A Marketing Mind in a Digital World
Leaving your comfort zone for unfamiliar territory is well worth the risk.
Are you about to graduate and facing the “What’s next?” question? Or have you already started your career but find yourself at a crossroads of continuing with what is familiar or trying something new? Whoever you are, it might not feel like it right now, but from my perspective you’re in the best place with nothing to lose and everything to gain. And I have one piece of advice: take a chance on the unknown.
When I began a Functional Trainee Program at adidas I had the choice to work within product marketing or digital brand commerce. While I had a solid foundation in marketing from a prior internship, digital brand commerce was a giant question mark. Sure, the word digital is everywhere and a hot topic within every industry. But what actually is it?
Digital commerce in a nutshell
“Today, companies and consumers are in constant contact with varied and dynamic touchpoints via the digital experience.”
Let’s put it this way. Historically, consumer contact was very planned and involved a direct visit to a brick-and-mortar shop with window displays, dressing rooms, sales teams and cash registers to make a final purchase; time-consuming and generic. Today, companies and consumers are in constant contact with varied and dynamic touchpoints via the digital experience, be it a quick glance at a phone, from home on a computer or on a tablet while in transit. And the experience is highly personalized, thanks to digital experts like, well, me. Though, at the time when I chose the path of digital rather than the familiar one of product marketing, I was anything but an expert and actually I’m still learning each day.
Removing misconceptions reaps rewards
I have always been interested in media, communications, marketing and a good cup of coffee. Talking about digital used to mean simply being an enthusiastic user of all lifestyle gadgets like smartphones or catchy applications. I never learned how to code nor how to change a light bulb. So why would I choose a traineeship in a digital field? The digital world is run by super-smart, nerdy science and engineering people with complicated software, right?
Nope, not really. Well not completely. I do run reports on analytical tools but, actually that’s the exciting part. Prior to taking this leap into the digital world I had never even heard the names of programs and processes, much less did I know their capabilities and how to interpret their results. That’s what’s made this such a rewarding experience. I‘ve extended my capabilities and can now take data that fascinates digital experts and filter it with my marketing mindset to create a storyline.
Unlocking secrets in a Generation Y world
My curiosity and eagerness to dive into unexplored territory led to my taking the chance on the digital brand traineeship…and I haven’t been disappointed. For a Generation Y like me, it’s like finding the keys that unlock the secrets of the world I’ve grown up around. I’m learning about and working with the different analytic tools within MicroStrategy, Google and Adobe. I’m becoming familiar with our digital project management tool Confluence and discovering how to ensure a campaign correctly goes live on digital platforms like our ecom shop or social. Most importantly, I now see digital as a creative collective where I can be a key contributor rather than an outsider.
Working in a digital area doesn’t mean you need to have a computer science degree or be a hardware engineer. After all, tech is only one part of the puzzle. The other pieces are solution-oriented thinking, drive and creativity.
I am soon to be a Mechanical Engineering graduate with long term goal of securing a career in which I can be involved in the design aspects, product development and generally have the opportunity to explore and exercise my creativity.
I felt that given my enthusiasm for design reinforced by my strong technical background would make me a worthy candidate for professional development opportunities however I have had very little luck.
What kind of advice could you give me that could help me become an outstanding candidate?
Firstly all the best for your upcoming graduation!
Keep thriving for your passions and always keep learning. Especially coming straight out of university into a job I can just recommend to be open to trying new things and taking chances. By doing so we grow and we learn a lot about ourselves even though it might be a rough experience. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like the right or best fit from the beginning but it helps to ask yourself “why not” and dive into the unknown. In the end you’ll always come out the other side with your own unique skillset that you created from those experiences.
From a practical first step, I suggest simply researching different industries, positions or companies that you’re interested in (even if you don’t think you’re a direct fit for a role) and reaching out to people who work in those areas. Talk to them. Ask questions. Not only will this help you learn what it takes to be a candidate, but it might inspire you to try something different than what you initially wanted. Plus, it could help open doors that you might not have known existed before.
Best of luck with your future career. I’m sure you’ll find your fit.
Nice post and quite lovely to read how your enthusiasm has grown with your understanding of the digital world :)
I wanted to ask you about a potential future in the company for I have a passion to work and grow.
During the beginning of this summer, I was contacted via a recruiter from Adidas to join the Campus IT program 2017 (starts this Oct.), I made it to the final round but sadly I was not selected.
I have been trying to keep my eye open for more such opportunities from Adidas, but I have not yet placed my finger on one.
The field you are working really appeals to me and I am looking for an international outlet where to constantly grow and learn.
If you would be so kind to tell me if there will be coming other such opportunities as was the IT program in the near future I would really appreciate it :).
I will leave my LinkedIn also at the bottom, so if you have the time and would be kind, you can check out, if maybe I would be even a fit for your team :D
Sander Eerik Sandrak
we at adidas are always looking for talent in Digital. Check out careers.adidas-group.com and click on 'All Job Openings'. Here you can filter by department and job type.
Good luck and best,