Abena Perryman

Is Marketing a Good Major? (and Other Questions for a New Grad)

With graduation around the corner for many young people, some might be wondering “is marketing a good major?”

It’s a great question.

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s the question every child hears before the age of 6. The most common ones are police, doctor, nurse, and teacher.

In my house it’s a gamer, NHL star, or computer engineer. Not a marketer.

What we don’t realize, and my kids have made me painfully aware, is that we are born marketing and sales people – whether we define ourselves as one or not. So the question “is marketing a good major” from a personal perspective is an easy one.

However, I think we can all agree that from day one, we start out with pretty poor tactics. For instance, remember the tantrum in the grocery store because mom didn’t get the Frosted Flakes and the Twix candy bar we begged for? Or, when we hit our sister over the head because she refused to share her Legos.

The good news? Our skills in the marketing and sales arena evolve quickly, becoming sophisticated so that we know the levers to pull on our parents heartstrings to get what we want. Consider the loving hug and a kiss your kids deliver just before asking for a cupcake.

We are born with basic marketing know how and as we get older we observe how our family and friends react to us. For example, that carefully crafted note to Santa about all the reasons that we should be on the nice list. Another one is that time shopping in Toys R Us providing convincing arguments on why we need a Cabbage Patch doll. And finally, making shrewd negotiations with our siblings on whose turn it is to go next on the Xbox.

Whether by nature or nurture, we all have inherent traits to sell and market ourselves throughout our lives. In the most basic sense, marketing is understanding needs and providing solutions that help people experience things they value. It’s also a focus on creating experiences that generate an emotional, memorable response (positive or negative).

So, the question “Is marketing a good major?” or “is marketing the right move for my career” are actually the wrong questions. Instead, ask yourself “how do I want to leverage Marketing in my life professionally or personally, and am I adequately prepared?”

Interested in a career in marketing? Get in touch. We’re always looking for new grads who want entrepreneurial experience in a boutique marketing company focused on change and transformation.



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