Marketing and advertising are some of the most desirable and competitive careers out there today. Marketing professionals are highly valued by companies and organizations in every country and in every industry. If you’re wondering how to break into marketing, start with this episode of The Intern Group’s Podcast How to be the difference.
Johana Molina and Paul Lynskey sit down with Jane Asscher, the founding partner and CEO of 23red, a purpose-driven creative agency that is developing strategies, campaigns, and brands that change behavior for the better. Johana, Paul, and Jane talk about how to break into marketing, and some of the most common misconceptions about the field. Jane also shares her advice for success.
How did you decide a career in marketing was for you?
Jane explains that she certainly didn’t always know she wanted to pursue a career in marketing. During her last year of university, she hadn’t yet made a decision about what to do next. She began talking to her university’s career services, and to people slightly older than her who had already started working.
She didn’t have the benefit of work experience in the sector, but she had the key skills. According to Jane, the top requirement for the field is an interest in “what makes people tick.”
Jane says she got good experience for the field working in a cake factory! Spending time on a cake production line might not seem like it lines up with a career in marketing. But Jane said it helped her realize she was really interested in getting to know the people around her. She was curious about what they liked, which shows and ads they preferred – essentially what type of consumers they were.
What’s the most common myth about a marketing career?
According to Jane, the most common misconception is that you need a degree in the field. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Jane says.
Instead, the marketing field is a good fit for people with a wide range of degrees. It’s also a good fit for those who don’t have a degree at all. Curiosity, collaboration, creativity, and the ability to understand information quickly are all more important than a degree, Jane says.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Jane shares two pieces of advice for marketing professionals that she says have stuck with her throughout her career:
There’s no such thing as a wrong turn.
Sometimes people worry that they’ve made the wrong career choice, Jane says. They’ll wonder if they took the wrong promotion or chose the wrong field. But what you should remember is that every situation is what you make of it. Always think about what got you to that point, and how you can apply that to the next step, Jane advises. Don’t look backward.
2. Treat people with real kindness and respect.
This piece of advice is pretty much self-explanatory. Be kind to people throughout every level of your business – above and below you. Wherever you are in your career – whether you’re a top executive or an intern, be kind and respectful, and it will make a huge difference.
Final thoughts on how to break into marketing:
Jane mentions that if you have the opportunity to pursue an internship, you should go for it. Internships are an opportunity to experience a working environment, whether remote or in an office.
If you’re fortunate enough to get work experience in the marketing industry, you’ll develop interpersonal skills as well as professional expertise, Jane explains. Interns gain experience in collaboration, teamwork, and communication, as well as exposure to the principals around branding and marketing strategies and campaigns.