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Social Media Marketing As My Future Career

Trying to decide what your future looks like when you are still a child is hard, experiencing those decisions as an “adult” is even harder. 

As a child, I was no different from others in wanting to be a vet or something that is WAY harder than you believe as a child. I then spent most of my teenage years set on being an Interior Designer, that did not pan out the way I always dreamt of. Now here I am, my 3rd year out of high school with the intention of becoming a Social Media Marketer. This is the story of how I arrived here.

My university experience has been anything but straight forward, through this experience I have learnt many things, positive and negative. But I am coming into my last year with knowledge, strength and durability because of it.

I began my University experience at Victoria University of Wellington studying a Bachelor of Design, I had moved from Palmerston North to Wellington to pursue this degree as it is not available at Massey University in Palmerston North. The move was a big deal for me as I had resided in Palmerston North with my immediate family my entire life, that in itself was a huge learning curve. 

My First Year At University

A Bachelor of Design at Victoria University of Wellington requires you do 4 compulsory first-year papers before you can move on and specialise in your second year.

These papers, in summary, were drawing, graphic design, the theory of design and hard materials design. The only paper that I had a good grasp on before studying was the theory paper as that was the area I wanted to specialise in. I felt that I was not going to be creative enough to pass the other courses. To my surprise I quickly realised I was far more creative then I originally believed.

I suspect the many years of structured NCEA courses gave me very little free reign in being creative and now I had the opportunity to be as creative as I wished and created all that I wished. 

Practically, I learnt how to use various Adobe software’s different drawings techniques and how to operate skill saws and various other machinery that you would find in a wood workshop. I also learnt how to confidently and successfully present my design work to a small group and lecturers, this was extremely intimidating for me as I have always struggled with confidence and having something I created be critiqued in front of my peers was something of a nightmare to me.

I knew that I had to present to pass so it was just another learning curve I had to face and with each presentation, I gained confidence. 

Moving Home

At the end of 2018, I decided that I much preferred Palmerston North as a place to live whilst studying and also decided that I did not want to pursue design as a career but rather as a hobby. I had been doing a few different business papers at Victoria University of Wellington, including marketing. I decided that a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing was a more viable and enjoyable career option for me, an option that still gives me the opportunity to be creative as well as academic in my work. 

Looking back I believe the main things I learnt outside of my discipline were about myself. I learnt that I could do anything I put my mind to and no one was actually there to judge me as I believed. I also learnt that the world is a lot bigger and a lot scarier than you imagine it to be whilst you are in the education system where you, often, do not have a chance to think or act for yourself but also that we are capable of fitting into that world with just a little push and determination.

Lastly, I learnt that Palmerston North is not as bad as I once thought it to be in high school, it is actually remarkably tranquil and I’m glad about the decision I made to come back.

Back To Business

Going into my second year at Massey University in Palmerston North was again a big learning curve as I had to navigate a completely different University whilst studying a different degree.

As I began studying business I struggled with the fact that I had changed degrees from something so full of practical assessments and creativity back to rigid compulsory business papers that I had no interest in whatsoever. These included finance, accounting and economics which I initially believed I would struggle with as I had not done maths or anything of the sort for about 3 years, but I once again proved to myself that I am more capable than I originally thought. 

Although I had to complete these papers I also began my second year marketing papers which were all around different areas of marketing, such as marketing research, social media marketing and consumer behaviour, which helped me to decide what I was wanting to specialise in.

I ended up learning a lot over this year in terms of disciplines as I was doing such a wide variety of papers, copious things that I have already abandoned but also copious things that interested me and stuck in my mind. Along with disciplinary learning, the main thing that unearthed and learnt was what I wanted to pursue as a career in a more specialised minor, which is Social Media Marketing.

Why I Made My Decision

I chose Social Media Marketing because of the modern, creative and open discipline it is. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and expressive whilst also providing a stable and intellectual element, the best of both worlds. Along with that, I also grew up with social media and it’s development into the platforms we know and trust today such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I have seen them evolve into the perfect marketing tools that they now exist as and can not what to see how they even further develop. 

All of the various changes for me were stressful and at times a nuisance as I have always been organised and rigid in my routine and plans, but it definitely taught me to be more flexible and understanding of myself. Thankfully for me many of my first-year design courses transferred over to Massey as electives so that, with the help of a summer paper, I was not put any time behind my original graduation point. All in all, I learnt equally as much in terms of disciplinary knowledge as I did about myself, my needs, my wants and my future path.

Choosing My Internship

I chose to do an internship through Massey University as it was far too valuable of an opportunity to pass up. Getting my foot in the door and experiencing a professional environment will give me that little push I need to enter the corporate environment myself after my studies. Being able to gain professional experience in the area of expertise I want to explore is an opportunity to figure out if Marketing is something I want to do in the long haul, and if so gives me the tools to be able to enter a job and know more about this area, practically, than other graduates. 

Along with giving me a boost on my CV I know that I will also gain experience and skills in many areas as Rocket Fuel Design, involves itself in many different areas of expertise, such as design, marketing, photography, website creation, etc.

Rocket Fuel Design was the organisation that I wanted to do my internship with as all of these areas are of great interest to me and most of these areas I have knowledge in that I would like to further expand.

Lainey is the most amazing “host” I could have asked for and her story of starting Rocket Fuel Design is as inspiring as it gets. I hope that one day, as my story continues, I too will be able to help and inspire.

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