Not going to uni? Make your mark in marketing. Now

Good news. You don’t have to go to uni and get a degree to be in the running for a career in marketing.

By the time I left school at 17 with three A-levels, I felt I’d done enough studying. Uni was an option but, like many of my peers and family members before me, I was hungry to start work – and start earning money.

I’d already decided that I wanted to work in advertising and marketing, so my first step was to take up work placements in local advertising agencies and newspapers. It was fast paced, challenging and fun. I knew it was for me.

I was also convinced that the qualities I brought to those placements- determination, drive and tenacity – would stand me in just as good stead as a university degree. And so it has proved since.

Having got a taste of the world I wanted to progress in I took a nine-month diploma at Watford College to boost my chances of landing a role at one of the big players in the industry.

This led to me getting my first ‘proper’ job in advertising. It was at Saatchi and Saatchi and, this being the mid-eighties, ad agencies didn’t get much bigger or well-known than my new employer.

A lot of Saatchi and Saatchi’s work from the 80s is still regarded as iconic. One of the reasons for this (as well as hiring great creative talent) is that they promoted a “Nothing is Impossible” mentality.

That simple phrase has stuck with me. The career I wanted was possible even though I didn’t follow the well-trodden path of university followed by an agency’s graduate intake scheme or an internship.

The same is true for you, too. Today my company, The Industry Club is launching Marketing Debuts, two apprenticeship schemes for school leavers aged 18 – 25.

One’s in project management and the other’s in social media and community management. They’re highly relevant, packed full of transferrable skills, which you’ll learn from expert industry trainers, and will equip to work in a modern creative communications agency or the in-house marketing department of a major brand.

They start in January 2021 and you’ll earn at least £18k per year from day one.

The best bit is that your personal attributes matter more for this opportunity than what grades you got at school. If you’re creative, curious and want to know more, go here and start planning your application now.

About The Author

About The Author

Melissa Smith is the founder and managing director of The Industry Club, which provides recruitment, executive search and training for the creative communications industry. The company’s training and networking events include workshops, bespoke in-house training and breakfast briefings.

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