Choosing an undergraduate major to devote your time and energy to can be intimidating. Typically, you will approach college with little understanding of the benefits it will offer and the skills and discipline it will impart upon you. Instead, you will use it as a deciding factor for what direction your life will take. Declaring a major was not a struggle for me, but understanding the impact of this decision was far more difficult than I could have imagined.
As an upcoming junior in college, I have only recently discovered my passion: digital marketing and entrepreneurship. As my first few weeks as an Intern at Izell Marketing Group have wrapped up, I’ve been taken aback countless times; recognizing significant differences between the skills, the mindset, and methods of learning that my classes taught me and what I was doing in the real world. What shocked me most was the balance the two give to one another; that it takes both to truly understand the concept of marketing and to be competitive in the cutthroat world of business.
Below are three comparison points that break down the different ideas I’ve taken away from college marketing and digital marketing so far:
College: College courses are meant to teach a variety of concepts to give you well-rounded knowledge of all aspects of the business world and the needed skill sets. That means discipline is key. It can hard to grasp, so consistency and dedication are two skills I recommend strengthening. If you want to succeed, you’re going to have to work for it.
Digital: This field is extremely new to the business world, meaning that there is a lot of trial and error and realizations that can only be learned from mistakes. In my time at Izell Marketing Group, I’ve never been more challenged with self-discipline, and I can truly say that I have never enjoyed a challenge more. There is a stigma around the digital marketing structure – or lack there-of, as the case may be, but something college might not be able to teach you is how to set and work towards goals in every aspect of your business. All I can say is, you will only get out what you put in, but it’s worth every second.
College: Business courses give you knowledge that can be very beneficial in the work space. The reason the business major requires that you take a variety of classes is to expose you to what all types of jobs offer, help expand your skills, and ultimately, to give you a sense of direction for what career path you want to take. You might get bored, but don’t fall asleep, there’s method in their madness!
Digital: I learned early on that this field strays away from typical corporate structure; it runs off of forward, futuristic thoughts and collaborations of different ideas that eventually lead to a single, diverse, and strong direction. Digital marketing can only be successful if there is a common goal established at the starting line.
College: As I stated above, college courses are purposely designed to give young students exposure and diversity. The reason they do this is because as the world is evolving, it is vital to have a range of skills under your belt to gain more opportunities. Although pre-requisites might seem boring and pointless, completing them made me understand their purpose: they gave me a more diverse education and better knowledge of business as a whole. Remember, diversity = opportunity.
Digital: What fascinated me about digital marketing is that it hasn’t only challenged, strengthened, and expanded my thought process, but actually that it’s mandatory to be a naturally diverse person. In digital marketing offices, people are creative, outside-the-box thinkers, who comprehend quickly, think individually, observe naturally, analyze trends frequently, and who are always, always, always looking for opportunities to learn. If you think you check off all of these boxes and have an interest in this field, then go for it because it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
The experiences that college courses and digital marketing have exposed me to has equipped me with a wide range of skills and concepts, both mentally and physically. College is a blessing, so I’d advise you to use the tools provided and view them as a chance to grow and further yourself in your career. For those looking to go into the digital marketing field, my suggestion is to go in with a humble and optimistic attitude, an unquenchable thirst for learning, and a unique perspective of the world around you.