Isabelle Peters, former UWE Bristol Marketing and Communications student has written a guest blog with her advice for current students looking to get into a Marketing role after University.
There comes a time when all good things must come to an end, and that includes school and then University.
Most people leave school and go straight to University without actually being exposed to all their options and end up regretting their course and being stuck with a degree in something useless and not knowing what to do.
That nearly happened to me.
I was just about to head to Manchester to study History when I stopped and asked myself: what do I need this degree for? I took two years out to figure it out and landed on a Marketing & Communications course at UWE instead (best decision ever by the way).
I studied (and partied) hard for three years to get my degree, and then the realisation kicked in that I had to find a job, and that it should be in the field I’ve spent a lot of time and money on during University. It should be easy right? You study for your degree, and now it’s your time to shine and get your dream job and salary and begin your life…
Well, sadly no.
Getting a job is very difficult, and I wasn’t enlightened about how hard it would be, nor did I listen. I must have applied for over 60 jobs before I even started to get interviews, and my experience still wasn’t enough. This is an essential piece of information that I HAVE to express to current students: if you don’t have actual real-world experience in your desired industry, good luck trying to find a job because it will be hard.
If you are serious about a career in Marketing, PR, Comms, Journalism or anything related, I would 100% suggest doing a placement year or at least a few weeks unpaid work experience here and there during holidays. I’ve found the best way to approach this type of work experience is to build a solid LinkedIn page, do some research and connect with the MD/CEO of the company expressing your interest in working unpaid/work experience.
If you need assistance with finding a workplace/work experience, Moxie & Mettle offer a unique Graduate Plus scheme for entry-level graduates and current students. They aim signpost candidates to their clients who are looking for students or graduates to fulfil a work placement and hopefully help more people get opportunities.
My second piece of advice is to familiarise yourself with extra marketing blogs and materials on the internet – all posted at the bottom. A big part of marketing is understanding the current market, keeping on top of changes and understanding constant developments. Not only will this increase your knowledge, but it will accustom you to the language of marketing and develop your copywriting skills.
This brings me on to my third piece of advice. Copywriting is at the heart of what you do. (When I first started at Moxie & Mettle, I didn’t even really know what this meant, and I actually had to Google it discretely). It is the activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material. It comes in all shapes and sizes from a blog to a post on social media! Usually, we’re taught to write academically for essays and reports, while in the real world, we should be writing in a style that’s accessible for our target audience. Meaning it should probably be more colloquial, simpler and ENGAGING.
Marketing is moving away from theory-heavy academia and newspapers to digital platforms, which means our consumer is changing the way they take in information.
Blogging is a big part of content marketing; it promotes and raises brand awareness. I know blogging can’t necessarily be taught, but practise helps, and the process of understanding different audiences can be tricky. I struggled a lot when I first started writing blogs for Moxie & Mettle, I was unsure how to lay it out, and the tone was all wrong. My advice is to read a lot of these style blogs and practise writing whenever you can.
Finally, my last piece of advice is to try and build your confidence up as much as you can. University can’t teach you to be a people person but testing yourself by joining clubs and societies can!
I’m a firm believer in the ‘people hire people’ concept, which pretty much suggests if you leave a great impression you will be remembered. A significant part of my job is attending any slightly relevant events to act as a brand ambassador for my company; this helps us generate leads and meet new clients.
I have currently been working for Moxie & Mettle for almost a year, and honestly, I have learnt so much about marketing and myself; what I’m good at and what I can improve on; but weirdly enough what marketing really is.