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Melissa Chan
Intern
Like most university students, I entered university not knowing what I wanted to do in the future. Instead of worrying about my future, I took a different approach to my peers. I thought that I would just go with the flow – I would enter into a course that my ATAR score would allow me to and see whether or not I would like it. If I didn’t like it, I’d just change my career path. If I did like it, I would be as happy as Larry. And the results of this easy-going mentality?

My ATAR result allowed me to enter the University of Melbourne which is where I am now. I’m an Arts student entering my final year of my three-year Bachelor degree. My majors are in psychology and criminology, which provides me with much freedom for career pathways when I graduate. Unfortunately for me, I realised that I was passionate about a different area of study (marketing) late in my university life, and worst of all, it didn’t align well with my majors.  

This dilemma started in my first year of study when I enrolled in ‘Principles of Marketing ‘as my breadth subject. A breadth subject is one that exists out of your degree which all University of Melbourne students were required to take. I was immediately drawn to the field of marketing so it was an easy decision for me to take on the breadth track of “the Consumer Mind’.  As I was passionate in psychology and found marketing intriguing, I thought that consumer psychology was perfect for me.

It was not until the end of my second year at university that I realised that pursuing marketing as an Arts student is a difficult plight. Compared to other marketing students who had developed extensive knowledge of marketing theory, I relied on my mere three marketing subject’s repertoire that I had acquired in my breadth studies. Naturally, I knew that I was in an unfavourable position compared to traditional marketing majors.  I was about to give up my dream of being a consumer psychologist when I spoke to a fellow student from my Neuromarketing tutorial who  advised me to apply for marketing internships in order to broaden my marketing knowledge. She said that work experience is more important than academia. And my choice to follow her advice was the greatest thing I have ever done.

I am now in my 5th week of my internship at Marketing Eye, an outsourced marketing firm. There are many reasons as to why I chose Marketing Eye. The most important reason was because it allowed me to explore many facets of the marketing world, not just one. Marketing Eye does not specialise in just public relations or just lead generation, it is a hub of all things creative and marketing related. It was also an outsourced marketing firm, which aligned well with my dream job. I would be able to learn about many industries at once, which was exactly what I wanted. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got the internship!

From drafting marketing strategies, gaining experience in social media, to assisting marketing coordinators with some research at times, I have done a lot and have learned a lot during my time here. The knowledge that I have acquired during this internship are undeniably more applicable to real life application than any marketing theory that I could learn at university.  Hopefully, this knowledge would make it easier for me to transition from university to corporate life, and set me apart from marketing majors in a good way. Deciding to do a marketing internship may have been the best decision I have ever made for my career. Although I still feel disadvantaged from being not a marketing major, my initial doubts about my career pathway have dissipated. I’m now certain as to what I want to do in my future – I want to be a consumer psychologist working at an outsource marketing firm!

Melissa Chan

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