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Getting an MBA Job in Marketing

MBA jobs

According to the QS TopMBA.com Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2014/15, 38% of new MBA jobs were in marketing roles, making it the second most common job function after sales and business development. If you’re considering getting an MBA to kickstart or enhance your marketing career, there are many things you can do before you even set foot in a business school.

To learn more getting a marketing job after your MBA, we spoke to David Morris, head of corporate career sectors at London Business School’s career center.

What are the most common marketing job roles for MBA graduates? Do most marketing MBAs end up working in-house or at an agency?

We see MBAs go into both agency roles such as the WPP MBA Fellows Program and in-house positions, usually as part of a leadership program. In-house marketing departments usually look for prior marketing experience. However, more and more MBA leadership programs have marketing as a possible rotation, allowing students to gain experience.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions MBAs have about marketing?

That marketing roles for an MBA will be predominantly focused on data and not the creative aspects.

What can you do to prepare for a marketing career before starting your MBA program?

Students without marketing experience can look to take on project work with a marketing slant. This could be helping a startup with their social media marketing or helping them to understand the data around one of their marketing campaigns. It is also recommended to get an understanding of different marketing tools and platforms, like Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising, and how they work.

Which business school courses best prepare MBAs for a marketing career?

Marketing is a core course on the MBA at London Business School, allowing our students to apply marketing concepts, and prepare and evaluate marketing plans with confidence. Through electives student can advance their understanding of the subject with courses on managing and marketing innovation, brand management, managing channels and Salesforce, and social media and internet marketing.

Which skills do marketing MBAs need to develop in order to get the attention of employers?

For those students who are looking to make a switch into a marketing role, companies are interested in students who have experience of working with large datasets and are able to analyze the numbers and come up with recommendations. Employers will also consider whether students understand internet marketing and how search engines work. Have they experience of using Adwords? Can they explain how it works?

Since digital marketing is always changing, what do MBAs need to do to keep their skills current?

Students can keep their skills fresh by taking on other courses focused on digital marketing such as those run by General Assembly and Startup Institute. At London Business School the Marketing Club runs a series of digital marketing masterclasses where they have industry professionals come to teach practical sessions on search engine optimization, using different social media platforms, and data analysis.

Is the marketing job search different from the search for other types of MBA jobs? If so, how does it differ?

A number of companies will look to hire students through the more traditional methods such as on-campus recruitment for those who have leadership programs. For those companies hiring into direct roles, students should network with individuals in marketing functions to allow them to get more of a perspective of the function and insights into potential roles. The London Business School Marketing Club runs an annual ‘Meet the Marketers’ event where they will have marketing professionals from in-house and agencies come to meet students in a speed networking format to discuss their careers in marketing. Participating companies have included Amazon, Eventbrite, Google, Shell, Uber and WPP.

Do potential employers expect more from marketing job candidates than other types of MBAs when it comes to online presence?

In this day and age, companies in the creative and digital space will expect students to have a strong online presence across a variety of platforms from a strong LinkedIn profile to an active Twitter following. Within marketing, the use of other platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram can also help to demonstrate a creative side and an understanding of how the platforms work.

What advice do you have for MBAs looking to switch to a marketing career?

An understanding of marketing is important for any MBA looking to go into a general management role during their career or start their own business. It is important to learn about the tools and techniques used in the digital marketing world and to keep up to date with these.

 

Written by Nicole Willson

Nicole is the SEO manager of TopMBA.com, as well as a contributing author. She holds a BA in history and sociology, and a master's in library science. Aside from her work for QS, Nicole is a long-time contributing editor and administrator for WikiHow.

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