I developed a passion for higher education early on in my career. I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to attend College or University right after high school due to financial reasons but I was able to start embarking on my journey in higher ed through continuing studies programs and eventually earned my credentials. It took a long time, but I loved the process! I’ve taken courses at Universities and Colleges remotely (online) in both the US & Canada and attended actual programs in person. My passion for higher ed then actually took me to managing the Digital Marketing Department at a local university. I regularly presented and worked with students on their class projects and presented my experience and knowledge to them. This actually lead to me created my Enough Of The Fluff Workshop Series that I run for businesses and university\college students here in BC.
I’ve had the opportunity to witness marketing students present their class projects, presented information to them and hired them as both interns and employees through the past few years. As their manager I often have promoted additional education opportunities and assisted them in transitioning from the “school world” to the “work world”. I will say that there are some brilliant professors out there teaching some very tactical marketing skills to the next generation!
However, there are some tips I have for Marketing students preparing to enter the workforce. And here they are.
- No matter what area of business or marketing you are studying, you should invest time in learning about how to incorporate both Digital and Traditional marketing channels into campaign execution. Get an understanding of things like how much it costs to run a radio advertisement AND how much it costs to run digital audio ads on spotify.
- Enrol in Google’s University program online and get a firm understanding of Google Advertising and Analytics. The data you can obtain on both of these platforms is mission-critical in today’s business environment.
- Listen to podcasts! Listen to tactical (sometimes boring) podcasts like Gary Vee, The Masters of Scale and Mixergy. These podcasts will provide you with insight into the entrepreneurial life and give you an understanding of venture funding.
- Start building a “DATABASE” of contacts while you are still in school! This sounds creepy even, but an excel spreadsheet with your peer’s names and email addresses will be a smart move. These are all people who will be out in the workforce soon, creating and building businesses.
- Attend every event possible outside of school that relates to business and marketing. Start building your network and understanding of who is in your local business community.
- Learn how to use Buffer & Hootsuite. Platforms will come and go and technology will change but both of these platforms will give you a solid understanding of scheduling social media and how platforms connect to their APIs.
- Continuing on the idea of API’s and automation, take a look at https://ifttt.com/ and sign up for your own account. As an assignment, learn how to connect a website to your social media channels and automate the posting. This type of workflow understanding will be a fundamental skillset in the future.
- Read Books! I reccomend “Do Cool Shit” “I love Capitalism”, “Never Split the Difference” and “From Good To Great” but there are a ton of amazing books out there to read outside of the ones you are forced to read in school.
- Volunteer for businesses while you can afford to! A great way to get an understanding of how businesses operate both financially and operationally is to actually do work for some. You would be surprised at how many businesses would accept some volunteer work from you.
- Learn how to code! I realize this could be the one suggestion you may dislike the most. However, digital marketing has become so intertwined with traditional channels like out of home and tv, that it’s almost impossible to not include web in a marketing campaign activation or execution. You may not need to be a developer, or the one developing websites for your company but you will need to understand the fundamentals of how websites work. There are a ton of great youtube tutorials out there and I’d reccomend learning how to use CMS’s like Drupal and WordPress as a start.