If you had told me 20 years ago that I would have a career in marketing and creative writing, I would have laughed. Twenty years ago, I knew I wanted to be a doctor or mathematician (far cry from the world of marketing, wouldn’t you say?) I was Biology major in college, and applied and was even wait-listed for several schools, including Tulane University Medical School. So, what happened?
As I waited to get into the field I thought I wanted, I did something radical – I tried my hand at something else. I started by getting into graduate school, and earning my Masters of Public Health degree at Rutgers University. I didn’t go too far off of my path, working alongside medical students in my studies. I was still planning on attending medical school at this junction, but needed to pay off my student loans, so I started working with a health care company. The CEO sat down with me and encouraged me to look at getting a business degree, since I had a lot of the health and science, but not the business background. So, back to school I went, this time achieving my MBA from DePaul University. I started working at the time I started my MBA at another company, and my new boss asked me for a simple request – to write an awards submission for one of their products. I spent so much time in the analytical world, I was happy to try something creative. It turns out, he had a hunch and his hunch was correct – I could write and more importantly, I could write a compelling story.
The creative writing bug had bitten me, and I started to write anything I could. With writing comes visuals, so I started working on ‘ideas’ for a compelling story that included visuals (aka campaigns). The most interesting thing about getting into the marketing piece of things was I could still use my background in math and analytics to see if my campaigns worked (otherwise known as the ROI). Each time I tried at the next piece of the marketing pie, I fell more in love with the profession, much more so than I ever did with the medical field.
Now, as I enter my 12 year as a marketing professional, I can honestly say I am still learning. The great thing about marketing is the industry is changing with new technology and new ways to reach consumers, so you have more to learn as communication channels evolve. But each step on my path guided me to where I am today. If you take risks and try new things, you may be surprised where your passion truly lies.
Written by Jason for themarketinglizard.com