience in business and public relations, she also had some people in her cohort from other unrelated fields. Her advice to those without formal digital marketing backgrounds is: “Something that will help to land [a job] other than specific experiences is growing and engaging in different projects. I believe engaging in projects will give you an experience of what digital marketing is actually going to look like.”

During her time in the boot camp, Tafuro also did SEO work for a nonprofit. She looks back on all of these experiences fondly, as each turn has contributed to where she is on her path today. 

“By doing [all] this I thought that I could actually show recruiters during interviews that I have something fresh, something validated, something that businesses are actually experiencing nowadays. It was very helpful especially because I wasn’t in the workforce.”

The Story Continues

Currently, Tafuro is working on content for the benefits department at a human resources company, Insperity. “I’m updating title tags, doing a little bit of SEO for the Department, and also dealing with metrics,” she explains. Tafuro’s team goes through content metrics “in loads” to determine what will get featured.

Emphasizing the importance of engagement in her content work, Tafuro says, “I’m telling the story in numbers now; actually saying why content should be there or whether we have to replace it or not.” A large piece of that story, she says, is knowing your audience. “When it’s all about knowing your audience, we know we’re going to have data there.”

For Tafuro, “owning her story and trusting the process” has opened many doors. She still believes in the art of storytelling; she’s just on a different side of that story. 

“We are journalists, so we don’t want the paper to die; however, we know that this [digital] transformation is getting ever more close to us.” And for that reason–among others–Tafuro believes that digital marketing is a wonderful place for candidates with varying skills and backgrounds to land.


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