This is what I wish someone would have told me at 21 when I finished my first uni degree and had no clue…
and it’s what you can do to learn something new and become good at it at any point.
The thing is, I majored in finance and decided to get into digital marketing just a couple months ago. Since it’s my senior year, I felt like it was too late to change majors but I also feel very far behind in terms of developing my skill set. I have gotten the basic Google Ads and Analytics certifications and done a few internships. I’m wondering what else I can do to be an ideal candidate for a position in marketing once I graduate this spring.
Wow! Challenging yourself to move into a new area! It’s not easy and definitely out of the comfort zone for most people. Well done to you!
Some things you should be doing:
Learn as much as you can. Blogs, podcast, YouTube, books… see what format works best for you and immerse yourself. This will give you all the background knowledge and give you hints to see which areas in marketing you like the most.
Connect with the people in the industry. Start by following all the people you’re learning from. And connect to those who work at companies you admire and would love to work there. Leave a note with your connection “hey! Would love to follow your journey and learn from what you’re doing at [company]”. This will also lead you to join some marketing communities around the topics.
3. Take notes
Take notes as you’re learning. This will build a backlog of things you know and can refer to later.
Create content and share it publicly! You still might not know a lot but you can share your journey and what you’re learning along the way. Share the notes you’re taking, summarise a podcast episode, tell us something insightful you learnt. Link to the original authors when relevant. Sharing content will show publicly that you’re a learner and growing daily… and it will also build a marketing muscle which you can use in a future job. Bonus points if you both share it on social (mostly LinkedIn) and also have your own personal blog.
5. Try Stuff
Do as many things as you can. Internships, try your hand at building a new brand, write about how you would change a brand or website… put what you’re learning in practice.
and enjoy it!
That should get you started and once you’re job hunting give you a good portfolio which very few people who just study marketing will have.
I’d rather hire someone from a non-marketing background but has consistently shown over the last few months that they are learning and in touch with the industry, rather than someone who has just an academic understanding.
Hope that helps! And enjoy the journey.