The process of finding a job is not easy at any level, but it poses a particular challenge for graduates, where the entire process can seem quite daunting to the marketing newcomer. We've launched a project called #GraduateStories which we hope will help to inspire fresh graduates and experienced marketing professionals alike in the search for their dream jobs. Rizwana Tarer graduated from Buckinghamshire New University in 2005 with a degree in Marketing. She now works as a Senior Marketing Manager for Dun & Bradstreet, a data and insights business. Prior to her current role, Rizwana has gained experience across multiple industries, including video communications, financial services and marketing procurement. Here Rizwana chats all things marketing jobs:
How did you get into marketing in the first place?
Whilst at college I did a 2-year business course. During this course I developed a strong passion for learning about marketing. I enjoyed the topic and felt it was wide enough to explore different career opportunities, so after college I decided to do a degree in marketing.
Did your university degree/experience help you when it came to your first marketing job?
Yes, my degree was incredibly useful as it gave me a solid background of learning about the various marketing disciplines. All my modules focused on a different aspect of marketing. My university offered a free job portal where students could search for marketing jobs based on the area they lived in. I used this portal to find my first marketing job. All my marketing tutors were very open in terms of guiding students about working in the industry, and how to prepare for interviews.
How did you identify which area of marketing you wanted to get into?
I initially focused on working for a B2B company to help me understand which areas of marketing I could learn about. My role had a lot of variety; I was covering internal communications, competitor research, PR, market research, website development and creating simple marketing campaigns. I enjoyed being involved in different activities and the added challenge of trying to influence a “business” and not a “consumer,” so I continued to develop my career within B2B marketing roles. I made sure each role offered lots of different marketing areas and allowed me to work across the business.
Is there anything you’d have done differently starting out in your career?
Looking back, I remember I found my first job pretty quickly so I’d probably take more time to review additional marketing vacancies, attend more interviews and then make a decision, as opposed to taking the first job that was offered to me.
What advice do you have for graduates looking to get into marketing?
There’s lots of strands to marketing! Do your research so you can understand the key areas you want to learn about and build your experience in. Take part in marketing networks such as LinkedIn groups, to ask questions and discover which areas excite you the most.
What advice would you give graduates who are currently searching for their first marketing job?
- Read lots of different job descriptions to get a flavour for what kind of role and activities you’re most interested in.
- Build a good network of marketing recruitment agencies and meet each face to face so you can be quickly considered for new roles.
- You could also consider short-term roles to build work experience, before you pick your final role. This will allow you to work in different types of companies, you’ll increase your exposure to different marketing activities and teams, overall it will add practical experience and you’ll learn lots of different things. Also, if you’re unsure of certain roles or want more information, don’t be shy to ask questions or for more details.
Some interesting points from Rizwana, especially on taking your time to consider roles and offers before making your decision. We've got a lot more advice where this came from in our Graduate Careers section, so check it out and enjoy!