I have been so lucky in recent years, I have had both the privilege of being selected for the IDM Top Student summer scholarship, and more recently, I have had the honour of being the IDM Scholar taking part in the Marketing Academy where they select the ‘Top 30 UK marketing talent of 2013’ to help generate future leaders. I have gained so much from this experience that I wanted to share it with you, here are my top tips that I have learnt can accelerate your career very quickly.
1. Set goals: Without goals you have very little direction. I have found that writing a list at the start of the year and checking in regularly makes me focused and directed on deliverable outcomes. Whether it is to study or to meet someone you admire in your industry, or even to work towards starting your own business, write it down. By doing so it gives it power.
2. Surround yourself with experts: In life we gain so much from the company that we keep; by being surrounded by success stories you will start to feel that anything is possible.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask: Every expert has their own story and learning along the way. When you have the fortune to meet successful people make sure that you ask those questions that you need answering. We all encounter stumbling blocks, but by learning from the best how they made it to the top and dealt with challenges effectively, you are left feeling empowered.
4. Practise Lifelong learning: The marketing & business world moves so quickly that it can feel overwhelming to absorb all of the new developments. By taking responsibility for your own learning from leading practitioners and academics, you will be surprised by how much you can discover in a short period of time. It also ensures that you are working to best practice.
5. Include experiential learning: Alongside academic study it is critically important to complement it with ‘hands on’ learning. Seek out every opportunity to learn various aspects of marketing in different settings.
6. Listen to others: Recently, I learnt that my view of my own communication skills was not aligned with reality! We can all develop and revise our communication skills and by learning to be an ‘active listener’ you will become a much wiser and respected person.
7. Allow yourself to be coached: Sometimes we need a bit of guidance on ‘the next step’ or we may just need to develop our inner confidence during changing times. The support of my coach Annie Bennett, through the Marketing Academy, has helped me to improve both my self confidence and my planning skills. Allow yourself to accept help as it is the best way to grow.
8. Appreciate your network: Always try to recognize and appreciate the gift of time and learning that others give to you. Aside from the mentors, the other colleagues that I have met through these unique experiences are so inspiring. You can learn so much from others going through similar things at the same time.
9. Give back: When you are blessed in life by wonderful experiences and opportunities it is important to give back to the community. Charity work is vital not just for the cause, but for your own personal growth and development.
10. Seek unique opportunities: Finally, although I do feel lucky to have been involved in such amazing experiences, there is some important work to be done in seeking out opportunities and grabbing them with both hands! It is amazing how the stars can align when you know what you want and keep your eyes open!
Both as a Summer School student at the IDM and as a scholar on The Marketing Academy I have had 2 unique experiences that are already starting to inspire and direct my career to the next level. Follow your dreams as you don’t know where they can take you!
By Ann-Marie Ivanova M IDM Marketing Academy Scholar, 2013
Nominations are now open for The Marketing Academy Scholarship 2014 Programme. For more information and how to nominate please click here.