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Marketing Career

Hi, I am a freshman in college at an American University in Paris. I am currently a marketing major and I was wondering what are some steps I could take to better my career? #marketing #college #career


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Amy’s Answer

Definitely look for an internship - even if it's not exactly in the field you think you want to go into. I had a handful in college and they were all pretty different - from grass root marketing to small advertising agencies. Get as much and as diverse experience as you possibly can, now. It will expose you to all different tracks of work, and you'll be glad you did. I found that sometimes, even if I thought for sure I wanted to go in one direction, doing something completely different opened my eyes to the additional types of work I could do. I was an Advertising major in undergrad which is very close to Marketing.

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Monique’s Answer

Internships in sales or marketing or other parts of business, networking, shadowing - all can help.

It's a digital world - Look at how you consume and participate in media - blogs, FB, twitter, etc. Are there any aspects of them that you enjoy, contribute to? Have you started your own meet-up, blog. etc.? Document that, show initiative and creativity.

Marketing is about communication, solving problems, creating - what speaks to you?

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Lynn’s Answer

Marketing has changed a lot over the past decade. I'd make sure you're taking some computer science and statistics-related classes. Some good options would be basic web development or design, SEO, and digital analytics. There are also many free courses available online if you'd rather go that route.

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Jackie’s Answer

Hi Georgiana,
As others have mentioned, marketing has grown to encompass a lot of different things. My advice to you would be to gain internships in various industries and departments! For me, this was the best thing I did for my career as I was able to learn things I did/did not like as well as learn different work styles and gain valuable mentors who have been key in my growth.

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Network, network, network! Having professional connections will carry you far. Check out organizations that hold events and programs for marketing professionals (for example, a local chapter of the American Advertising Federation). Attending these events is a great way to not only build your marketing skills, but also make connections. You can even explore virtual networking through LinkedIn groups.

Make sure to have business cards handy when you network, and beef up your LinkedIn in case people want to explore your profile.

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Build a strong LinkedIn profile.
Sign up to attend professional/industry events.
Ask your marketing professors for tips about networking locally.
Design some snazzy business cards.

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David’s Answer

I would recommend joining some Business related clubs and organization to build your network portfolio, which it helps a lot in the long run and also go to business related conference and workshop to learn about the real work and daily life of the profession. But overall the main thing is networking and building relationship with the people in and related field which that can help build and set a easier pathway for future. I am not a business major but I did couple business class and as well has friends who are business major and I learn it from them.

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Brittany’s Answer

Hey there! Great question. Being able to show things you've done is by far the most important thing, so get as much experience as you can. Even if it's free or unpaid, and if you can't find opportunities, make your own. Build your own blog, make a website, play around with Facebook ads manager and practice setting up ads (you can do this without actually paying for the ads!). Find a non-profit who needs some help and just try out various activities with them - put together marketing strategies, set up social media for them, draft email communications, etc.

Also there are tons of free courses out there to help you get more comfortable with using ad platforms, or learn SEO or social media marketing strategy, so learn what you can from those!

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Jen’s Answer

I'd try for an internship, join a business-type club at my school and then consider looking for networking groups via Meetup.com or the French version of that. :)

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Hanleigh’s Answer

Hi! To gain more experience in the marketing career, I would recommend seeking internship opportunities. And really explore different areas of marketing, so you may find what you are most interested in. I would recommend working for small/local businesses in addition to major companies. Also, do not be afraid to take unpaid opportunities, such as shadowing. It is the best way to get your foot in the door and make connections with professionals in the marketing field. Don't forget about opportunities on campus too, like clubs and organizations where you can interact with your peers who have the same interest. They may also have connections that may be of some benefit to you.

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Taylor’s Answer

Hi Georgiana!

I highly suggest checking out the Google Online Marketing Challenge for students. It's a great way to learn how to run digital campaigns using Google search ads. First, you need a professor to be your sponsor. Then, you need at least one student partner. The two of you complete a Google Academy course on Google search ads and analytics. After completing the courses, your team gets paired with a real nonprofit that needs help with marketing. Google provides in kind money for a campaign, and your team works with your new nonprofit client to run a Google search ad campaign. At the end of it, you get a certification of completion. You also get to present your findings to Google, and you may be chosen for other cool opportunities like chatting with Google marketing staff, touring the place, or some people have even been hired to work there (very rare).

Either way, it's a really unique line for your resume, and it combines information you may learn in the classroom with real world application.

Besides this Online Marketing Challenge, Google has a whole skillshop where you can get certified in every one of their digital marketing products on your own time. It take dedication, but it really helps you stand out from the rest of the people graduating and those already in the field seeking jobs who don't have those certifications. Facebook and Instagram also have similar certification programs as well that could be useful.

If you are more interested in content creation, then something like Medium.com or simply utilizing the article writing feature on LinkedIn could be really helpful. You can create longer SEO rich pieces targeted towards the industry you would like to work in, and by doing so, build a portfolio that employers will be able to see when they look at your LinkedIn, or just drop a link to your Medium page on your resume.

Lastly, the United Nations has a spot where nonprofits from around the world post want ads for volunteers to help with things like creating marketing strategies, launching campaigns, redesigning websites and creative, etc. It's all volunteer based, so these aren't paid. You can check out the ads and then apply to one to see if they would like you're help. These are kind of hard to do and might be for more established people in the field, but it's worth it to check it out. That way, you can see what kinds of services nonprofits and for profits might need in the marketing sector.

Good luck!

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Catherine’s Answer

Great question, there’s lots you can do to better your career, but I think the key in college is to say yes to everything and take every opportunity you can to learn what you like and don’t like. Sign up for clubs, volunteer, go to networking events, message professionals on LinkedIn you find interesting or inspiring, and keep yourself busy by learning what there is out there about marketing. Do you want to work for a corporation or agency? What industry are you passionate about? I am a believer in you learn by doing so to answer these questions you just have to go out there in the world and meet people and volunteer and do those internships and be active in your classes. If you meet someone and you like their job ask how they got there, see what journey they took to get there. It’s funny because you are supposed to know by the end of college what you want to do for the rest of your life, but in reality that’s not what happens, however the beauty of life is you can change your job and career path so just focus on what you are learning and what you like and don’t like. Learning is fun!

Catherine recommends the following next steps:

Network
Internships
Join clubs
Do well in school

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Jill’s Answer

Be ready to share your personal brand when asked - think about your community, what you enjoy doing, what you'd like to get better at - people want to work with someone they find interesting, whether like-minded or not!

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Rebecca’s Answer

Definitely agree with Elizabeth: network as much as you can! Build a LinkedIn profile and do a search with the filters for people who go to your school and filter for companies you are interested in. From these search results, reach out to people who work in positions you are interested in by connecting, sending a message introducing yourself and saying you are a current student at [insert school]. Say you are hoping to get advice on a career in marketing and are wondering if they are willing to chat over the phone or email to discuss their career. Prepare questions to ask (some examples can be found if you google "questions to ask a career mentor"). Be sure to send them a thank you email and tell them you appreciate them sharing their time and advice with you! Forming these relationships will not only give you valuable insight, but these people will often connect you with someone who has an open internship, shadowing, or entry-level opportunity. Start building a solid network now!

Another resource is doing HubSpot Academy certifications in your free time. These are free: https://academy.hubspot.com/certification-overview

Google offers free certifications for marketing. Here is the link: https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/course/digital-marketing
Google also offers free webinars on marketing that can be fun if you have some free time and want to feel productive: https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/f2f

HubSpot and Google certifications obviously aren't necessary, but they are something that you can do to gain more insight into marketing outside of what is being taught in your classes and are something you can put on your resume/linkedin early on if you don't have a lot of other things to add yet.

Rebecca recommends the following next steps:

Network: Make LinkedIn, make connections in desired field
Ask to learn more about your connections' careers (prepare question)
Send thank you emails to show appreciation
HubSpot certifications: add to resume and inkedIn & learn more about marketing outside of class
Google certifications: add to resume and LinkedIn & learn more about marketing outside of class

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