Written October 18, 2017 by Rebecca Blake

As a recent college graduate, I am very familiar with the fears and uncertainties associated with the inability to find a meaningful career after you’ve finally made it to graduation day. Finding work within your field of study can be challenging, especially if you have the specific goals of working within a branding, advertising, or marketing agency. Here are a few tips and takeaways from someone who was in those same shoes just a few short months ago, and my thoughts on how to go from graduating college to finding a position where you can grow your skill set and gain valuable industry experience while working towards your new profession.

    A quick Google search will give you a list of agencies and studios in your area. This is a good starting point to see who’s out there and what kind of work they are doing. Go through their websites, look at the work they have done, come up with a list of questions that you would ask them in an informational interview and reach out to as many people as you can. Most folks are more than willing to help college students find their way as they embark on their new careers in the industry, (permitting they have the time). A 30-minute phone call or an in-person chat is immensely beneficial – not only for networking purposes, but to start learning the language, the culture, and the general day-to-day doings for those in marketing.
    As you begin your search for a job, you’ll find that there may be few agencies posting internships or entry level positions online. At this stage, you can use some of the connections and knowledge you’ve gathered from the above to select a handful of companies you think you’d like to work for. I’m a believer in a direct approach – simply asking if there’s any sort of internship program or entry level position you can apply for shows drive, confidence, and determination. At the very least, you’ve made another connection in the industry that may serve you in the future.
    The knowledge gained from sitting in a lecture hall for hours is significantly different than the hands-on experience you’ll gather in the field. If you are able to secure an internship, it’s likely you’ll be using software and performing tasks you never had any experience with before – which is the best part! You get the chance to work alongside marketing professionals and help complete all kinds of important work for clients while you’re still learning the ropes. When faced with problems, come up with solutions; and when you’re unsure of how to do certain tasks, make it your mission to learn.

There you have it. A few quick tips and takeaways that have helped me to make connections, gain industry knowledge, and ultimately become the newest member of our team as a Marketing Assistant. My internship at RGC was full of new experiences, an extremely welcoming team, and the opportunity to scratch the surface of what it really means to work at a marketing agency. I am still learning a lot in my new position (and will continue to for quite some time), and am excited to embark on this new adventure. Looks like you’ll be hearing from me again soon here on the RGC blog!