Dubs intern Caitlin is a stone’s throw from finishing her marketing degree, so we asked her to tell us if the dream matches the reality.
What is it really like to work in content marketing? As someone fresh out of university and eager to start their career in the ambiguous marketing arena, let me tell you, university only prepares you on a very minute scale.
Anyone starting out expects to walk into their first real job knowing exactly what they’re doing because they’ve learnt everything there is to know, right? I, on the other hand, was a little more skeptical. After hearing lots of first job horror stories, I had half-prepared myself for failure. Well, maybe not failure, but I was prepared to be thrown in the deep end of unknown territory.
I initially expected my tertiary education to fully prepare me for life outside in the real world but now I find myself wondering how often I will ever need to refer to any of the many theories I had to commit to memory and theorise about at length. Not once is the answer.
I find myself wondering how often I will ever need to refer to any of the many theories I had to commit to memory and theorise about at length. Not once is the answer
Yes, you are taught the basic foundations of the industry and I was lucky to have had a lot of practical based assessments, so I’d like to think I wasn’t completely clueless, but there is still a lot I need to learn.
So, this brings me to the question I’m here to answer: what has my first real job, actually been like so far?
One of the first things I’ve learnt is more a lesson about life and I think it’s something everyone starting out in their career should remember: your expectations aren’t always reality because you never stop learning. But this isn’t to say the reality you walk into is a bad one, it just means it’s possibly different to what you were imagining in your head.
It’s safe to say that since I’ve worked at The Dubs I have a more succinct understanding of content marketing specifically, and can take myself out of the category of those naive people who think all marketing is the same. Content marketing is a discipline unto its own and is flourishing in a world where media has become vital for business’ survival.
As in everything we do, things can go wrong and I have learnt that there’s quite a technical side to the job and a lot goes on behind the scenes that I had no idea about. There is a complex process to effectively developing content strategies that will resonate with the needs of different audiences. I did not learn this at uni.
One of the last things I’ve realised, which also wasn’t pointed out enough at uni, is the difference working with a great team makes. I did my fair share of group work and let’s just say it didn’t always end well. I’ve been pleasantly surprise what a difference working in a positive environment can make and how that alone has taught me a lot so far.
Studying is nothing without practical experience and my first job has been a great learning tool where I’ve gained knowledge I wouldn’t have otherwise. Uni was great, but I have to say, the school of life has been better.