Marketing 1, City 0

I am writing in response to your article about graduates swapping City life for marketing (MW last week). As a Marketing MSc student, I’ve always aspired to a high-powered marketing role and was intrigued by the implication that City skills can be easily transferred to the marketing profession.

Graduates: Marketing choice

But what really riled me about the article was the insinuation that students are downgrading to marketing. It is common knowledge that many of the top marketing graduate schemes are a lot more competitive than any of the banking or accounting equivalents – after all, top graduate recruiters such as Reckitt Benckiser only accept eight applicants for their marketing and sales position each year.

I don’t know of anyone who is going into marketing because they failed to secure themselves a City role. Most graduates are applying for marketing jobs or going on to do marketing qualifications because it is a compelling, pivotal and rigorous area of business. The scope and depth of marketing has expanded with the evolution of divisions and practices such as CRM, reputation management, database marketing and sophisticated geo-demographic segmentation systems.

These developments have made marketing a much more technical and dynamic profession, requiring candidates to possess a range of different transferable skills. The fact that my employer, Freestyle Interactive – a leading, full-service digital agency – exclusively invited Marketing MSc students from Oxford Brookes Business School to apply for their only internship highlights how firms are now looking for a more tailored skill set and relevant commercial experience – not just any City set of qualifications.

My position as a social media intern requires me to deliver complex qualitative and quantitative analysis and communicate in terms that demonstrate real business impact.

Major corporations are rapidly recognising the impact that social media has on corporate brands and ultimately the success of the business. And who is leading the corporate response to this new phenomenon? Marketing and PR professionals, of course.

Competition for marketing roles has increased because it is becoming a more rigorous and varied profession to be in, and more and more businesses are recognising the value that trained professionals can contribute.

Jess Chivers, Freestyle Interactive

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