By Lauren Somers
This spring, the Kellstadt Marketing Group (KMG), a graduate student organization at DePaul’s business school, organized its annual KMG Marketing Symposium. The one-day event included an impressive lineup of speakers who provided a range of marketing advice. This year’s theme was “Igniting the Future, Making Your Mark” with a focus on entrepreneurship, recruitment and digital transformation. Speakers from a variety of different businesses, experience levels and walks of life joined us to share their perspectives on how to ignite the future of marketing – with DePaul students leading the charge.
Rejuvenated by seeing my peers’ faces in person, the symposium was full of insights. Below are three top takeaways that are still ringing in my marketing ears:
1. The future of marketing is female.
Joined by the extremely talented and enlightening keynote speaker Bridget Brennan, CEO and founder of the Female Factor, we heard and discussed the rising economic and buying power of women. More than 40% of households with kids have a mom who is the primary or only caregiver; 51% of wealth is held by women in today’s market; and 52% of managers are women. The female buyer was once a secondary market, but today, women’s buying power must be valued and captured in every advertising campaign – and this doesn’t just mean making products pink.
2. Becoming a successful entrepreneur has many pathways. Your path can be unique too.
Next, we heard from a panel of DePaul entrepreneurs with businesses ranging from Indian pizza restaurants to Latin American-focused beauty brands. Although the panelists came from different backgrounds and had different reasons for becoming self-employed entrepreneurs, they all shared a similar set of tools for success.
The first tool is your gut. The clear consensus from the entrepreneurship panel was to trust your gut and follow your business instincts. You paid for a DePaul degree for a reason!
The second tool is your unique background and experiences. For Jay Patel, founder of Moti Café and Masala Pizza Company, he found success through his targeted experiences working at different cafes and restaurants, such as Starbucks and Chipotle. Jay used his experiences to differentiate himself from his competitors by learning from workers on the frontlines to build a business model that starts with the customer.
Finally, the panel said that you cannot be a successful entrepreneur without outside help. Entrepreneurs, by nature, want to do it all and do the best. You must accept help from those who offer, and seek it from mentors and peers who can provide gaps in your knowledge. Just like any other job or industry, entrepreneurs must network to be successful.
3. Breaking into the marketing world is tough, but once you know the tricks, you’ll land the gig.
As a former career coach, I found the recruitment panel to be the most interesting. The panel consisted of professional career coaches, like our very own Martin McGovern (BUS ’10), founder of Career Therapy, as well as industry recruiters, such as LinkedIn Senior Recruiter MaryAnn Gibney. From both sides of the career wall, the message was clear: don’t lose yourself in the hiring process. DePaul students offer a unique set of skills and experiences that make us the perfect fit for the right company – you just have to find your fit.
Some good news about the ever-changing career world? Companies are just as clueless as candidates. If two to three years of required experience is holding you back from applying to a job, consider your experience from internships and student organization leadership roles. Does the job description seem the same as the last four you applied to? It probably is, so worry less about checking off every one of those preferred qualification bullets. Just because companies are looking for a unicorn, doesn’t mean they won’t happily train a zebra.
Most importantly, use the resources DePaul provides. Use Vmock, which is available to all Kellstadt students, to edit and tailor your résumé; take advantage of the Alumni Sharing Knowledge Network to connect with the DePaul community; and check Handshake for career fairs and job opportunities. The best way to succeed at finding a marketing job is to use all the tools you have at your disposal to represent yourself clearly to the world.
With another great annual KMG Symposium behind us, I look forward to what is to come for next year’s event and the DePaul students who are igniting the future of marketing.
Lauren Somers graduated from Denison University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, concentrating in data analytics. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Marketing at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and plans to focus on digital marketing. She enjoys living in the Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago with her significant other and her golden retriever, Kai.