In a world crowded with highly competitive companies pushing for the position of ‘greatest product out there’, marketing has become essential for business success. The psychology behind what gets a product to sell has always fascinated me and has lead me to pursue a career in marketing.
As a recent marketing graduate from Charles Sturt University (CSU), my career is only just beginning. The marketing industry is incredibly large and diverse, providing many opportunities to come up with new ideas and learn new skills. I very much enjoy puzzles and brainstorming creative ways of solving problems. I believe this is a critical attribute of a marketer. As part of my bachelor’s degree, I also completed a joint study in psychology.
I’ve had professional experience working in both the marketing industry and the accounting industry. I’m currently employed by CSU as a marketing assistant, and this role has exposed me to many different aspects of marketing, including events and print, digital and social media.
My internships at Steel Skill, Wodonga Chamber of Commerce and Regent Cinemas Albury have not only allowed me to gain knowledge of the profession, but also helped improve my communication, organisational and interpersonal skills.
CSU has played a really big part in my career development so far. I’ve gained hands-on experience, on-the-job training and even travelled overseas – all without having to move out of my family home in regional New South Wales.
Rebecca’s background – and discovering marketing
I was born in Albury – and I’ve been here ever since! I’m the youngest of four and we’ve all taken very different career paths. I’m the first in my family to go to university. I’ve always been interested in marketing and advertising, and the psychology behind how both disciplines can influence people. Except I never realised this until I was searching through the degrees I could study at university.
Coming up to my final years of high school, I thought I would end up in a career in accounting. I knew I could do it, but I never found it all that exciting. Then when I was researching my career options, I came across marketing. Marketing sounded fun – it sounded interesting and exciting. Since finishing my degree, I’m more excited than ever about where my career can take me. I hope to end up working in a global company where I can live and work all over the world.
Getting into CSU
I was accepted into CSU through an entry program and began studying straight after high school. The main reason I choose CSU was the regional aspect. Growing up in a regional town, I’m very used to a more relaxed environment that cities just don’t have.
CSU also has smaller class sizes, which meant I experienced better student–lecturer relationships, and more engaging classes. I was also told that CSU had a good reputation for business courses, especially due to the focus on practical experience. Another bonus of studying with CSU was that it was in my home town, so I was able to study while living at home, allowing me to save for my future.
Hands-on learning at CSU
Throughout my degree, my classmates and I spent a lot of time researching and developing marketing plans – just as we would in real marketing roles. We also had the opportunity to develop marketing and communications plans for real clients. We met up with them in person, were briefed on the client’s objectives and goals, then we developed marketing strategies according to the needs of the client. Once completed, we presented our campaign pitch to the client in person. These experiences were so valuable because of how real they were. Working to develop an effective strategy that would actually be implemented in-market created a whole new expectation for the project. These client-based projects didn’t make me feel like a student – they made me feel like a professional.
These client-based projects didn’t make me feel like a student – they made me feel like a professional.
Workplace learning at CSU
Throughout my degree, I undertook three work placements at different businesses covering vastly different areas of marketing. I experienced marketing in the entertainment sector at a cinema, business networking at my local chamber of commerce, and marketing in the construction sector at a metal fabrication business.
During each of these placements, I completed tasks involving market research, graphic design and publishing, event management, relationship management, social media and website development.
These placements gave me the opportunity to further explore the many areas of marketing and narrow down which area I enjoy most. The most valuable skills I learned at these placements were developing my organisational and time management skills, as well as taking initiative. These are all soft skills I can take with me wherever I end up. Putting my knowledge into practice also boosted my confidence and my understanding of marketing theory. I was treated as a valuable source of expertise. I wasn’t just learning about marketing, I was helping real businesses grow by applying my own knowledge.
Exploring the world with CSU
At the end of my third year of study, I travelled to Switzerland to take part in a CSU Global Marketing Program. Nine CSU marketing students were accompanied by a CSU academic to undertake a two-week study program in partnership with the FHS St. Gallen – a prestigious university in Switzerland.
The program involved six visits to local organisations and participating in five university classes. Some of the classes were just for us, others were actual university classes with FHS university students. It was really great experiencing a Swiss classroom – it was very different, yet oddly similar. Our classes touched on the Swiss economy, Swiss banking, Swiss culture, positive psychology and marketing. The mixed classes were taught in English as many international students study as the university. Not only were we able to meet Swiss students, but we had the opportunity to mix with students from all over the world.
Making professional connections
The company visits included Schützengarten (beer), Maestrani (chocolate), Forster Rohner Group (textiles), SFS Intec (industrial parts), Plaston Group (plastic cases and air treatment systems) and the Wurth Group (industrial fastening materials).
We were lucky enough to be given a tour of each company. All of these visits were so fascinating and it was great to see how different they all were. Of course, my favourite was the tour of Maestrani, the chocolate factory. It really had a Willy Wonka vibe – it was so much fun.
It’s hard to say what the best part of my experience was – it was all so amazing. As someone who had never been overseas before, this was a very new experience.
The historical culture of Appenzellerland was also so incredible; we were taught how to yodel and make music with just a bowl and a coin. Other than learning about the rich history, culture, language and dialects – the country itself was beautiful. The architecture was so detailed and so different to anything I’ve seen in Australia. The landscapes are also amazing. There were incredible views wherever you stood, and there was something to look at in every direction.
One of the best things I got out of this experience was an incredible sense of achievement and independence. I had to travel alone through foreign countries, speaking foreign languages, and spend two weeks with a group of strangers. But it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I feel so much more confident in doing new things. I met the greatest group of people and I achieved what I never thought I would be able to do.
Follow your passion
If you’re ready to start living your dream career, a CSU degree will create a world of opportunity where you can make a real difference. If you’re looking to pursue a career in marketing, check out our wide range of undergraduate degrees, including the Bachelor of Business (Marketing), Bachelor of Business Studies, Bachelor of Communication and the Bachelor of Communication (Advertising) / Bachelor of Business (Marketing).
Rebecca Kent has recently completed her CSU marketing degree and is patiently waiting to attend her graduation ceremony in December 2019. Bek has already started working in the industry. During her final year of study, she landed a full-time marketing gig in the education sector.