Tuesday, 17 January 2017 15:37

A Degree in Marketing vs. Real-World Marketing

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Earning a degree in marketing is satisfying...but applying that degree in the business world requires a mindset adjustment.

The actor Andrew Shue once said, “Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that's it. You're going out of that nest. And you have to find that courage that's deep, deep, deep in there. Every step of the way.”

Being college-educated is tremendously different than being schooled by the “real world,” especially while trying to apply institutionalized studies to the unpredictability of humans. People are the ever-changing factor in the constant revolving world of marketing. In college, things were written on a page and no matter the day, time or class, the text on that page does not change; in the “real world,” however, changes happen all the time.

In college, I went to class and was graded on my ability to understand what my professors were teaching. Working in the “real world,” I must implement those ideas accordingly. In the “real world,” random variables constantly act against all the information I learned, forcing me to improvise on the spot – especially when there’s a client involved.

Adapting To Marketing Changes

College courses don’t teach you how to deal with pathos and ethos of various clients – or even your own, for that matter; professors can’t prepare you on how to adapt. In school, there are quizzes, tests and other forms of standardized processes designed to measure your level of understanding, but in the “real world,” your mistakes, and ability to learn – and recover – from them, are what measures your progress. There are no re-do’s, replays or pauses.

My college marketing and advertising courses have proven to be useful – that I can’t deny. However, technology is constantly transforming, growing and expanding with new uses; because we learn through textbooks, students don’t always receive the most updated pieces of information.

In the “real world,” I’ve learned all kinds of new skills; I’ve faced challenges that I had no idea even existed regarding marketing, and I’ve been introduced to the surrounding duties of related jobs that seamlessly intertwine with marketing positions.

Marketing Gives Businesses A Life

Colleges are often referred to as “bubbles” because they shelter students from what the working world is really like. They teach us what they want us to know, then release us at graduation with a piece of paper stating that we’ve proven to be a good learner, and possibly coachable. At this point, the world quickly steps in and tests this theory, starting with one’s ability to find a career in their field.

In business, marketing is life, and too many people don’t seem to realize that. We market our products, services and ourselves daily, and anyone who does not withstand the test will quickly be denied a spot in this large establishment of capitalism. Marketing courses in school were simply an opportunity for me to get a sneak peek, while the “real world” opened its door and kicked me out, with a prestigious piece of paper in hand hoping to promote a head start.

While I could continue discussing the many differences between textbook versus hands-on learning, I must switch gears right now and focus on something else. I’ll leave you with this quote from one of my favorite movies, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: “So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.”

Read 1279 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 January 2017 14:55
Veronica Manuel

Veronica Manuel is a recent graduate of Wesleyan College, a private women's liberal arts college located in Macon, Georgia. Veronica is continuing her education at Ringer Consulting Group, where she’s doing quite well in her position(s) as Project Coordinator/Office Manager.

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