How did you get into marketing?

by Adam Jones

I didn't take the traditional route into marketing. If there is such a thing.

Having studied Maths, Physics, IT and Computing at A-level, I enrolled upon a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol.

From year one - actually, from month one - I realised that engineering wasn't the career for me. I was interested in the “big picture stuff”, such as the technology behind cars and aeroplanes, but when it came to using complex formulae to calculate the temperature and pressure of steam passing through a pipe... I was somewhat less enthusiastic.

Despite this, I managed to complete the course and, upon graduation, promptly decided that I needed to set off in a totally new direction. I needed to branch out from my then very science-based range of qualifications.

That new direction proved to be an MA in Journalism at the University of the West of England. I figured that the course sounded interesting and that my writing wasn't too bad, so perhaps this course would lead me to my ideal career...

It did. But not in the way I expected. It was one particular lecture on my Journalism course that changed my career path once again. We spent a lesson looking at the 'other side of journalism': PR.

By this time, I was looking for job opportunities and this particular lecture led me to look into PR. The result was my first full-time role, as a PR and Marketing Assistant for a local tourist attraction.

Note the “and Marketing” bit of that job title. I had no previous marketing qualifications, knowledge or experience, but I found myself working within a Marketing team. My manager had earned CIM qualifications and highly recommended them, I learned more about marketing, and eventually studied for a CIM Professional Diploma. My career in marketing had finally begun.

Looking back, I realise how fortunate I was that all of this came together. And how marketing can benefit from people with diverse backgrounds and qualifications.

I now work in PR and Marketing for a science and engineering museum. It's a role that requires an understanding of journalism and the media, and marketing expertise developed through CIM qualifications and CPD. I even get to work in engineering... though only the big picture stuff. No complex formulae required.

How did your marketing career begin? Is there a typical route into marketing? Join the discussion in the CIM South West LinkedIn group.