Marketing Seminar Series: A Reflection on the Journey
Do you know the feeling when something you thoroughly enjoyed is coming to an end? This can be experienced in a variety of ways. For instance, playing that last song on that album you spent an hour listening to. What else comes to mind? What about when you spent the day catching up with a friend that you have not seen in a while, then you realize that eventually you will have to say goodbye.
There is this famous quote from a little movie called Avengers: Endgame. The quote is “part of the journey is the end.” This was said by Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Junior. A wonderful actor and a great movie, in my opinion.
As a reader, you are probably wondering why I am bringing this up? Well, I bring this up because I am experiencing that feeling right now, as I write this blog. For my post-graduate program, I am currently taking a course called “Marketing Seminar Series.” For the last twelve weeks of this semester, I was able to listen to a variety of guest speakers from different parts of the marketing industry. I would love to share my experience with the course and reflect on my key takeaways.
What Did I Learn from the Course?
What did I learn from Marketing Seminar Series? This is a great question! I learned that this course can still be as impactful through an online learning format. The idea of not having to commute to the college during the winter was very pleasing, to be honest. I have a good feeling that the guest speakers and my classmates felt the same way. Marketing Seminar Series reminded me that there are ways to be social even if we are in a pandemic.
This course asks students to use this opportunity to build and nurture an industry network of people and resources for themselves. This was encouraging as I had two goals, build my network before I make my graceful exit from college and the second goal was to be more active on LinkedIn.
Let us talk about those guest speakers! As previously stated, I was able to listen to some amazing guest speakers throughout the semester. Here are some guest speakers that really made an impact on me and a key takeaway from their seminar:
Asta Schouten, Nastasha Burtenshaw-deVries, and Jordan Veenstra:
Get comfortable with networking! During their seminar, all three guest speakers shared their experiences of receiving opportunities for work by just networking alone. Asta was presented an opportunity while on vacation and Jordan discusses meeting a future employer while in a restaurant. It really is surprising to hear that opportunities like to present themselves when you least expect it. It just demonstrates how powerful networking really is. It is a concept that should not be underestimated.
Fuel the fire! In Brady’s seminar, he talked about the creative side of the marketing industry. But he also discusses the trials and tribulations that come along with it. There will be a time where we are stopped by a barrier. This barrier will do everything to prevent us from accessing that our creative brains. This is called a creative block. But do not worry! Brady was able to talk about his experience and how to use the tools available to overcome this barrier. Brady recommends using this great website, https://www.designspiration.com.
I see why the website is called “Designspiration.” It is the marriage of those two concepts, design and inspiration. The best of both worlds, if I may.
A little guidance can go a long way. Robyn had an interesting seminar. She had a little back up from Michelle Kanfer, my professor for Marketing Seminar Series. The dynamic duo provides some great insight on how ask someone to be your mentor. Michelle and Robyn recommend the mentor-mentee relationship has to be cultivated organically. This is not a kind of thing where one just pops the question in a spontaneous email on a Tuesday afternoon. This type of relationship needs time to develop. Michelle also poses questions, such as “does this person get motivated and inspired by helping other people?” and “does this person have time for you on that level?” These are the questions that one should ask themselves before considering someone to be their mentor.
These are just a few of the key takeaways I have learned from the wonderful cast of guest speakers. I wish I could add more key takeaways, but if I did that, we would be here all day. These guest speakers had great advice! As someone who is beginning their marketing journey, these tips will always be remembered and appreciated, if I am being honest.
Sharing is Caring
I have learned a lot from all the guest speakers, this semester. But I am a firm believer in the idea of sharing is caring. Here are some of my networking tips:
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: Break out of your shell! It may be a daunting task but putting yourself out there and meeting new people is a great starting point when build your network.
Make it Personal: When connecting with a person of interest on LinkedIn, make it personal! There is an option to make a personal invite. This will let the user customize a personal message to that person of interest. It demonstrates effort and that effort is always appreciated.
Lend a Hand: When someone lends a helping hand, the deed will not be forgotten. Relationships are often reciprocal, as the saying goes, “you scratch my back, I will scratch your back.” But it is good to remember that it becomes easier to ask for help when one has helped others.
As Tony Stark said, “part of the journey is the end.” This may be the end of my journey at George Brown College. But this is the beginning of a new chapter of my life as an aspiring marketing professional.