I wanted to write this post because probably one of my most frequently asked questions is “what do you do for a living”? I love this question because I genuinely love what I do. Not a day goes by that I don’t have the opportunity to learn a new trick of the trade and as curious as I am this means the most. I have received so many opportunities at my age that a normal 23-year-old would never get the chance to experience. For that, I am grateful. My responsibilities are expansive, and my team expects a lot of me. When I come into work, I have to be prepared to perform. It’s a fast-paced environment, but that’s when I feel I truly thrive. Okay, now let’s get to the deets!
So, what exactly do I do? Well in order to understand that, I want to back up a little. When I was in school, I pursued degrees in both Public Relations and Entrepreneurship. As part of my degree, it was required that I get an internship before I graduated. Panicked and trying to find something before my Senior year, I stumbled upon this small, data-driven marketing firm in Chicago on LinkedIn. After applying and two phone interviews later, I accepted the position and spent my Summer commuting to Chicago Monday-Friday for this Marketing internship. Studying PR in school, I was never really exposed to the addressable, data-driven side of marketing. It just wasn’t a part of the curriculum, but here I experienced a whole new world. I learned what terms like Prospecting, UTM Codes, Matchback, ROI, etc. all meant. I was sort of addicted to learning more. When the Summer was up, I mustered up the courage to ask to stay on throughout my Senior year and intern part time while I was at school. Surprisingly, they agreed.
Fast forward about 2.5 years later, I am now working full time as a Marketing Manager at the same company. I never left. The company I work at is a people-based, addressable marketing firm. We do everything from Paid Search, Paid Social, Digital Display and Direct Mail (yes this still exists and is actually very effective in converting) for all of our clients. We work with some of the most interesting companies and every day, I get the pleasure of completing tasks ranging from campaign execution, campaign strategy, conducting client meetings, creative trafficking, reporting/analytics, optimizations and so so much more. As previously mentioned, it is a never-ending learning opportunity. It has been pretty incredible. I, myself, lead the way on a handful of accounts. Who can say that at 23 years old only out of school for a year and a half?! It’s kind of crazy but awesome!
One of the concepts I wanted to address on this post that I think is hilarious because I constantly have to have the same conversation with friends and family is how remarketing works. I’ll be sitting at dinner or hanging with friends when someone asks a question along the lines of “I searched for X item on X site and now that’s all I keep seeing online and on my social media, why is that”? Well, now with my job experience, I can provide an answer because doing that is part of my job lol. Companies place pixels or tracking codes on their site. When you enter the site, the pixel is capturing your information and then “remarkets” to youand shows you that exact item because you’ve already expressed interest. Sites can have many pixels on many different pages on their site, so even when you are clicking on a specific blazer for instance, the company likely has a pixel on that page and once you click on it, they are putting you and your information in the remarketing pool to follow you on your online journey and serve ads to you at a later date, and by later date I could mean within minutes. It is completely ethical and legal and pretty much everyone is doing it at this point, so there ya go, now you are equipped to answer this question next time it comes up!
I was fortunate enough to have found an internship while in school and then secure a job before my Senior year was up. It didn’t come easy though and there was a LOT of rejection along the way. I thought it could be insightful to call out some things to consider doing the next time you are looking for an internship or a full-time position:
- If you do not have one, set up a LinkedIn profile ASAP. Companies often use LinkedIn profiles as a preface to your resume. Recruiters spend countless hours sifting through LinkedIn to find perfect candidates. You can make wonderful connections through LinkedIn by sending a message to someone at a company you admire or connections through connections. It’s a great networking tool. Also, lots of companies submit job postings through LinkedIn rather than going through the typical Indeed or Monster, so you could find some great opportunities.
- Always keep you resume updated! I check in on my resume monthly just to update any new skills I’ve learned or if my job responsibilities increase, I want to make sure to include those. It’s super important to have it ready to go because you never know when an opportunity may present itself or a recruiter will reach out to you. I include a picture of myself on my resume to help put a name to the face. Some companies might be turned off by this, but someone may also love it and find it different. Just something to consider!
- Get involved! Whether you are still in school or out of school, find organizations to get involved with and add those to your resume. In school, I was on the leadership team of two student-run creative communications agencies, on the leadership team (President) of an organization, was on 3 departmental committees, volunteered and worked part-time jobs, all of which was included on my resume (humble brag). I genuinely think that contributed to my internship and securing a job before graduation. These opportunities give you the experience needed in the real world.
- Ask friends and family for opportunities! The best network you have is the one you already have connections to. If your parent’s friend works in finance and that’s what you’re studying, ask them if they have internships or any open positions. They will likely put in a good word for you if they think it’s a fit because they know you and know your personality. Never be afraid to ask for things you want. No one is going to look out for you better than you!
- If you get an interview at a company for a job or internship, DO YOUR RESEARCH!! I can’t stress this enough. My best practice is to spend at least 30 minutes on their site just poking around seeing who their clients are and what their offerings are. It helps when they are interviewing you and ask, “so which client of ours would you want to work on.” This has happened to me. It definitely does not look good if you have no idea who they even work with. Also, ask questions at the end of the interview. I come prepared to interviews with at least 5-7 questions that I would ask them that I am really interested in hearing the answer to. Do not go silent when they ask if you have any questions for them!
I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, leave a comment below!