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You Have Graduated with a Marketing Degree… Now What?

Camie Dunbar   |   May 30, 2018 6:35:43 PM

Congratulations to all of our 2018 college graduates! It’s finally over. You’ve made countless pots of coffee, spent more grueling hours than you’d care to admit filing documents as a student intern, and staying up too many nights to study for exams or write papers. Now, after crossing the stage to celebrate your new marketing degree, you may find your next steps coming to a proverbial screeching halt.

You have the (very expensive) piece of paper in hand, but exactly what can you do with a marketing degree?

This is the question asked by many recent marketing graduates who find themselves in your shoes. Thankfully, we have some helpful advice from Jared Shattuck, the chief operating officer of sales & marketing at Innovative Group, who found himself asking the same question after graduating not so long ago. His journey began out on the road for Innovative Group, which has since turned into a career with IG, an innovative experiential marketing agency.

Shattuck knows what it is to be young and hungry for an opportunity and is here to share his insights about how to find your path in a highly competitive and sometimes very unscripted industry.


How He Got His Start in Marketing

“I started with Innovative Group immediately out of college, driving a funky Volkswagen van from here to there for a Malibu Rum promotion, and I have since seen IG expand into a profound family of sales, marketing, and logistics experts who tackle some of the most audacious goals I never thought possible,” says Shattuck. “My college career was simply the cement in the truck just waiting to help form my foundation. I did well in college, but more importantly, I understood very quickly that my degree was simply a very small stepping stone on my path to success. Albeit, a necessary one.”

The Multifaceted Meaning of “Marketing”

“As a self-driven student, little did I know that the term ‘marketing’ meant a million different things in the real world,” says Shattuck, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from North Georgia College and State University. After graduation he soon  found himself working a hodgepodge of onsite activation tasks, all ultimately leading into the development of promotional programs and branding campaigns for major Fortune 500 companies at Innovative Group. 

“All too often I am reminded of just how wide-reaching an agency job will push your résumé attributes,” Shattuck says. “From hanging banners with zip ties on a yacht to building massive million dollar multi-market campaigns, a marketer wears many hats and the job is never routine. None of which are presented as a necessity in college. You have to be ready to roll with it and constantly be a solution provider. Marketers never want to hear the word ‘no.’”

What Types of Jobs Can You Get with a Marketing Degree

There are numerous types of jobs and careers available across a variety of industries for people with marketing degrees. You can work for traditional marketing agencies, advertising agencies, experiential marketing companies (like Innovative Group), or for the marketing teams in corporate organizations, higher education, or government offices.

You can even find yourself working with TV personalities, helping to plan and promote world-renowned music festivals, or creating brand activation opportunities at major sporting events.

A few jobs include:

  • Advertising planners, executives, and content creators;
  • Event managers;
  • Marketing executives, researchers, and content creators;
  • Media buyers and planners;
  • Nonprofit marketing and fundraising content creators and executives;
  • Production coordinators or managers;
  • Public relations executives and officers;
  • Social media optimization or marketing experts, directors;
  • User experience (UX) designers; and
  • Web marketing content creators, managers, account executives.

To be successful, you need to be willing to be flexible, learn from others, and recognize that it’s a “team sport” that requires great collaboration with colleagues.



Grab This Opportunity with Both Hands and Don’t Look Back

“Congratulations to all of you who are taking that next step. You have accomplished a ton, but it's only just beginning,” says Shattuck. “You're going to have a lot of fun and some down moments so don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Just keep your head up and know that employers are always looking for good people. You may not always be recognized, but stay true to yourself and go find something you love to do. Your passion will be recognized. I promise.”

A Few Things to Ponder Now That You Have Your Degree

Here are a couple of Shattuck’s "hmmm" moments to consider now that you have your official piece of paper:

  1. “No one is an expert marketer out of college, and no single class will ever fully prepare you for your future. Be humble, yet hungry. Your desire and motivation to continue to learn can never stop. Each job/client/boss/customer will show you something brand new every single day — if you are willing to listen.”
  2. “Surround yourself with greatness. The very best leaders are the best teammates.”
  3. “This pains me to say, but common sense is not always that common. Always look holistically at any role and know that your way is not always the right way.”
  4. “The money will come. Pay your dues and put some sweat into it. It's a fine dance between you and your employer. Once you both find your groove, it will be a perfect harmony.”  
  5. “If you are not having fun at what you do, then one of you is doing something wrong. If it's you — then change. If it's your company, then get out and save yourself and your employees a major headache.”

If you’re interested in putting your degree to work and want to embrace all that is experiential marketing as a solutionist™ then, contact us today.

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