Want to get into marketing? Here is what the professionals had to say…

I recently had the opportunity to attend ‘How to get into Marketing, Advertising and PR’, an event organised by the Careers Service for Social Science and Law students. We heard from many exciting people working at pioneering companies (see more below), who shared exciting insights and top tips.

Here is the ultimate round-up:

First of all – what actually is marketing?  

  • Marketing is an umbrella term that refers to the process of boosting a certain product or brand. This can be done in-house (meaning a company has its own marketing team) or through agencies (which companies outsource their marketing needs to).
  • Advertising comes under this umbrella as a specific method of promotion, usually involving visual media.
  • PR (public relations) is the process of maintaining a company’s image in the eye of the public.

Marketing is incredibly broad, and roles range from creative to analytical – so there really is something for everyone.


Who did we hear from?

  • Daniel Waller – PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and Biddable Media Specialist at Loom Digital in Bristol
  • Corinna Booth – Marketing Manager at University of Bristol Business School
  • James Pinnington – Senior Producer at Adidas
  • Despina Pappa – Senior Brand Manager (Coffee) at Coca-Cola
  • Claire Bryant – Associate Channel Manager – Consumer Communication at Kohler Mira Ltd (Chair of CIM SW Brand)

Main takeaways:

1. All backgrounds are welcome!

You don’t need a marketing background to excel in this industry, as most panellists had degrees in other disciplines, from Classics to Arts Management. For example, Corinna picked up skills such as communication and storytelling through her English degree, as well as learning teamwork and stress management in customer service jobs.

This may be reassuring for many people: there is no clear path to a marketing job.


2. Don’t be afraid to explore different areas

There is so much variation within marketing roles, and often you need to try something out to work out whether it’s for you. James began his career as an account management intern, where he realised he wanted to work more creatively so moved into production – and his career move paid off! He advised to follow your passion and never be afraid to try different areas.

Whether you are more of a numbers person (like Despina) or a creative type (like James), there can be something to excite you.


3. There is always opportunity for career progression, though this may not be a clear path

Corinna’s journey ranged from front of house at Wagamama, to a Communications Assistant in the NHS and then to a Live Subtitler at IMS, where she was promoted to Sales and Marketing Executive and specialised in Business-to-Business marketing. If you stick with a role you enjoy and work hard, you will be rewarded!

4. Network as much as possible

Being a friendly and outgoing person will always pay off in marketing roles. Even with no prior connections in the industry, it helps to speak to as many different people as possible! Our speakers stressed that, in the digital age, using LinkedIn is crucial.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is top notch and never be afraid to reach out to as many people as you can. This can be for advice, information or even a job – the worst they can say is no!


5. Overall – don’t be afraid!

Applying for jobs can be scary, but it helps to bear in mind that everyone feels the same nerves. Take your time to explore different areas of the industry and see what interests you. Check out the Careers Service’s website for a range of help, such as CV advice, Career Ready Courses and job opportunity listings.

Act with confidence and take any opportunity you can!


Next steps:

Blog post written by Natalie Fittus, BA English student.