A science graduate’s quest to find a job in marketing

Joscelyne takes over our blog to share her story of trying to find a job in marketing with a science degree.   

“A huge obstacle for every graduate out there, regardless of their degree or career goal, is the competition they face from the numerous other graduates in the job market. For those who, like me, took the route of a degree in a traditional academic subject and are now looking for work in an unrelated field, this challenge can be increased tenfold.

All employers ask me ‘Why marketing?’, and I suppose considering my degree in Human
Sciences it may seem somewhat random. It is incredibly frustrating to be overlooked based on my academic background; recruitment agencies I have dealt with have mostly expected me to, at the very least, be dead set on healthcare PR or similar. But do all language graduates want to become translators? Do all geography graduates want to become weather presenters?  This is how ridiculous it seems to me when it is assumed that I want to work in science because for a long while now, I have been focused on pursuing a career in marketing.

My first marketing job was with a chiropractors when I was 17, and was a role I had applied to in a desperate attempt to move on from a dismal sales assistant position. I thrived on the challenge of generating ideas to solve the problem of a limited client base, and on the buzz of seeing my strategies glean measurable results; it was then that my passion really took off and I was inspired to chase further marketing positions. A placement in a creative communications agency this past summer persuaded me that I was most interested in working on the agency side of marketing. A fiercely competitive world, the golden ticket into agency account handling is most certainly won through experience.

Following the placement I secured a role as a Junior Project Manager with a firm specialising in outsourced graduate recruitment, which, although not exactly my chosen field, has been a great learning experience. My role is to coordinate the marketing aspect of our graduate recruitment, as well as to assist in the management of the overall campaign. This has really allowed me to properly refine all those transferable skills such as organisation, client services and time management, that I know are invaluable in an account handling role. Through my resultant detachment from the marketing communications industry, my hunger for a role in marcomms has been amplified, leading me to start my own blog about campaigns, which also documents my graduate job hunt. Through it I hope to inspire graduates like myself who are trying to break into marketing from a non-industry degree, as well as prove my enthusiasm and capability to be successful in the industry.

I’ve got interviews coming up for two agency placements for the new year, and I’m hoping
that the employers will be able to see the value of my degree as having shaped me into a
well-rounded, intelligent and competent individual, as well as fully consider the numerous
opportunities I have had to develop my practical skills in marketing. I’m certainly not expecting to simply waltz into a great role, but I’m ready and willing to undertake the journey required to get there.”