Do you have what it takes?
- Can you communicate your thoughts, ideas, and information clearly and concisely both in writing and verbally?
- Are you able to recognize problems and devise an appropriate plan of action to resolve that problem?
- Can you organize and interpret complex data?
- Are you good at generating new ideas? Can you then take and organize those ideas and communicate them verbally?
If you possess the qualities above then you could be a good candidate for entering and being successful in the career of marketing. Marketing offers various career opportunities, so it's easy to choose one that reflects your interest, values, and personal style.
As a marketing major you can gain experience in your chosen career by participating in an internship or volunteering in service learning and community projects. Samples of potential experiences include:
- Conducting Market Research for a Fortune 500 Company.
- Promoting products through development of Point-of-Purchase displays.
- Spending time reviewing potential cost, price, and market research for service programs.
- Learning how to research customer base potential using available data.
- Designing an advertising or promotional campaign to promote new services.
- Developing a marketing plan for a global business.
What if you don't have a college degree in marketing?
Don't worry. I think you will find the statistics in the chart to the right not only interesting, but encouraging. The table below shows the percentage and the degree background of new graduates that have begun a career in marketing.
So now that I've given you hope, how do you get your foot in the door? It will take determination and persistence, but it can be done. You will find that a start in marketing will normally put you in an entry position as a market research assistant, print buyer, general management trainee, or you can enter a program as a graduate trainee.
A few companies that offer marketing graduate trainee programs include:
Mars does not have a specific marketing training program for graduates. They run a cross-functional management development program, through which graduates have access to opportunities in marketing. Recruits to the program are typically given three to four assignments, the first of which may be related to their experience or studies. The remaining assignments will be in other areas, and one may be overseas. Their goal is to broaden trainees' experiences.
Nestle has recently changed its approach to hiring graduates. Nestle recruits in a similar fashion as to how they recruit other employee levels. Each department now recruits graduates throughout the year on an 'as-required' basis. Vacancies will be posted and advertised throughout the year.
Procter and Gamble
Procter & Gamble's graduate training program recruits graduates into one of eight career tracks, including consumer and market knowledge and marketing. Consumer and market knowledge involves sophisticated and proactive market research-based work to identify business opportunities, including new product development. The marketing function involves growing the value of brands within the P&G product range. Marketing trainees will learn about advertising, PR, consumer bonding, direct marketing and project management within their first two years. The applicants are selected according to application form, a problem-solving test, interview, and site visit, where they will meet prospective managers and colleagues.
If you decide that the graduate training program route is not for you; you can still break into the field of marketing by being persistent. You will need to be willing to take on an entry-level position in most marketing agencies and work your way up. If this isn't a problem then it's time to begin your first marketing assignment, which is marketing you by developing that resume.