Whether you know what you want from your marketing degree or not, seize any opportunity!
University is the most exhilarating and eye opening experience, but it goes too quickly. I believe the key to making the most of your marketing degree is to stand out from the crowd and this starts with saying yes to amazing opportunities, yet understanding how to prioritise the things you commit to in order to maintain a strong balance between academics and your extra-curricular involvement.
Below are a few of my top tips on how to make the most of the next few years:
1) Uphold positions of responsibility in societies
Societies are a fantastic way to utilise your marketing expertise as well and put your degree into practice. Why not start marketing for your society or like me, get directly involved in the Marketing Society. Here, I became the Unilever Events Manager and led a team of four, allowing me to show my interest in marketing, develop leadership competencies and get exposure to the FMCG industry. Don’t forget about the Advertising Society too; these subject specific societies are fantastic for meeting marketing students in other years who have already studied the modules you are undertaking.
2) Carve your career
Utilise the credible careers team; from proofreading your CV and cover letter to the 1:1 meetings available, I would highly recommend making the most of both the central and LUMS specific careers teams. Plus, definitely attend ‘Marketing Me’ lectures – as cringy as it sounds, as well as being able to marketing products and services, you need to market yourself and you never know when you are going to need to put that elevator pitch into practice – trust me!
3) Summer / Year Placements
Are invaluable. That’s all I have to say; and I am only halfway through my year-long placement at Johnson & Johnson. Nothing quite tops having hands on experience in a company and if you are not planning on taking a placement year, definitely reconsider and if it is not feasible, summer and spring internships can be a wonderful alternative.
4) Overseas trips
As well as the world of opportunities available in Lancaster, there are more abroad. From a trip away with the global experiences team to a year abroad, there are plenty of ways to experience life overseas. A week abroad can even give you a once in a lifetime experience. In 2018, I was fortunate enough to attend the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) annual conference in Singapore and mix with over 500 senior leaders and attend talks on key sustainability initiatives. This was a substantial element to the
Management & Sustainability module; so I recommend choosing your electives carefully to ensure you have a well rounded balance of modules that complement the marketing fundamentals.
5) Grow your network
Coming to University is likely to be the first time in your life where you have been surrounded by students, staff and employers from varying backgrounds, origins and disciplines so utilise this great pool of individuals. Grow your network through ensuring you are active on LinkedIn and connect, interact and follow those of interest. Don’t forget to follow companies too. LinkedIn is the most powerful tool for staying up to date with company information, useful for those all important interviews.
Your activity on LinkedIn can not only grow your exposure to potential recruiters but provide a base for you to hear about opportunities you wouldn’t normally. Personally, through following and expressing an interest in TUI’s profile on LinkedIn, I stumbled upon a once in a lifetime Dream Job Experience competition. As a result of my experience and LinkedIn presence, I was fortunately announced as the winner of this competition and subsequently flew to Majorca to meet senior leaders and attend an augmented reality excursion, developing an understanding of how technology is aiding the customer experience.
Hopefully you can see how the experiences above have enabled me to get the most out of my university experience but without proactivity, determination, networking, getting involved in various activities and utilising the expertise of Lancaster University careers department none of this would have been attainable.
I hope my 5 top tips are helpful in helping you realise the endless opportunities available to help you make the most of your marketing degree and whilst it all might seem a little overwhelming, it should all aid your personal development and help you reach where you aspire to be.
Most importantly – enjoy your marketing degree and take in every moment!
BSc Hons Marketing Management Student at Lancaster University (currently on placement)