Next up we have a #GraduateStory with a creative edge. Meet David Louie Ochava Bell, who graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in Graphic Design in 2017. David has experience across a number of creative design roles and now works as a Graphic Designer & Marketing Executive for an electronics manufacturing company. Here he divulges his marketing journey and shares his top tricks and tips for searching for your first marketing role:
How did you get into marketing in the first place?
I fell into it. I guess you could say it was a happy accident. I graduated from Westminster with a degree in Graphic Communication Design but took Business Studies at GCSE level. I have always wanted to be involved in the bigger picture and understood the importance of marketing. This is reflected throughout my university projects, as I always planned and thought about all aspects of a brief, not just a single piece of promotional material or the final design outcome. Upon completion of my final major project and degree show, I realised that I was thinking and working like a marketeer. Now here I am, Marketing Executive and Graphic Designer. The best of both worlds really.
Did your university degree/experience help you when it came to your first marketing job?
Definitely. My degree not only helped me discover who I am as a designer, it also showed me what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. Focusing on design alone is not something I wanted to do anymore. This was reflected in my portfolio and did help me get my first marketing/design job.
It’s useful having a marketing mindset but also being able to see a project through and bring it to life. It means I have a wider variety of skills and have more responsibilities which is great.
How did you identify which area of marketing you wanted to get into?
I think it’s important to remember that you can’t be fussy, especially when coming straight out of education. You need to grab opportunities like there won’t be another. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you discover it’s not for you. But, gaining experience is key and this will help determine where you are best suited and what you enjoy the most.
Is there anything you’d have done differently starting out in your career?
I was quite lucky as I went straight into a job I wanted immediately after graduating from university. So for me personally, I don’t think there is anything I would have done differently. What I would say is you need to put all your efforts into landing your ideal job otherwise it won’t happen. Go above and beyond. I was applying for jobs whilst I was on holiday in the South of France. If you want it, go out and get it. Landing an interview is hard these days so make sure you stand out and give 100%. You need to sell yourself as well as you’d hope to promote and sell a product or service.
What advice do you have for graduates looking to get into marketing?
Don’t rush, be patient and try to gain as much experience as possible. You’ll eventually figure out exactly where you want to be. Try to learn as much as possible and always strive to be the best. Marketing is not easy, but it is rewarding when a task is executed well.
What advice would you give graduates who are currently searching for their first marketing job?
Make sure you have an exceptional CV. Put time into your cover letter as I feel this is something people often forget about. Sell yourself and apply for a variety of job roles.
If you could give your post-graduate-self any piece of advice, what would it be knowing what you know now about the industry?
Be prepared for anything and everything. Also, take in as much as possible. You will learn about marketing of course but more how a business works, their budgets, design language and style etc. There is a lot to take in but the more the better.
We've got plenty more graduate stories where David's came from so check them out and be inspired!