Jillian Seronik, a student at Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC, shares her unique perspective as a marketing student employed as a marketing coordinator.
Since my childhood, I have been a creative person. I was always more into arts than sports. I enjoyed writing; I took art lessons and played piano for years. As I progressed through high school, I lost that spark for creativity. I felt destined for an office job that wouldn’t allow me to utilize my creative skills, so I didn’t invest as much time in pursuing my creative passions. I decided to focus more on academics and maintaining a solid GPA. After high school, I took a few years off, and when I finally applied for post-secondary school, decided to pursue a degree in business.
I knew a business degree was a great path because I could apply the knowledge in various fields. Once enrolled, I excelled in my marketing courses in the first year, and that’s when I realized I could be creative again. I felt so good that I chose to major in marketing over accounting, finance, or human resources.
I think three values are necessary for young professionals to grow.
The marketing field can get quite competitive, especially when considering how fast things are changing in the digital realm. You must be determined to work hard and continue to learn throughout your marketing career. You must be willing to continue your marketing education after post-secondary, whether through certifications or reading industry blogs; you must keep up to date with trends in the profession.
First and foremost, I believe it’s important to stay true to yourself to achieve your goals. People will always try to influence your decisions, so it’s crucial to remain autonomous, especially early on in your career. If you can do that, I think you will always find yourself with a career that fulfills your needs and satisfies your ambitions.
Optimism opens you up to new ideas and experiences. I think it’s important to remain optimistic about building your self-confidence. There will be days when you make mistakes – but you can’t let that stop you. Stay happy and keep plowing through every challenge you face!
I’m currently studying marketing at Okanagan College while gaining valuable experience working part-time as a marketing coordinator. As a marketing coordinator, I have worked on the company website, email campaigns, and social media. This role has allowed me to dabble in different departments and doesn’t restrict me to a particular set of duties. One of the challenges I’ve struggled with from time to time as a student and marketing coordinator is impostor syndrome. I constantly remind myself that I’m studying marketing, I have experience and deserve to be where I am today.
I have several suggestions which could help a marketer in the early stages of their career. First, since things are changing so quickly in the marketing profession, you need to have an open mind. Second, you must be willing to learn every chance you get. Third, I would encourage students in post-secondary to consider joining clubs that interest them. It will allow you to put some of the knowledge you are learning to good use. Fourth, seek out a mentor in the community, someone you look up to or someone with a similar position that you aspire to become yourself. Mentors are a great resource and can help you learn at any stage of your career, but when you’re just starting, they can provide you with advice that can help you make informed decisions about your future.
The trend I have noticed is the substantial increase in the number of freelancers and contract workers. I have read that more people are joining what is known as the “gig economy” since the pandemic began. Small businesses are looking to hire freelancers to manage their websites, social media presence or graphic design elements. It sounds like an excellent opportunity to gain experience, which I have considered because there are many positions, and I want to keep my options open. I see this area growing in the years ahead, creating more competition for those freelance/contract positions.
My proudest accomplishment at this point in my career would be that I was able to land a marketing coordinator position while still in school. After you graduate, many posts list at least two years of experience to apply. Being in school for the past four or five years makes it challenging to acquire the expertise companies want. Having those two years of experience when I graduate from college will help open new doors in the future. I’m proud of myself for getting this entry-level position and highly thankful for the experience I will gain.
If I could choose the role that I would love to work in, it would be a combination of copywriting and search engine optimization (SEO). I love copywriting and SEO, and writing a blog for a travel company would allow me to incorporate some adventure into my career. It’s vital to have good copy on your website or blog, and strong SEO can make a huge difference. Neither of these aspects is easy, but I’ve started to like them both. I would love the opportunity to show what I can do while I continue to grow and mature as a future marketing leader.