The next generation of marketers: social media, side hustles and self-starting
Most marketers enter the industry having studied and busied themselves in a different sector. Raptor’s account executive Olivia Derrington considers the varied trajectories of its students enrolled in the Raptor Academy and their thoughts on landing on marketing.
The students who make up our Raptor Academy come from all walks of life, with an abundance of different experiences and passions. This combination is now regularly found in the next generation of marketeers, ready to bring their unique voices to the table. Our academy acts as an opportunity for students to gain experience in marketing and is informed by the students’ unique interests. We caught up with this year’s student academy team – Alex, Seb and Emma – to discuss the importance of social media, side hustles and self-starting in the ever-changing marketing space.
For many of the students, marketing wasn’t their first career choice. Like numerous school-age children, their aspirations ranged from footballing to acting and even stretched to archeology. As Emma explains, by age 12, archeology had unquestionably become her goal. However, since then she’s moved into travel and tourism, and now finds herself in marketing. For Alex and Seb, trying their hand at different careers was always enjoyable, even if this meant moving away from acting for Seb. The students are now members of the Raptor Academy and are exploring the idea of becoming the next generation of marketeers.
Raptor looks at the varied trajectories of students entering the marketing profession
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these career progressions is what happens outside of the marketing space. For Alex, it’s been working at a top restaurant in his university city and working his way up to fuel his passion for good food. Similarly, Emma also works in a restaurant, and buddies up with younger students looking to get started. She keeps up her creative interests by playing the guitar as a result of her musical upbringing and creative background. Seb also grew up in a ‘performer family’ and as well as making music, he creates video montages that reflect his passion for all things travel.
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Alongside lifestyle interests, these students are taking great steps in furthering their careers, often through the conduit of ‘side hustles.’ For many of them, the academy gives them great insight and experience in the world of marketing, even if it’s an area that they might not have investigated before.
Beyond the academy, Emma has her own Etsy business selling custom hair scrunchies and shipping globally. According to her, this side hustle and her wide-ranging job experience have been an empowering way to create a better life for herself, both mentally and financially.
For Seb, the focus has been on his transferable skills, working in legal translation and training alongside West End professionals.
For Alex, the side hustle is in giving back. He regularly fundraises for charity and has volunteered in hospitals in the Dominican Republic. This charity-focused aspect of his life is something he’s keen to expand upon.
For many of the students, social media has become one of their most powerful tools, both in and around their current goals. Emma points out that she wouldn’t have found the Raptor Academy without it. LinkedIn is cited as an effective resource for building networks and making those in higher-up positions both aspirational and more accessible. For Alex, it also allows him to create a detailed portfolio, which he wouldn’t have the opportunity to do on a regular CV.
However, all three students appreciate the darker side of social media. While many of today’s new marketeers have grown up with YouTube and Tumblr (and are therefore tech-savvy), social media is also acknowledged as a ‘highlight reel’ of a user’s life. As Seb succinctly puts it: “We are able to see through it.”
In terms of the students’ plans post-university, the focus is very much on the younger generation. Seb, Alex and Emma all mentioned their desire to focus on and inspire gen Z. Seb explored the difficulties of being able to get a ‘foot in the door’ in the marketing space, citing the Raptor Academy as a great opportunity to learn the ropes in a diverse environment. In terms of future employers, these marketeers are looking for employers who are understanding and compassionate. According to them, the jump from university to professional spaces can be daunting, so compassion is key.
It’s not surprising that there was also a resounding desire for progression in their future roles. In essence, employers should want them to succeed. As to hiring those from gen Z, these students mentioned the importance of having a diverse workforce and making selections based on personality and not just a CV. For Alex, this is extremely important. He posits the idea that every individual brings something completely original to the table, so hiring in a diverse manner allows for new answers to old questions.
The next generation of marketeers is bringing its A-game. With a huge variety of experiences under their belt, they’re ready to make their mark, using social media and their ever-growing desire to inspire. Side hustles are just one of the many inventive ways that these marketeers are getting started, utilizing the resources around them.
Rising up through the next generation are the marketeers of tomorrow – and the future looks bright.
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