All too often, I consider what it means to be “good” at marketing. Certainly there are assessments, from returns on investments to returns on cocktail parties-how many business cards can YOU trick-or-treat for? Exams taken by marketing students seem to test information absorption and retention, not necessarily aptitude for innovation. Group projects can serve as an excellent way to cultivate team-building and ownership, however students are limited to the confines of their own resources and remain unexposed to proven methods of success without a fitting mentor. And unless you’re one of the lucky few to land an internship that trusts your undergraduate rump with more than morning coffee and FedEx runs, you’re dispensable. What threshold must one cross to go from being a good marketing student to a good marketer? How is this distinction made?
Until neophyte-seeking-experience wants to write us a cover letter for why he or she is worthy of our morning coffee and Fed-Ex runs, the best we can do is engage. What seems to always set someone apart is an enthusiasm reserved, a fervor unleashed for something uncommon or unassuming. We can find our own meaning in marketing, whether it’s generating buzz for the newest and most improved touch gloves that personally delivered you from a frigid and nearly Fruit Ninja-less cab drought on New Years Eve, or you know, doughnuts. Unicycles. The Museum of Tupperware. Whatever may resonate with you, obsess. Be its unofficial ambassador, until someone wants to pay you for it. Update your blog roll, subscribe to trades, Tweet at your parasocial celeb friends, purchase a relevant calendar (word-of-the-day, Wassily Kandinsky, giraffes…it’s YOUR totem!) If we can apply what we study to what we believe in, it’ll be all the easier to apply what we believe in to what we study. Passion, inspiration, excitement…find yours, shine on.