One of the joys of going to college is gaining knowledge in matters that you can actually apply to your desired field.
In my case, the past two years I’ve learned a great deal in the field of marketing through taking courses such as Entertainment and Sports Marketing, International Marketing, Advertising and Promotion and Consumer Behavior, to name a few. I’ve been fortunate in that I took the majority of my marketing classes with professionals that decided to leave the private sector and turn to education.
Their real world experience was invaluable in sharing just how the material they were teaching was applicable to the real world. I remember distinctly in my Consumer Behavior course when Professor Doss spoke of his time owning a gym and what marketing methods worked best for his target demographics. When I studied abroad at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, I thought it would be appropriate to take International Marketing. My professor was an Oxford lecturer that really showed us a different approach to marketing from his country. We went on field trips that showed us that small, local businesses are extremely viable if there is the proper marketing in place. This in particular excited me, because in the U.S., we are currently on a trend to give up on small local businesses.
The capstone project in my Entertainment and Sports Marketing class involved creating an entire marketing plan for a sports team in my local area back home. I had to do immense market research, financial planning and presentation preparation, but what this taught me was how to develop an event series and plan it out to execution.
These lessons played incredibly well into my internship this past summer. Taking what I learned from Consumer Behavior, I was able to stratify and target the appropriate markets that came to the winery as well as specific groups on which we wanted to increase traffic. International Marketing played well into giving me different approaches in marketing a small to medium sized business to the local area, as well as appealing to foreigners that visited the area. My internship required quite a bit of marketing for a chef-to-farm dinner series as well as regular weekend events. Having practiced developing a marketing plan in Sports and Entertainment Marketing, I was well prepared to tackle these recurring events as well as preparing for my internship capstone project where I planned and executed a festival involving multiple vendors and activities that attracted quite a crowd.
Marketing is an incredibly applicable skill set to develop. Whether you are planning events for an organization or drumming up business for your start-up, knowing how to connect with the right people in the right way will always be a keen skill to have. The classroom logic is great, but it’s when the class ends, and you’re tested on its real world applicability, where you learn the true value of marketing classes.