Elissa is a professional content writer with a certification in inbound marketing, BA in history, and a decade of experience in retail sales and marketing.
Student Learning Opportunities
Assume you have two college students, Sarah, and David. Both students are enrolled in the same marketing program at the same university, and they are both enrolled in the same classes with the same instructors. Over the course of the program, both students receive similar grades on their exams and ended the program with strong GPAs. Upon graduation, David began working on his resume to find marketing jobs, while Sarah had already landed a job with a Biotech marketing firm and was even considering an exciting new job offer with a Nonprofit organization.
If Sarah and David went to the same school, studied with the same teachers, and received similar grades, then why does Sarah have more job opportunities than David? David chose not to involve himself with other marketing activities outside of his classes, but Sarah took advantage of the extra learning opportunities available to her as a student. Most importantly, she created student learning opportunities for herself outside of her program. In this lesson, we will explore the different methods used to expand student learning opportunities in marketing and improve job prospects just like Sarah. Topics covered in this lesson are student clubs and advisory committees, internships, job shadowing, networking, and market research.
Student Clubs and Advisory Committees
Different colleges have their own student clubs on campus. Student clubs are organizations led and managed by students and sometimes under the guidance of a professor or school program. Being a member of a student club can provide the following benefits to your marketing education.
- Be more involved in university and community life
- Plan fundraisers for the university or community
- Use marketing skills to promote local university bands, artists, and writers
- Use promotional skills to recruit new members
- Plan and promote club-sponsored events
- Increase networking and marketing skills outside of the classroom
- Help grow marketing education on campus
Student advisory committees are larger organizations that are often comprised of extremely proactive students and student leaders from the same region or country. Foundations, nonprofits, and business schools often create student advisory committees to encourage more active leadership in their field and community. Student advisory committees established by marketing schools may work closely with their university's public relations department or even help develop marketing strategies for the institution. Many student Advisory committees hold educational conferences, leadership retreats, and other events to aid and develop members as well.
Internships and Job Shadowing
Marketing internships provide an invaluable learning experience. Marketing interns receive a strong, hands-on education on the job in return for college credit. They are often involved in multiple tasks such as office administration, transcribing, outreach, information gathering, assisting with projects, and social media marketing. In today's digital age, you can find internship opportunities online or through your marketing program. Schools may also partner with businesses to offer hands-on work experience to students as well.
Job shadowing is different than an internship. Rather than working for a company as an intern, students follow, or shadow, a marketing professional on their day-to-day responsibilities.
Good Networking skills are another means for creating student learning opportunities outside of the classroom. In business, to network means to interact with people to exchange information, develop connections with them, and strengthen connections with their connections. This process develops a network of business contacts. For example, joining college clubs for marketing students is one form of networking.
Today, you can leverage the power of social media and online portfolio services to grow networks and discover more marketing jobs. Almost 95% of today's job recruiters use social media to help vet job candidates, and one study found that more than 70% of people aged 18-34 found their jobs exclusively through social media.
To build an online resume, register with a free online resume service and input all relevant work experience, marketing internships, education, clubs, and other marketing work. Your online work portfolio should include projects like social media design, copywriting samples, market research visuals, intern projects, and mock ad campaigns.
Research is an important part of the marketing field, and it helps students, instructors, and marketing professionals get out into the world to collect valuable data (information). This type of research is called market research. Market research is the practice of collecting data to learn more about consumers. Marketers then use the information from market research reports to craft advertising campaigns that connect with customers.
Companies need to perform market research to learn more about the consumers they sell products to, and it's a good opportunity for marketing students to develop their research and analysis skills. As a marketing student, you also need to go out into the field and observe businesses, ad campaigns, local marketing, and interview business owners on trends they see happening in their industry. You can also use online survey creation services to reach people through email and social media.
Market research will typically involve the following methods.
- Surveys by phone, online, or in-person meetings
- Demographic Research
- Focus groups
- SWOT analysis: a written analysis of a business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
- Product Research
- Looking at Trends
- Statistical Research
Enrolling in a marketing program is a great start toward building a professional marketing career, and off-site educational opportunities can only strengthen that valuable education. By developing your marketing education through student organizational involvement, internships, job shadowing, networking, and market research, you will have a rich portfolio of marketing experience awaiting you upon graduation, just like Sarah! To stay on the right track, use a lesson planner to schedule your academic workload and the extracurricular marketing activities discussed in this lesson.
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