Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with a recent graduate from UConn. Eujin Kim, BUS ’18, currently works at Stella Rising as a SEM coordinator. She speaks a lot about her experience in this role and how her studies in marketing helped her achieve this position.
At your time at UConn, what were some opportunities you’ve taken inside and outside of the classroom that has strengthened your candidacy?
“I had majored in Marketing with a concentration in Digital Marketing and Analytics and a communication minor. Throughout my college career, I knew that I had wanted to specialize in digital marketing, so I had catered my classes toward that goal. I literally must have spent hours looking through different plans of study, course descriptions, and on the school’s schedule builder to create my own plan of study for my 8 semesters at UConn. This definitely strengthened my candidacy for any digital marketing job positions and in interviews. I was able to provide relevant anecdotes to [the interviewer’s] marketing questions. I was also able to understand the jargon and concepts associated with digital marketing because all my classes were about marketing or digital marketing”
“But jobs don’t just look at grades, thank goodness. My grades weren’t awful but [it] definitely wasn’t the best. I was fortunate to have multiple leadership positions by joining Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity and Covenant Chapel Fellowship, a Christian student-run fellowship/organization. Providing relevant experience through my extracurriculars and in my studies strengthened my candidacy.”
How have your expectations of marketing differed from the actual experience?
“I expected marketing to be more than a 9-5 sit down job in a cubicle. And that is somewhat true from my experience, marketing is much [laxer] compared to the corporate world. Dress codes are more relaxed, open spaces are more common than closed cubicles. I expected that I would hate the 9-5 work life but now I can say that leaving at 5 every day means that there weren’t sudden deliverables at work and forced me to leave later in the evening.
What were some of your biggest struggles within your journey?
“My biggest struggle was definitely the job-hunting process. It is mentally draining and at times it was emotionally damaging. Every time I got a rejection letter, or when I did not get a callback, or even applying for jobs and then hoping that I get some response. The entire process is a waiting game and then when I did make it to the interview, I had to wait even more and then sometimes still I didn’t hear back from companies.”
“I feel like I did my best with my situation. If there was something I could have done better, it was my cover letter. Throughout the job-hunting process, my cover letter definitely took a hit. As I continued to apply to multiple jobs the more of a hassle it was to change my cover letter constantly.”
What is some advice you could give to any aspiring marketing specialists?
“My biggest advice would be to try and get an internship during the summer. It will be so much more helpful to you when you start applying to jobs. If internships are not an option then really try to join an organization on campus and get involved so that you can get a marketing-related position that way. The goal is to gain as much experience whether it’s in school through class projects, or through a student organization, anything to prove to the hiring manager that you are worth their time to train. As much as I learned from UConn, it is nothing compared to the rate I’m learning at my job. As an entry-level employee, your company has no choice but to train and teach you. No one expects you to know how to do everything at the company as a first-time employee in a junior-level job. They know that half the courses you took in college were general education classes. The goal is to show them that you are worth their time to teach and train.”
If I had to take away one thing from this interview is that as much as her classes helped her in her path, she also put in work outside of classes improving her resume and buffing out her experiences. Her leadership roles and involvement in different organizations on campus were an important attribute of her applications.