As a student you’re often given very conflicting information about what to do in order to be successful after graduation. Here are some tips about how to break into the world of digital marketing and set yourself up for success post-graduation.
Grades Vs. Experience
As a college student, you’ve been trained to think that your grades are everything. I never once had a potential employer ask to see my grades as a marketing student. Future employers, especially in the marketing industry, care about specific and relevant experience to the job opening as well as your work ethic.
As a student, you’re most likely not going to have every piece of experience that the job requires, but show that you’re willing to work hard, put in the extra effort, learn quickly, and prove your worth. This is the best way to score your ideal job, as well as move up faster once you are working at that job. Emphasizing these qualities, as opposed to your grades, will help you get that dream job.
Early & Specific Internship Experience
The most important thing that occurred to me when I first started applying for jobs was that an entry-level job is not really an entry-level job. They require specific experience in that field and the only way to get that experience is through internships.
Related: The Benefits of Taking an Internship
You may think that you know exactly what you want to do while you’re in school, but until you actually get hands on experience, you don’t really know if that’s truly what you want to do. This is why it’s crucial to start early with internships. This allows you to have time for trial and error. If you try one internship and decide that that isn’t the niche for you, you have time to make a change and find out which area of marketing you’re truly passionate about!
Finding The Right Internship
Not all internships are the same. Some internships use students for “free labor” type of work. When you’re interviewing for an internship, be sure to ask questions about the type of training and work that you’ll be doing.
Related: How to Land Your Dream Internship
It’s important to get an internship that will allow you to get hands on experience with client work and client deliverables. Another good sign of a quality internship is whether the interns stick around for longer than one semester or even hires them on full time.
Get A Mentor
As a student, you often have the opportunity to get in touch with professionals in the marketing industry, whether it’s from guest speakers in your classes, to marketing clubs, and more. Talk to these speakers! I’ve found that a lot of young professionals are eager to meet up with students to share knowledge.
They may or may not be hiring at the moment, but ask them to get coffee so you can pick their brains. Not only will you get extremely valuable information from meetings like this, but they could be hiring in the future. If you’ve already established a connection with that person, you may be the first person that they think of when that job opening becomes available.