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How would you convey a passion for marketing?

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How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 06:07
Greetings... This is my first thread here so I apologize if this isn't the right section. I get lost in all the subforums.

My question is simple, I'm looking to go into marketing at a business school in 2014. I have an engineering background from a top 3 school (in my major) with 5 years work experience in manufacturing.

I REALLY want to get into marketing, but I'm having a hard time explaining to other people WHY. I'm having an even greater time finding a passion or a cause to tie to it. Honestly, I find marketing very interesting. It's something that I always think about when I see a commercial or an ad. I always ask myself questions like, "Why do companies spend so much money for a Super Bowl slot?" or "Whose idea was it to place THAT ad there?" But my explanations don't go much further than that.

I have peers who want to go into other fields like social entrepreneurship, Tech, or IB and they all have compelling stories and reasons for it. I feel like marketing doesn't lends itself to grand stories about how every moment in your life lead to a burning desire to be a Brand Manager.

I could be wrong though. Any suggestions? For example, for a candidate at Kellogg that wants to go into marketing, what would the admissions be looking for as a compelling reason?
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 06:32
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I was in your position this go-around. Being in the military, I was a little annoyed that a lot of interviewers focused on my engineering background and why I wanted to go into marketing.

I think something I failed to do was tie the past to the future - as in what do you do in your current job that will translate to marketing?

For instance, I don't know what kind of engineer you are, but let's say you were a guy who worked on iPhones - you could translate your technical knowledge to the desire to wanting to be the product manager and being responsible for building that product in the market, etc, etc...

This is a good question, because you'll have to address it in most essays, and probably the interview.
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 06:44
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If I were you, I'd try to get some marketing experience. You could either (a) take on additional marketing related responsibilities at work or (b) volunteer to do some marketing work for a non-profit (e.g., you could help create a marketing plan for a charity 5k)

Good luck!
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 07:02
Hey Ohsballer,

What inspired you to be interested in marketing in the first place? You have quite some time (applying for next year's intake) to think about what motivated you so look for the time/situation which brought you to this realization. From there, try and build on how that moment pushed you in the direction and how you decided to go about building on your passion.
The A-ha moment and how you have subsequently built on it is key to show the adcom that this is not a passing fad
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 08:38
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CobraKai wrote:
I was in your position this go-around. Being in the military, I was a little annoyed that a lot of interviewers focused on my engineering background and why I wanted to go into marketing.

I think something I failed to do was tie the past to the future - as in what do you do in your current job that will translate to marketing?

For instance, I don't know what kind of engineer you are, but let's say you were a guy who worked on iPhones - you could translate your technical knowledge to the desire to wanting to be the product manager and being responsible for building that product in the market, etc, etc...

This is a good question, because you'll have to address it in most essays, and probably the interview.


This. Tie your past experiences to your future goals. In my role I was able to focus on situations where I needed to present ideas differently depending on the group of people I was dealing with. First, taking the time to fully understand my target group, figuring out how my idea impacted them, and how they interacted with the outcome, and then positioning my proposal correctly to gain their support.

If you have a passion for marketing/consumer behavior, you'll see it bleed through into every facet of your life/job.
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 06:46
CobraKai wrote:
I was in your position this go-around. Being in the military, I was a little annoyed that a lot of interviewers focused on my engineering background and why I wanted to go into marketing.

I think something I failed to do was tie the past to the future - as in what do you do in your current job that will translate to marketing?

For instance, I don't know what kind of engineer you are, but let's say you were a guy who worked on iPhones - you could translate your technical knowledge to the desire to wanting to be the product manager and being responsible for building that product in the market, etc, etc...

This is a good question, because you'll have to address it in most essays, and probably the interview.


Thanks for the reply. I'm a manufacturing engineer for a large agricultural vehicle company. I work on new products and everything I do is interrelated with the marketing department. Sometimes we butt heads on customer needs vs. assembly needs. But I truly do love the "voice of the customer" aspect that marketing undertakes. The only problem is that I cant' really relate to the customers of our product because I dont have a farm background.

You mentioned that you wished you had been able to tie the past into the future... How successful were you conveying your desires despite not doing that?

issokayireloaded wrote:
Hey Ohsballer,

What inspired you to be interested in marketing in the first place? You have quite some time (applying for next year's intake) to think about what motivated you so look for the time/situation which brought you to this realization. From there, try and build on how that moment pushed you in the direction and how you decided to go about building on your passion.
The A-ha moment and how you have subsequently built on it is key to show the adcom that this is not a passing fad


Thanks. I'm still working on being able to clearly communicate this. I think the answer is a combination of my experience as a consumer + my experience as an engineer in product development + my natural affinity for viral marketing and creative campaigns (they've always interested me).
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 07:35
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ohsballer wrote:
issokayireloaded wrote:
Hey Ohsballer,

What inspired you to be interested in marketing in the first place? You have quite some time (applying for next year's intake) to think about what motivated you so look for the time/situation which brought you to this realization. From there, try and build on how that moment pushed you in the direction and how you decided to go about building on your passion.
The A-ha moment and how you have subsequently built on it is key to show the adcom that this is not a passing fad


Thanks. I'm still working on being able to clearly communicate this. I think the answer is a combination of my experience as a consumer + my experience as an engineer in product development + my natural affinity for viral marketing and creative campaigns (they've always interested me).


Hey ohsballer, I'd play up your passion for marketing and how you always analyze viral marketing campaigns etc. Could be a good thing to mention and talk about. I like OptimisticAppicant's idea of volonteering for some marketing stuff, you might find it really rewarding or you might find that it's not what you expected. Either way it will inspire you to make the best decision for yourself and maybe open a few doors!

Best of luck
-Ron
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 07:40
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ohsballer wrote:
Thanks. I'm still working on being able to clearly communicate this. I think the answer is a combination of my experience as a consumer + my experience as an engineer in product development + my natural affinity for viral marketing and creative campaigns (they've always interested me).


one more crazy rant so it doesnt get lost.

I personally do not have professional marketing experience per say, but I see the world as a marketer. I'm not only speaking in consumerism, but in everyday decisions. Why do people make the decision that they do? When someone explains a problem to me, I try to figure out the perspective of each party involved (this is a good way to drive your wife nuts if she just wants you to listen to her work drama). What was it about that situation that drove the decisions of that person?

Look for situations in your life where you can truly immerse yourself in the mind of another person... Even if it's you. Lets say you enter a drug store... you need aspirin; which product do you choose? Do you go for the low-priced store brand, do you go for the high-priced name brand you're familiar with, or do you select the other new name brand which is on sale that day (but still price higher then the store brand). Did you grab the cheapest brand, a version you're loyal to, or the one that felt like the best deal? How satisfied are you with your purchase? What was the decision process you went through there??
Does this interest you?

If it does interest you, I think you should be able to find other situations in your professional life which follow a similar pattern. You do not need to specifically show a background in marketing to transition into marketing in b-school, you just need to show a passion for it. If you do have a passion for marketing, it should bleed through in your life. It may not come naturally, and you may need to dig for it... but it's just a slightly different way of looking at the world.
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 07:59
Wow. You guys are really freaking helpful! My head is just bursting with ideas now! kudos have been handed out. Thanks!
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 08:15
ohsballer wrote:

You mentioned that you wished you had been able to tie the past into the future... How successful were you conveying your desires despite not doing that?



Good enough to bat .250! (1 admit, 2 WL, 1 get-the-hell-out-of-here)

The route I went was through my personal life - I've volunteered at college fairs representing my alma matter, and I've volunteered to represent my military branch at career fairs (tricking recruiting college kids to be officers). I really emphasized how I didn't have to fake a passion when talking about these organizations, it just naturally came out and it never waned despite talking to alot of people in a given day. My point was I wanted to work for a brand that I belived in and already had a passion for rather "getting passionate" about something because it cuts me a paycheck.

Based on my "field research" three out of four adcoms were not impressed:

Image

In retrospect, I wish I had dug deeper and looked at my military construction management experience. That involved identifying customer requirements, developing a solution (i.e. what the end result of the construction project would be and bidding it out to contractors), then delivering that product on time. Marketing isn't so different: You figure out what's the customer wants/needs, or even better, what they don't know they need, then develop/position the brand/product that'll meet the customer's need, then make it available for public consumption while taking in factors such as promotions, packaging, price points, store placement, etc, etc.

It's not a direct link, but there are certain things I think I could have done better to highligh the transferrability of my experience.
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 08:16
highwyre237 wrote:
ohsballer wrote:
Thanks. I'm still working on being able to clearly communicate this. I think the answer is a combination of my experience as a consumer + my experience as an engineer in product development + my natural affinity for viral marketing and creative campaigns (they've always interested me).


one more crazy rant so it doesnt get lost.

I personally do not have professional marketing experience per say, but I see the world as a marketer. I'm not only speaking in consumerism, but in everyday decisions. Why do people make the decision that they do? When someone explains a problem to me, I try to figure out the perspective of each party involved (this is a good way to drive your wife nuts if she just wants you to listen to her work drama). What was it about that situation that drove the decisions of that person?

Look for situations in your life where you can truly immerse yourself in the mind of another person... Even if it's you. Lets say you enter a drug store... you need aspirin; which product do you choose? Do you go for the low-priced store brand, do you go for the high-priced name brand you're familiar with, or do you select the other new name brand which is on sale that day (but still price higher then the store brand). Did you grab the cheapest brand, a version you're loyal to, or the one that felt like the best deal? How satisfied are you with your purchase? What was the decision process you went through there??
Does this interest you?

If it does interest you, I think you should be able to find other situations in your professional life which follow a similar pattern. You do not need to specifically show a background in marketing to transition into marketing in b-school, you just need to show a passion for it. If you do have a passion for marketing, it should bleed through in your life. It may not come naturally, and you may need to dig for it... but it's just a slightly different way of looking at the world.


I wish I spoke to highwyre before writing my essays.
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Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing? [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 08:31
CobraKai wrote:
ohsballer wrote:

You mentioned that you wished you had been able to tie the past into the future... How successful were you conveying your desires despite not doing that?



Good enough to bat .250! (1 admit, 2 WL, 1 get-the-hell-out-of-here)

The route I went was through my personal life - I've volunteered at college fairs representing my alma matter, and I've volunteered to represent my military branch at career fairs (tricking recruiting college kids to be officers). I really emphasized how I didn't have to fake a passion when talking about these organizations, it just naturally came out and it never waned despite talking to alot of people in a given day. My point was I wanted to work for a brand that I belived in and already had a passion for rather "getting passionate" about something because it cuts me a paycheck.

Based on my "field research" three out of four adcoms were not impressed:

Image

In retrospect, I wish I had dug deeper and looked at my military construction management experience. That involved identifying customer requirements, developing a solution (i.e. what the end result of the construction project would be and bidding it out to contractors), then delivering that product on time. Marketing isn't so different: You figure out what's the customer wants/needs, or even better, what they don't know they need, then develop/position the brand/product that'll meet the customer's need, then make it available for public consumption while taking in factors such as promotions, packaging, price points, store placement, etc, etc.

It's not a direct link, but there are certain things I think I could have done better to highligh the transferrability of my experience.


:shock: Interestingly enough, I do a lot of recruiting within my organization too. I actually have a week long seminar to attend next week. I totally get your point though, when you're recruiting at these career fairs you're standing up all day, tired, and still have to sell your company to students. Matter of fact my whole angle was nearly identical to yours. I figured if I could identify a product I'd market it even better.

Also, I will have the opportunity in August to attend a big marketing expo for my company. I was brought on as a "technical expert" to answer any customer questions. Please believe this experience will go into my essays as well.
Re: How would you convey a passion for marketing?   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2013, 08:31
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