Savannah Christensen, marketing & communications intern for NCA, shares what she’s learned about career prep at NCA and how she has been working toward her own career goals in marketing.
As a marketing intern at NCA for about a year and a half now, I’ve picked up a few tips for preparing yourself for the job search, specifically for a career in marketing. Here are some of the best things you can do to jumpstart your career and gain some ever-important transferable skills during your time here at Northwestern:
Get involved on campus
There are many different ways to gain marketing experience on campus. Most student groups have marketing manager positions, including student organizations, residence halls, Greek life, etc. There are also marketing-specific opportunities with Form & Function Marketing and Student Affairs Marketing. While your classes are obviously important, extracurricular pursuits can provide hands-on learning that you won’t get in a lecture hall. They are also where you can pick up critical transferable skills like problem solving, creativity, initiative, and leadership.
Make the most of your summers
Internships are a vital part of the job search process, and are one of the best ways to demonstrate experience on a resume, but as NCA career advisor Laura Myers explained to me last year, there are other valuable summer experiences besides internships. Studying abroad, volunteering, working a part-time job, etc. can all also be great ways to spend your summer and work toward your career goals. My summer internships have all helped me learn specific marketing skills, but other experiences I’ve had like working in retail and volunteering at the Humane Society have also taught me many additional transferable skills like communication, organization, teamwork, and resilience.
Build your personal brand
Building a personal brand and an online presence is essential to a career in the marketing industry. One of the best ways to get started is with LinkedIn. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn can help you connect with other marketing professionals, build industry knowledge, and showcase your skills and experience. Make sure to also log in to Handshake, Northwestern’s career platform, where, like LinkedIn, you can also build a profile and search for job and internship opportunities. And if you’re unsure how to optimize your profiles, you can always ask for help! Which brings me to my next recommendation…
Utilize NCA’s resources
There are so many amazing resources that Northwestern Career Advancement has to offer students. Our website has a vast array of information on everything from the basic stuff like resumes, cover letters, and networking, to guidance on making career decisions, learning about yourself, and more. Additionally, NCA hosts numerous career events like employer information sessions, industry workshops, and career fairs, where you can build your network and your career knowledge. And most importantly, we have fantastic career counseling and advising staff that are here to offer help and answer any and all of your career-related questions.
Take advantage of your Northwestern connection
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget about one of the most significant assets at your disposal as a Northwestern student: the Northwestern Alumni network. I have learned a lot of valuable information, and even secured an internship, by reaching out to alumni. Some great ways to build connections with alumni include Our Northwestern, the mock interview program, and NEXT, Northwestern’s job shadowing program.