If you’re serious about a career in marketing, one of the best places to start is as a marketing assistant. A position like this puts you at the heart of marketing campaigns, at the right hand of a full-fledged marketing professional. There are few greater ways to learn the ropes and get a healthy start in this career.
What are the educational requirements?
Since there are no specific advanced education requirements to work as a marketing assistant, technically, all you really need is a high school diploma. In general though, most marketing firms will expect their new recruits to have either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree – and having a degree will certainly give you an advantage over your competition.
Many in the marketing world focus their education on business administration, marketing or advertising; however, a degree in communications, journalism, economics, psychology, or even political science could serve you well in this field. Alternately, many aspiring marketing professionals choose instead to take shorter career-specific courses with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
What does the job actually entail?
Essentially, a marketing assistant does just that – assist. You’ll be supporting a marketing professional in all the nitty gritty details of running a marketing campaign. The assistant will be expected to operate at all levels of the marketing machine, doing everything from communicating with clients to drafting press releases and arranging promotional events. Some common tasks include:
– Tracking ongoing campaigns and updating marketing calendars as the campaigns progress.
– Relaying messages between the marketing firm and their clients.
– Keeping track of payments, refunds and registration records.
– Entertaining clients and organizing promotional events.
– Writing or drafting articles, company newsletters, announcements, press releases, brochures and online content.
– Organizing market research for specific clients or campaigns.
Obviously, a marketing assistant really has to be a jack-of-all-trades. You’ve got to be ready to jump from one task to the next at a moment’s notice, and be able to handle anything that your marketing manager throws at you.
What’s the working environment like?
Since you’ll be working at a marketing firm, you’ll be operating out of an office setting. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be sitting at a desk all day though. In many cases, you’ll be on your feet most of the day, visiting with clients, attending trade shows, checking on photo shoots, and relaying messages.
It’s a highly dynamic job, and while hours are technically 9-5, you can expect to put in a lot of overtime – especially whenever there are big deadlines approaching. A marketing firm can be a very exciting place to work though, as everyone pulls together on each big campaign.
Of course, as the assistant, you’ll not only carry a lot of responsibility; you’ll also get a fair share of the blame when things go wrong. Some days will be fantastic and exciting, and other days you’ll be handling the drudge chores.
Don’t let this scare you off though. If you can make it as an assistant, you’re setting yourself up for a potentially great career in marketing. If you’re creative, ambitious, driven, and have plenty of energy, if you can deal with pressure, stay organized and work as a strong team player, this may just be the career for you.