Have you ever wondered what life will be like after university? What a real job will consist of? How to stand out against all the competition? Well then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re in marketing or just business in general, this Q & A session with a marketing professional will be well worth the read.
The following answers are courtesy of the Director of Marketing AND Advertising (Yes, she is both) at The Home Depot, Sonia Draper. Not only does she have amazing insider tips, but also a wealth of knowledge about the marketing industry. So here are a few questions I asked her that I think everyone has when starting out as a professional in the business world!
1. How did you know you wanted to go into advertising/marketing?
I didn't know that was what I wanted until it happened. Communications and behavioral psychology were always my favourite subjects and after adding marketing on top, it seemed to bring it together. I knew it was right for me when I found it exciting and couldn't wait to get into projects and watch them deliver!
2. What is your favourite part about your job?
My favourite part about my job is that it's always different, yet there's a sameness that feeds the experience. It's problem solving, and there are always different ways at solving a problem. Finding the best solutions isn't always easy but it's sweet when you do.
3. Is there any class you would recommend students take in University because you found it interesting or important?
Any class that helps you get inspired or motivated to do something is what I recommend. Specialized jobs may have specific requirements, so it's important to do that research if you have a specific role in mind. Digital Media for example requires a certain expertise in search and programmatic execution. So depending on what drives your passion, I would recommend fueling that.
4. What qualities are you looking for in a potential hire?
People who love to dig in and take pride in being part of a team. Often I see people who want it to be all about them and demand perks and benefits that they aren't entitled to rather than being excited about the journey of earning it. The paycheck comes from someone and there is a value exchange. What value can the hire bring to the table? It's attitude about being on a team and what you as an individual bring to that team dynamic. How you present yourself? Are you happy? Smiling? Laugh? Can you show that you have helped a group or organization through tough projects by being part of a solution? What's your experience and how can it help?
5. What is one piece of advice that you would give to young professionals?
I have two:
1. If there is a company you want to work for and you are passionate about the brand - work there. Offer to do it for free for three months. Do your research about their organization and think about what it is you can bring to the table. Show them why they should hire you. It will do two things: a. Show you if this is an organization you really want to be a part of for the longer term. (It should feel like your work family and your plans should be longer term than 2 years.) And b. It shows you are committed to their brand and their business and allows you to prove it in what you can bring to the table and offer back in value.
2. Do what you love. You work for a long time in your life. If you don't do what you love, it's a lot of hard work for a long time... If you love it, it's not work. It's feeding a passion. If you have a job, you don't love, there must be something about it that you do love. Take what you love and make it bigger. Your attitude has everything to do with your happiness.
Well there you have it! I hope you have found these answers helpful and they give you some food for thought about your future career. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out our Instagram to learn a little more about me, see you in September!
Director of Marketing: Graphic Design, DECA U Guelph 2017-2018