November 15, 2019 3 min read

Marketing is a broad industry that allows creativity to flourish and thrive which is exactly what Atika Ismail was searching for as she studied at Ryerson University. There’s always time to pivot on your path and Atika did just that with a strategic mind of a future marketer.

Switching Majors for the Better

I entered university as an accounting & finance major, and it wasn’t long before I discovered that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy the lack of creativity and therefore ability to illustrate my ideas. It was very standardized.

When doing some research into the marketing program and the courses which were included, I grew a whole new fascination and have been excited to learn ever since. I wanted to choose a path that would explore a mix of creativity and analytical skills. The marketing program seemed to be the one that fit best with these characteristics. Over time, I realized marketing has become a tool that has taught me the importance of branding, even branding yourself. Marketing has also helped feed into my ideas for new concepts and strategies. I am currently a 3rd year marketing major at Ryerson University. All in all, no regrets.

Inspiration Is Fuel for Motivation

My parents inspire me a lot. I am the first person in my family to attend university, and that in and of itself inspires me as well. This gives me the motivation to make the most out of my time at university, as well as make my parents and myself proud. I want to set an example for the future of my generation and know that I leveraged my ability to attend university. I also know it will make my parents feel proud of the education they never had the chance to receive.

Portrait of Atika Ismail, marketing student, looking to the left.

One of my greatest achievements would have to be helping grow a small business through its marketing and communications. I was able to grow their following as well as learn so many new ways to target customers, create content, and learn more about a new industry, barbering. Taking general lessons learnt in class and online and then actually applying them has been so beneficial and personally rewarding.

Standing Out

I have taken the initiative to apply to various marketing role positions. Although I am still on the hunt, a common trend I have witnessed is the need for experience. With the lack of opportunity and growing competition, sometimes it is hard to really stand out. Although I haven’t had the chance to attain relevant paid work experience, getting involved in school has been a helping hand.

It has allowed me to develop professionally and given me a small insight into the professional world. Being part of the marketing student group on my campus has equipped me with relevant knowledge and a platform to create and showcase my ideas on a smaller scale. In my opinion, this has been my one step forward.

Keep Exploring & Learning

Smiling portrait of Atika Ismail, marketing student, sitting at desk.

Marketing is a broad industry. Currently, AI & UX has been a huge component of the marketing industry. Seeing how companies get more creative incorporating these two is definitely worth following. With the adaptation of technology, it is incredible to watch companies get creative with their techniques for driving engagement with customers.

As a student with minimal job experience in any concept of marketing, it is hard to answer the question about what my dream job is. I believe that through further exploration into several different roles, I will be able to understand what I am good at and what works best for me. What I do know is, I want my job to be a platform for illustrating my creative potential and challenging my mind to new ideas and shifts in the consumer industry. The most crucial part although, is to work in a place with many creative individuals so I can further enhance my learning, even on the job.




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