With its need for good communication skills, both written and verbal (to quote a recent English lang and lit grad now working in marketing ‘the most useful skill has been being able to string a decent sentence together……I get things thrown under my nose to read over and look for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and general flow of copy’, ) creativity, ability to pitch appropriately for audience, as well as attention to detail, working under pressure and some business nous, marketing is often high on the list of ‘must explore further’ careers for English language students who cross my path.
Edinburgh English graduate Rachael made her way into marketing via chartered accountancy (not a common route, though it does demonstrate how versatile your English degree can be!).
Having discovered the hard way that accountancy was not for her……….. (Rachael describes herself as a poster child for not knowing what she wanted to do – and offers this advice born of hard experience:
- dont make a career decision for anyone else – they’re not going to be doing the job
- my biggest regret is not having more variety of experience when an undergraduate – if I’d been more proactive I’d have found my way quicker
- making mistakes isn’t always a bad thing – I learned from the experience (going into accountancy) and then discovered what I really wanted to do)
…………….she started to think seriously about where her interests and strengths really lay, and made her way towards marketing, first with Event Scotland as a marketing executive, and then moved into the agency side of marketing with Tayburn.
So, if marketing is on your (not your peers, family etc) list of careers to explore further, follow Rachael’s advice and start sooner rather than later, and use your time here at university to gain experience – marketing and promoting student societies and events is just one way to see whether you’re still interested and suited to this area.
Use our ‘Where do I start in marketing?‘ for ideas on how to get started in this area, plus all the links and advice on our website on Marketing as a career. This includes contacts for Edinburgh grads working in marketing, via our Career Contacts (Edinburgh University domain only) – pick their brains for advice about breaking into this area. And whilst on the theme of networking via our career contacts, the marketing sector is a big user of social media and networking – find out more about using this to your advantage in your career search, via my previous blog on this subject
And finally – for those of you who like visuals, watch videos of people working in different areas of marketing, plus an overview of the industry, via Career Player.