If as a marketing student, you have ever wondered how the first few months in practice will look like or what kind of knowledge you will need than you are in the right place. Personally, I would give these pieces of advice to past me in the first year of college.

Understand the models and the mentality

At your workplace, everyone will see things in the viewpoint of his/her own profession. No matter your experience you must represent the marketing viewpoint. Models can help a lot to get the hang of this. You don’t have to learn the official descriptions word-by-word, but you need to understand their basic idea.

Sometimes I had to remember the AIDA model which is not a big secret or anything, but helps you to understand that you can’t start an advertisement with the line “CLICK HERE AND ORDER OUR VACUUM CLEANER”, but for example by bringing up a problem and offering a solution. Learning the difference between the 4C and 4P models is also a huge help to obtain a marketer mindset.

There is a lesson for every day

In March of 2012 instead of click, watchtime became the most important measurement on Youtube. Cristos Goodrow a member of the Youtube staff mentioned in an article published by Business Insider that someone even called their office and explained that he can’t pay his mortgage from his career on the platform and has to go back to work. Entire channels, people’s livelihood was built upon the fact that clicks equal money.

A lot of things change in this profession, especially in online communications. Some people can build brands worth millions from a smartphone and news that will affect your work can spread in a few hours.

When I’m writing this article there is a huge controversy on Youtube: the site might help paedophiles to find videos about young children. Big companies disabled their campaigns on Youtube and the rules about the website will change again.

You should learn and keep an eye on these changes. In the last 10 minutes of your day at work go through some online magazines for marketers. Things that you learn on these sites might come useful even the next day.

Here are some places to get started:

Organise the information

When you step into your first workplace write down everything. When the dateline is tight you don’t want to waste hours on finding out how things work. Later you need to organise your campaign and be able to see through all the information that you need for your work. The paper and pen are a classic set, but those who know me personally can tell I don’t believe they are enough.

In Google Keep, you can categorise your notes, search for keywords or set reminders. Everything is synchronised between your phone and work PC. Trello is a free, cloud-based project management app that can help you to plan your marketing campaigns and your daily tasks too.

Specialise

During your studies and after school you need to find which part of marketing you are interested in. You must know the basics of marketing but also find your main direction.

Image by Moz

Some marketers earn a living by managing PPC campaigns or focus on SEO and websites. You can’t be the best in everything but be excellent in the area you are interested in throughout the years.

Build!

If you are through the first steps sit down and think. What did you learn from the past few months? What kind of tasks did you like? How did you feel yourself? What would you change? What kind of tools do you need to continue (more learning, a portfolio website, connection etc.)?

If you are sure that marketing is your true path you can start doing something to improve your career even now. Set up a long-term goal. A direction to follow. You must have an end goal because it gives a sense and meaning to the daily grind and makes your success measurable.

Personally, I love to work online so working on my website is not only a hobby but necessary for my future.

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