How to Get Into Marketing with an English Degree
So you have managed to bag yourself an English degree? Good job you! But now what? What on earth could I possibly do with an English degree? Well, by landing on this blog, it seems that you already possess the drive to build a successful marketing career. Coming here shows your initiative and that’s a great first step. Now let’s just get learning about how to get into marketing with an English degree, shall we?
Well, firstly it is important to stress that in this day and age, it’s not so much about what you got your degree in, it’s what you can do with it. English as a degree is generally well received. English majors can communicate and write clearly and efficiently. And they also have the ability to creatively analyse data. These skills are key in marketing, especially in digital and communications. Marketing is all about the way in which words and images influence people. And guess who else has been studying exactly that for the last three years? You, that’s who!
Today I am here to share with you my 8 top tips on how to get into marketing with an English degree. Because unfortunately, you are going to need more than just your degree mate. Take it from someone who’s been there and done it. I will soon be graduating from university with an English degree. AND I have also bagged myself a marketing graduate job at an amazing company. So stick around until the end of this post to find out more about my graduation plans!
1. Build a successful blog
Everyone and their dog has a blog nowadays. But building a really successful, profitable blog will show potential employers that you are passionate and driven, can singlehandedly build a business from the ground up, have great commercial awareness and business acumen and more. It is also a great way to demonstrate your excellent writing and photography skills. And you will also build up many digital marketing skills whilst you’re at it. Things such as search engine optimisation, email marketing and social media marketing will become second nature to you.
I truly believe that my blog has been the main thing that has set me apart from other candidates. Want to start a travel blog too? I have many resources that will help you build a highly successful blog: Ultimate Travel Blogging Resource List, How to Run a Travel Blog as a Student, Four Years of Travel Blogging: Highlights and What I’ve Learnt and Pinterest for Travel Bloggers: How to Skyrocket Your Traffic.
2. Get marketing experience
Perhaps an obvious point but if you haven’t worked in marketing before, how can you expect someone to hire you? You don’t yet know if you will be any good at marketing or whether you’ll even bloody enjoy it! Applying for marketing jobs as a student is a great way to get your foot in the door. because unlike once you have graduated, companies are likely to hire you even if you don’t already have any experience. Plus, when are you ever going to have this much free-time again?
Whilst at university I worked in marketing at two companies: Sancho’s and AFS. My ongoing role at Sancho’s, where I have been working for over a year and a half now, started as a Student Business Partnership run by the university. This programme assists the recruitment of ambitious students into off-campus employment whilst at university. Your university may just happen to run similar programmes so head to its career zone whether online or in-person to see what you can find. If you are having no luck with job applications, perhaps offer to do social media or write content for a local start-up. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
3. Take a summer course in marketing
So you haven’t chosen marketing as a degree subject but that’s not to say you still can’t study marketing. Whether it is taking a marketing module at university (if that is possible!) or taking a summer course in marketing, you should not limit yourself by your degree choice alone. I personally studied Communication and Marketing abroad in New Zealand last summer which not only taught me more about marketing but also enabled me to get valuable global work experience.
Even if you do not study abroad, many UK universities offer marketing summer courses such as LSE and Imperial College London. Have a google and see what else you can find! Of course, you also have the option of studying a masters in Marketing once you graduate. However, I wholeheartedly believe that you can get a marketing job without it. Plus, who needs more debt in their lives, right?
4. If you can’t afford to do that, take free online classes
Okay, so I understand that studying abroad is a privilege. Whilst I worked my absolute ass off that year in multiple part-time jobs to save up money to study abroad, I know that for whatever reason or another this may not be possible for everyone. Therefore, if you cannot afford to do a short course in marketing either at home or abroad, head online! The internet is chockablock full of great free resources and online classes. And the best bit is that you can take them from the comfort of your own home.
Ideally, choose courses you can gain a certificate in so that you can not only learn but also slap a cheeky certificate on your CV. Some great online classes you may want to consider are those offered by Hubspot Academy. These are specifically geared towards inbound marketing in this digital age. Courses include the Inbound Certification, Inbound Marketing Certification, Social Media Certification, Content Marketing Certification and the Email Marketing Certification. Other great free options are Google Digital Garage and Accenture Digital Skills.
5. Gain leadership experience at university societies
If the thought of taking extra courses and working a stupid amount of hours alongside your degree scares you, don’t worry! This point isn’t specifically geared towards those who want to get into marketing with an English degree, but gaining leadership experience at university societies will look great on your CV and give you plenty of things to talk about in an interview. Whether you are a sports captain or a society president, having this experience will set you apart from other candidates.
Even better yet if that experience is somewhat related to marketing. For example, in my first year of university, I worked as a publicity officer for Poltimore Festival, a local festival run by university students. In this role, I was responsible for creating a consistent and on-brand publicity campaign. I also liaised with local businesses and news outlets to secure advertising and funding for the festival. In my second year of university, I was the Online Lifestyle Editor for the student newspaper, Exeposé, through which I further built experience in digital marketing.
6. Read up on all things marketing
Whether it is reading articles online or diving into a good ol’ paperback, acquiring knowledge is key. And one of the best things about starting a career in marketing is that there are endless resources at our fingertips. It has truly never been easier to teach yourself. So hop onto Amazon, invest in a good marketing book and start learning.
To thrive in an interview you need to be clued up on all things marketing. And show that you are passionate about it too! For example, for the assessment centre for the job I have landed I had to do a presentation on which upcoming marketing trends will most greatly affect their business. This was followed by a Q&A. And whilst Google is, of course, a help, it can only get you so far. You should really be able to answer questions such as these right off the top of your head!
7. Build a portfolio of writing
If you don’t fancy starting your own blog, instead build a portfolio of writing. Whether you are getting paid for it or not, writing should be something you already love as an English student. So just start! Write for your university newspaper or other online student publications. Then create a personal website (kind of like a digital CV) and share your articles on there.
Being able to write concisely and on-brand for different audiences is a great skill to have for marketing. And don’t limit yourself to writing just articles either. Offer to write things such as website copy, press releases or advertisements for societies or local businesses!
8. Apply for a marketing graduate scheme
Graduate schemes are not for everyone. And they are extremely competitive with an extremely rigorous application process. But if you have great grades and decent experience under your belt, even if it has nothing to do with marketing, you may stand a good chance at landing yourself a place on a graduate scheme.
One of the great things about marketing graduate schemes is that unlike many entry level marketing jobs they do not necessarily expect you to have much experience or knowledge in the field. Though this will differ from company to company. In fact, in many graduate schemes, you will even be taught everything from the get-go. The company may pay for your marketing tuition and exams, helping you to gain a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing.
On this note, I am absolutely delighted to announce that I recently accepted a place on the BGL Group marketing graduate scheme starting in September. On this scheme not only do you get to rotate across different areas of marketing but you also get to work in a variety of businesses of different sizes. In August I will be saying goodbye to the West as I head East to Peterborough to start a very exciting new chapter in my life!
So there you have it! There are my eight top tips on how to get into marketing with an English degree. If you need any more advice, do not hesitate to get in contact – I would LOVE to help. Just send me an email to [email protected] or message me on social media!
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