Now more than ever, young people across the UK are pursuing a career in the marketing and e-commerce fields. Whether undergraduate, graduate or post graduate, finding the right educational opportunity is key to finding success in these highly competitive fields.
So exactly how does one find the means to differentiate oneself in this decidedly aggressive market? A lot of Universities across the UK offer these marketing and e-commerce programs, some more robust in certain areas of the discipline than others, while a few will even give the option of customized programs, but is choosing the right school enough? And once one does decide on a higher educational institution, how does one determine exactly which program path to follow? With so many variations in the marketing and e-commerce fields, how does a student decide which of these programs will be just the perfect match to his or her skill set and, upon completion of the program, what will send the new graduate soaring to great heights of the career world?
One key factor of selecting the right undergrad, graduate or postgraduate program, is finding out how much exposure one will have to actual corporations and businesses in the area. Are there internship programs or special projects that students in this field can complete for these companies to add that extra enhancement to a resume or CV, and possibly a professional reference when it comes time for the job search?
Most burgeoning programs in the field of marketing and e-commence require some element of real-life experience as part of the qualification for matriculation process. These authentic experiences accomplish several things for the students and companies.
1) It is an excellent way of determining if one has indeed chosen the best career path.
2) One gains valuable exposure to the nuances of everyday work life that are not part of the typical college syllabi.
3) For the student, he or she is given the opportunity to hone in on a unique skill set.
The company, in turn, gets a fresh young, creative perspective from an individual who is more than eager to please. After all, one’s grade, and future, may depend upon it.
Several universities across the UK have already integrated this genuine experience model into the curriculum by offering voluntary work placement paradigm where students have the option to complete actual work for a company, which is then reviewed for a part of the grade.
This process includes the student meeting with their perspective client (the cooperating business) to assess a particular need and outline the tasks to be completed.
Following this meeting, the student produces a detailed plan which must be formally presented to the client, following the same guidelines and professional procedures as if proposing a bid for a task requested by the company.
Through the recently commenced Knowledge Transfer Partnership program, a Government funded initiative, more companies are approaching universities to operate similar programs. In many cases, the company is looking to make a strategic change, but lacks the financial resources to fully staff or outsource the project. The university then takes on the task of recruiting a former or current graduate student to lead the company’s initiative. The benefits of the initiative are mutual on all fronts, yet it is the student who gains an authentic experience, who benefits most in terms of his or her marketability in the workforce.