Post # 1
Hi Bees! I am just about to finish up my BA in German Language & Culture. For the past 6 months, I have been working as an intern at a small company in my area. I started out in their actual store working retail, but I didn’t really enjoy that, so I switched to the marketing department. I really enjoyed working in the marketing department, and although it doesn’t fit with my degree (there aren’t many jobs that do), I really do enjoy the field and would like to continue working in it. Unfortunately, the company I was working for is only offering graphic design & marketing internships from here on out, so I will no longer be qualified.
I have started trying to apply for marketing positions, but it seems like every time I get a call back from somewhere it ends up being “direct” marketing. I just spoke with probably 10 potential employers today that are basically all commission-based door-to-door sales positions for at least the first 3 months, but up to about a year before they offer growth within the company. I have read reviews for all of these companies, and they are very mixed. Some people love the jobs because they work really hard in sales for a few months and then move up pretty quickly to gain more experience in marketing. Other people flat out say it’s a door-to-door sales job, and you will barely get paid.
My only other option to break into the field seems to be working an unpaid internship part time. I could definitely still work my part time job, and these internships seem to be a bit more respectable even though they come without pay.
For bees that are working in marketing: how did you break into the field? Did you have to do the grunt work of door-to-door sales or some other crappy position before you found a career position, or would it be in my best interest to gain experience through interships rather than what the actual full time positions have to offer?
Post # 2
I don’t work in marketing, but have you tried looking at jobs in PR, publicity, or communications? Those often involve marketing, but are less sales-orientened.
Also – unpaid internships can be very valuable, especially if you have the opportunity to keep your other job for income. I recommend an internship in what you actually want to do over a job that isn’t what you are looking for.
Post # 3
Thanks! That’s what I’m leaning towards, but I just keep having this feeling that I should be working full time and getting paid after graduation! I guess struggling a little bit now will pay off later!
Post # 4
I did marketing for 12 years. I got my first job out of college due to experience in college. I worked in a marketing department on campus for a year, and then created my own internships by contacting people I knew and offering my services for free for relevant experience.
Try volunteering too. I use my marketing skills for my volunteer work all the time. Libraries, schools, anything with fundraisers. Marketing is very broad so you can develop relevant experience in many different ways.
As for marketing gigs, try agencies. They are usually looking for entry-level people in many different roles, with sales being only a small portion. I’ve worked for 4 different agencies in 3 different states and found that to be true for all of them.
Even a few months of relevant experience will really help.
Post # 5
thank you! I love the marketing aspect, I’m just not sure that I have the personality for sales at all!
Post # 6
I got my first job in Marketing through a temp agency. There was a yearly advertising awards show that needed seasonal staff. While I wasn’t doing marketing work (mostly data entry) I learned a lot about what is considered “good marketing”, got to see the industry trends, meet influential people, and learn about the different career paths within marketing. I then got my feet wet by freelancing with a number of startups in my area that needed help marketing their growing companies. Depending what aspect you’re interested (strategy, social media, email) you might be able to find small growing companies that are desperate for help. Once you get some experience under your belt you can move to a permanent position at a larger company. I know many people who were able to break into the industry without doing direct marketing, so I wouldn’t take that path just yet. If you can communicate in german you can certainly communicate in english, so that might be a way to sell yourself to employers. May I ask where you are finding these jobs?