When I first started out blogging, I quickly became aware that a lot of other writers out there are marketing professionals. It’s no wonder, really, because these things are more closely linked than they might originally appear. I have no doubt that blogging is a hugely transferable skill and a massive commitment. It is 100% a CV booster.
I often get asked how I got into a marketing role, because I didn’t do a degree in marketing. Well let me tell you how…
As I said, I didn’t study marketing at university, I did a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. I’ve always had a creative flair and I followed my passion totally with my choice of degree. I didn’t think too hard about what I would do after I finished, though I felt a natural lean toward teaching. I was even voted “most likely to teach” at my sixth form leavers party.
I had a job at uni, taking notes for students who needed a bit of extra help for one reason or another. Through this, I ended up sitting in marketing lectures once or twice a week. I was immediately interested and found myself wanting to participate in the seminars, rather than just taking notes for the student I was covering. This was the moment I realised I wanted to explore marketing further.
I believe the key reason I was hired in a marketing role straight out of uni was because of the internship I did in the summer of my second year. I trawled through pages of internship ads online, applying to the ones that intrigued me. In the end I was luckier with a company that I had emailed directly after seeing that they had previously offered an internship.
The role was mainly PPC (pay-per-click), which I immediately enjoyed (you have to be even more creative with a character limit) – and although it was only a couple of months long, I fell in love with marketing and knew this was a career I’d like to explore (far from my original teacher dreams!).
During the internship, I did the Google Adwords Certification, which I’m sure was a helping hand in securing my first marketing role.
After the internship ended, I went back for my final year at university with a much clearer idea of what I wanted to do.
The Job Hunt
Eternally over-organised, I was searching for a post-university role just two months into my third year at university. Having tangible experience and the certification on my CV got me to first interviews relatively quickly and despite my small amount of experience, that was what took centre stage in those interviews. I had several “come back when you’ve graduated” moments, as well as a position that I was verbally offered and then the company went silent on me. Thanks to how early I had started the process, I wasn’t left with one egg in my basket and had enough time to pick myself up with the job hunt.
In the process, I was rejected by a company that I felt had my dream role. This was a huge setback, I’d been through three interviews before I was dropped out of the process and probably felt a bit too cocky that I was going to be successful. In hindsight, I feel very relieved that I didn’t get that job, because I’ve moved away from that area of marketing a fair amount and I’m not sure how happy I’d have been there without room to explore channels in the way that I ended up doing. My point in telling you this is that it’s not necessarily easy to get into marketing and you will have setbacks. Don’t give up, though!
Obviously I did eventually land an assistant role! I can’t express how much I learned there, and how much I value the variety of experience that was given to me. (I also met Beth Roach Photography there and she’s basically my bestie now so I’ve got a lot to be thankful for 😉).
For a starting role in marketing, showing that I had knowledge in the area of PPC, that I had dedicated my time to taking the certification, that I was proactive in getting the experience I needed and wanting to secure the next step in my career, definitely helped me. It seems like common sense but two years ago I couldn’t have imagined I’d be where I am today and I honestly believe this is down to the steps I chose to take during my degree.
And this leads me to where I am now: working in London and having a great time!