Many people have asked about how I managed to land a job in Marketing with my bachelor’s degree being Graphic Design. On today’s post I want to share my experience with those colleagues who are interested in getting involved in Marketing.
When I first got out of college, all I dreamed about was making it into a big agency where I could develop my Graphic Design skills and someday become a reference for young designers, however, that’s not what life had in store for me. My first job was not as a graphic designer, even though my knowledge was necessary for the position (I was Community Manager for a web design blog), this job was my first contact with terms such as SEO, AdWords, branding, networking and more.
From Community Manager to Internet Marketing Strategist
But one thing is working as Community Manager and another is becoming a Marketing Manager, so how did I pull this off? After almost two years, I took the decision to quit my job as Community Manager, and then, I decided to give it another try to my great passion, Graphic Design. I went to dozens of interviews, showed my portfolio to many people and in the end, none of those efforts paid off.
When I was about to give up, I was called for an interview at an international travel agency, which, to be honest, I didn’t remember sending my résumé. The interview went nice but it turns out I was applying once again for a Community Manager position, I had bills to pay and I decided to take the job.
This work was one of the greatest things that have happened to my career, it was not even close to my previous work as Community Manager. At first, I was only in charge or writing blog posts and sharing content via Social Media, but then it became something much bigger. I was invited to join the Marketing team that was in charge of increasing sales for the agency, they needed someone with a creative point of view that was also capable of implementing Marketing strategies (I had no clue about such thing but I was up for the challenge)
Over the months, I got involved in many Marketing activities and I was also able to use some of my Graphic Design skills by creating brochures, business cards and even performing a whole redesign for the company’s webpage. These days were glory and I still remember them with lots of joy.
How Graphic Design helped me land my current Marketing job
Things were doing great at the travel agency, but there was something bothering me since I first started working there. Despite of having a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and being fluent in both English and Spanish (I was the only one who knew both languages at the company), people just kept seeing me as the junior who could help them with their kid’s art homework and the C-level colleagues thought of me as the kid who refused to wear a tie and was all day reading tweets.
I decided it was time for a new journey, and thereupon, I quit my job as Internet Marketing Strategist. Two months before quitting the company, I started studying to get my master’s degree in Digital Marketing, so by that point it was clear to me that life was telling me to pursue a career in Digital Marketing without having to abandon my Graphic Design goals.
After going through the whole interview-portfolio presentation-no response process again, I was interviewed by the CEO of OfficeList (and my current boss). They were looking for a young, creative person who was able to launch a Marketing Department from zero and help the company boost their sales; I have to say that I was very skeptical at first (I had some Marketing expertise by that point but enough to become a Marketing Manager?)
Turns out I had the skills to fulfill this job, but how did Graphic Design help me out in the process? During the interview, I told my current boss about Mishës and I also told him about my experience at the travel agency and how I combined my Graphic Design skills with more Marketing-related activites. Even though I was not Marketing savvy, he knew I was willing to learn from him while also putting my experience at the company’s service.
At college, our Graphic Design professors don’t teach us about SEO, lead generation, conversions or budget, but they do teach us about branding, corporate identity, awareness, strategy and more, which means that any Graphic Designer can eventually become a marketer.
I guess I have not been the classic Marketing Manager my boss was probably looking for, but I have definitely made some great contribution for the company. I have become part of the team that’s creating the mobile site of the website, I’ve used my experience as Community Manager to build brand awareness through Social Media and now I’m starting to implement new ways to boost sales that probably a traditional marketer would not think of.
To summarize, even if you don’t land a job as Graphic Designer, it doesn’t mean you cannot make it part of your job. Not everyone is capable of designing a responsive website or creating an awesome logo. So stop worrying about making it into an ad agency and instead, harness your Graphic Design skills to land an even bigger job!