Photo credit to Gareth Stone.
Tips for University Students and More…
Recently I had the pleasure of getting all nostalgic and returning to Bath Spa University five years after graduating with a business degree.
However, this time it was to swap places with the lecturer (scary thought, right?).
It was exciting to learn that the business class had more than doubled since my graduation.
Over this time the campus had undergone some major improvements including an amazing new business centre for the students. I have to admit I was slightly jealous.
Anyway, my purpose for my visit was because I was invited to talk to the first year business students about my work experience, career, and most importantly, my tips on how to get into digital marketing.
But why limit it to just that class? Take a look at some of my tips below.
Experience, Experience, Experience
My first and most important tip, and I can’t emphasise this enough, is to get experience.
I have come to know many people who graduate without any experience or any clue what they actually want to do.
As soon as possible try to get as much work experience as you can. Whether that is a week or two here and there; summer placements; or year placements if your university offers them. University can help you get a foothold into the knowledge you need for future careers, but you don’t realise how much you can learn from having hands on experience.
It could be working for a digital marketing agency like ours, another business supporting their marketing, or even just providing some ad hoc blogging or social media services.
Experience is experience at the end of the day.
In addition to learning hands on skills in a digital marketing function., work experience also provides you with the opportunity to develop soft skills which employers look out for when recruiting.
Things like presentation, organisation, time keeping and customer service are all things potential employers look for and they are skills that will make you stand out from other candidates.
Don’t be Afraid
Now the idea of getting work experience might be intimidating. How do you attempt to get work, without any experience you may ask?
You have to accept the harsh reality that you can expect plenty of applications, emails, and phone calls to go unanswered or rejected.
Don’t let this stop you from trying as the right opportunity will come along eventually.
In addition to this, I remember the hardships of being a student, and earning a little extra cash would be a great benefit, but don’t expect to always get paid for your work.
My opinion is that your time and effort have value and you should be paid for your work, even if it is minimum wage, but unfortunately not all organisations think the same way.
Go the Extra Mile
Don’t be afraid to spend some extra time doing some reading and upskilling yourself further outside of university.
You only have so many hours in the lecture hall, so teachers can only cover so much.
If you find that digital marketing or even a particular aspect of digital marketing is of interest to you, go that extra mile to teach yourself.
Not only will this extra knowledge benefit you when applying for jobs in the future, but the drive to educate yourself, and go above and beyond demonstrates a valuable personality trait.
Show Your Passion
What’s going to make you stand out of hundreds or thousands of people applying for the same job?
Just imagine everyone has a degree, everyone has experience. What is going to make you stand out?
Similar to going the extra mile, it is hard to express passion in a CV, but your cover letter is your opportunity to really show a business why they should pick you. As a recent or soon to be recent graduate, being able to show passion for the role and company will help give you that edge.
If you haven’t already got LinkedIn, then what are you doing! Get yourself on there.
LinkedIn is a great place to show off your skills to potential employers and recruiters. Plus it will give you an easy platform to network with professionals.
Going back to my ‘do not be afraid point’, don’t hesitate to connect with people like myself.
When connecting with people, always ensure you send a personalised message. This will increase the likelihood of your connection request being accepted and shows you are making an effort. Not everyone will accept, but some people will.
Once you have connected with the right people don’t forget to engage with them and ensure you are seen to be active on LinkedIn.
This advice not only applies to university students, but anyone looking to get into a digital marketing role.
There are a variety of different avenues to start working in digital marketing, but the above tips will help you get on your way in my opinion.
If you are interested in finding out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch, or connect with me or our business page on LinkedIn.