If you’re anything like how I used to be, you might be reading this because you’re trying to get your hands on anything that will land you your first marketing job.
A marketing mentorship can be the difference between you landing a job and being rejected.
However, a lot of us might not even know what a marketing mentorship even is or how they can help us.
This guide will walk you through exactly all you need to know about marketing mentorships and how they can help you in progressing your career.
Whether you’re a university student, someone who has recently graduated, or even someone who just wants to break into the marketing field, a marketing mentorship will provide you with more value than you could ever imagine.
A lot of individuals, myself included, may read something like this and think to themselves, ‘Nice, another money-grabbing scheme taking advantage of people who are serious about progressing their careers’.
First off, fair play to you if you thought something along the lines of that!
You definitely should be careful within this industry, as many people seek to take advantage of the sea of potential marketers who are desperately seeking a job.
However, this article isn’t about that.
My goal is simply to provide you with an objective analysis of the benefits that a marketing mentorship can provide, highlighting the very reasons why I decided to join a marketing mentorship of my own, PetriVentures’s Marketing Mentorship Program.
Hopefully, this article will provide you with clarity regarding the benefits of a marketing mentorship, allowing you to determine if a marketing mentorship is really for you.
What is a Marketing Mentorship?
You’ve probably heard a lot of buzzwords thrown around within the job industry, however the main issue I had was distinguishing between a mentorship and an internship.
The word ‘internship’ is probably the most commonly used buzzword when it comes to people and securing a potential job.
How is a Marketing Mentorship Different to an Internship?
A marketing mentorship can be defined as a program where a mentor shares his or her knowledge in relation to the marketing industry with the mentees they are guiding.
In the Images below, you can see the differences as well as advantages/disadvantages that I identified for a typical marketing mentorship program against a typical internship.
As you can see, they both offer their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your current situation, you may find one option being superior to the other.
However, it can be arguably said that for someone that aspires to progress within their industry, a mentorship is the best option.
With 1 on 1 guidance from a successful marketing professional, a mentorship provides you with the platforms to improve your marketing skills to a level that no other internship could provide. This will expand the potential jobs that you would be competitive for, as you will be equipped with a vast number of skills that you are highly component with.
The same cannot be said for an internship, as you are generally taught the basics for the job while being expected to carry out the same repetitive tasks throughout the internship.
Why You Need More Than a University degree
Over the years that I have been a UNSW marketing student, I was usually met with the same sort of ideology from a lot of the students that I talked to:
‘As long as you know the content at University, you’ll be ready’
‘Keep your grades high and jobs will come knocking’
‘As long as you get your degree you will be fine’
Chances are that you may have heard similar things from your family and friends. Although these things help more than they hurt, unfortunately, these things no longer guarantee you a job in your field.
“It wasn’t until I gained a broader understanding of the marketing industry, where I realised these things were far from the truth.”
As I began my journey, I first noticed that a lot of student societies that were oriented for career development were always promoting the idea of experience and skills, things that I always prioritised less than my grades and completing my degree.
However, as I started to dive further into exploring the job industry, I kept finding more and more evidence that there was a major transition happening with how industries are choosing to employ candidates.
Employers were starting to realise that many of the degrees that people receive were often learning outdated material or things simply that cannot be applied in the real world.
We have to realise that the world we know today is not the same as it was 20-30 years ago. Technology and innovation are advancing the way we function as a society faster than we could have ever imagined.
As a result of this phenomenon, so is the rate that the skills and technology used in the marketing industry are constantly improving and changing.
Adaption is vital.
This is a major issue that universities have when students are studying to go into industries that are constantly reliant on adaptation.
Courses are constantly recycled year after year, with little to no adjustments to take into account the rapid changes that occur within the industry.
Not only that, but a lot of this information is absolutely irrelevant. When I was introduced to PetriVenture’s Marketing Mentorship Program, I was introduced to many commonly used concepts in the marketing world, one of which included the marketing & sales funnel.
To my mentor’s surprise, all the years at university and marketing units I studied, I still never covered one of the most fundamental concepts within marketing.
If you’re a marketing student and don’t recognise the marketing & sales funnel below, don’t be alarmed, you weren’t the only one!
The marketing & sales funnel paints the picture of a customer’s journey when they come into contact with a business.
This funnel starts from the moment the customers learn about the business right up until they become a prospective buyer.
With an effective marketing & sales funnel, businesses are able to convert more customers into buyers as it ensures customers reach the end of the funnel without leaving at an earlier stage in the process.
With such a fundamental concept that is also applied within the real world, I was rather surprised that none of my university courses had touched on the concept.
Slowly I started to realise that my degree and grades weren’t as important as I originally thought.
In fact, I would go as far to say that all this time I spent studying marketing at university felt like a waste of time. The only value it brought was a piece of paper that stated I had a degree in marketing, hardly much of the information I consumed.
Yes, I do admit and agree that having a degree in business or marketing Is still highly demanded by many companies.
However, that was never the issue I was attempting to highlight. My message was not that you should just drop out from your degree and pay someone to teach you the skills.
But my point was that to truly be a competitive marketing candidate, you will have to learn things that universities won’t ever teach you.
What troubled me the most was the little to no practical experience we had in our courses, where we were properly taught skills and how to develop them.
To dive further into the topic of studying marketing at university, I came across Daniel Palmer’s article ‘Studying Marketing at University was a frustrating waste of time’. His article explores the harsh reality of being a marketing student, by exposing the lack of topics and skills that universities teach their students.
Not only do I strongly resonate with his views 4 years later, however the gap between university education and the skills required in the workforce are further expanding.
Why? Well like I established earlier, we are currently in an industry transition where the skills that a candidate can bring to the table is becoming increasingly more valuable than the degree and grades they have achieved.
There truly has never been a better time for an aspiring marketer to get ahead of the competition.
By learning and improving skills through a marketing mentorship, an individual can boost their employability, surpassing the majority of marketing students that have never looked at the industry outside of university education.
The Three Dimensions : Exposure, Skills, Experience
So, you’ve probably heard of Linkedin.
Just like every university student fresh onto the scene, I saw Linkedin as the holy grail of all platforms when it came to careers.
So, I did what probably some of us have at least done once in our life. And that was to look at profiles of all the marketing students that I could find to find out what sort of job I might end up in.
As I kept exploring, I was astounded with a lot of the extracurricular and experiences some of these students had.
Now of course work experience is seen as ‘experience’, however the other benefits It provides you is that it is essentially proof that you have what it takes.
When we think of a job or program an individual takes part in, it exposes us to an environment where our skills are tested and applied in a professional setting.
It wasn’t so much the fact that you worked for a particular company, but the fact you had experience in applying and learning new skills in your particular position.
As I dug deeper into the career paths of others, factors that I previously attributed a lot of value to such as an individual’s grades or the university they studied at began to dwindle in importance.
In the marketing industry, the greatest value you could provide was never really about how good your grades were or what university you graduated from; however, it was about what you knew how to do.
Even if you are someone who doesn’t come from a university background or have any past marketing experience, learning the foundational skills to become an entry level marketer can take you far!
It was then, I truly realised that I had to expand my horizons to make myself more competitive within the marketing industry.
It was also then, that I ran into a new dilemma.
‘How do I get my first marketing job?’
‘How do I get a marketing job with no experience?’
‘What skills are in demand within the marketing industry?
These were the kind of thoughts that scared me.
Not because of the answer, but the fact I had no idea where to begin to look for the answer.
Even when I sat there on job-seeking websites typing in marketing jobs that required no experience, it seemed like they expected an array of skills that I didn’t even know what meant, let alone had the skills required.
Many people are in the exact situation I was in, and the unpleasant truth is that people don’t do anything to get themselves out of it.
This generally leads to dead-end jobs within the industry, or in some cases, working in a job that never required a degree.
It wasn’t until I joined a marketing mentorship program of my own, I had a clearer understanding of the industry and what I saw myself doing.
One of the most fascinating yet concerning things I realised during my time at university is that we spend thousands of dollars on subjects every semester, however so many of us remain clueless on what we want to do.
I was recycling information given to me in assignments and exams, but not once did I gain an understanding of what jobs are sought after within the industry.
Now this necessarily isn’t the university’s fault, but it surprised me how my brain was conditioned to consume information to solely maximise my grades.
I continued to fall deep into the rabbit hole of focusing my time and energy on things that didn’t matter as much as I originally thought.
However, joining a marketing mentorship program provided me with a sense of direction that I was missing for so long.
By now, I’ve probably stated countless times how marketing mentorships help you learn and develop skills that enhance your value as an employee.
However, an understated value of a marketing mentorship program is that you have direct communication with a professional who has a complete understanding of the industry.
After exploring what direction I wanted to head towards in the marketing industry, the program provided me with exposure to new concepts and skills.
And ultimately with these skills, came experience.
How to Find a Marketing Mentorship Program
Finding a Marketing Mentorship program isn’t easy as they aren’t exactly common.
In fact, I was fortunate enough to come across my marketing mentorship by seeing the advertisement for it on a Facebook group.
The truth is, there aren’t many marketing mentorship programs available.
For an individual to be qualified and accomplished enough to charge people for 1 on 1 sessions, you would expect that the mentor has the credentials and knowledge to back it up.
Many individuals who possess knowledge and skills in a highly regarded manner often are already working in their own full-time jobs in the marketing industry.
As a result, finding individuals who are credible enough to be a mentor is rare.
With marketing mentorship programs being a very niche industry, you have to be careful when joining mentorship programs as they are generally run at a smaller scale in comparison to larger companies who may provide internships.
Due to this, many mentorship programs see this niche as a way to earn money through vulnerable and desperate individuals who aren’t more informed.
To ensure that you find a marketing mentorship program that is best for you, here are 3 fundamental steps.
1. Conduct Your Own Background Research
Before taking a plunge into the world of marketing mentorships, you first have to conduct background research into finding out what programs are available and if they are worth your time and money.
A good way to do this is to assess the credentials of the person or company that are offering their services to you to see if they are the real deal. For example, a quick google search of ‘marketing mentorship programs’, AMI’s Emerging Marketers Program will likely be your first search result. Other programs you might be interested in checking out could be mentorcruise, Product Marketing Alliance and Marketing Women Inc.
For our example, we will be analysing AMI’s Emerging Marketers Program. AMI’s website is thoroughly polished and organised, combined with the fact it is the leading search result on the google search engine. These factors alone already make their marketing mentorship likely to be beneficial and reliable. However, further research must be done.
In the image above, it is evident that AMI is showcasing the talent amongst the mentors in their programs as all their mentors are senior marketing professionals who are qualified Certified Practising Marketers.
Not only that, but their mentors have high-end positions such as a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Senior Brand Manager and Marketing Managers. Furthermore, these professionals have these roles in highly regarded companies such as Lion, Pearson and Bendigo Bank.
By ensuring that the mentors in your program are experienced is crucial, as you can be assured that they have been in your shoes when working their way up the corporate ladder, as well as the fact that they will have utmost knowledge within the marketing industry.
As I was sceptical about marketing mentorship programs, it didn’t take me long to change my mind after I realised what he had accomplished.
From a quick browse of Louis’s Linkedin profile, I discovered that he achieved the following things:
· Developed his team as Head of Marketing at WithYouWithMe to be awarded APAC’s fastest-growing technology company in 2019 by Deloitte
· Is a senior contributor in UNSW’s post-graduate marketing program
· Official Content Partner with YouTube, amassing over 2 million views and 6,000 subscribers
These credentials stood out to me.
Not only due to the great nature of his achievements, but it provided me with a sense of trust.
As established earlier, marketing mentorship programs that claimed they would highly likely land me a job within a few months and teach me the skills I required to become a strong candidate was always met with a degree of scepticism.
This new-found trust and admiration inspired me to reach out to Louis to discuss his marketing mentorship program.
2. Find Proven Mentee Results
After researching into marketing mentorship programs that you may have come across, you have likely found one that interests you.
The next step in finding a marketing mentorship program is to find evidence of proven mentee results from the program.
Although someone’s credentials and role within a company might seem impressive, do you really want to invest your time, money and energy into a marketing mentorship that hasn’t proven that it works?
When looking at the results that a mentee has achieved through their marketing mentorship program, you will also want to take into account their overall experience.
Although some marketing mentorship programs may produce results for certain people, if the overall experience and feel of the program doesn’t suit you, there is a chance that you will not get the results you were hoping for.
By referring back to AMI’s Emerging Marketers Program, it is evident that they prioritised showcasing their mentee’s results.
Through including a professional photo, full name and company, AMI is able to further enhance the authenticity and reliability of their marketing mentorship program.
This gives you the option to search for these mentees on professional platforms such as Linkedin, to find further information regarding how their careers progressed after the marketing mentorship program.
Although AMI cannot quantify the results of the outcome of their marketing mentorship program as their target market is more for established professionals that wish to advance their careers, qualitative statements like these provide you with a clear understanding of how a program can give you value.
Understanding what results a mentorship program has produced is extremely important in the process of choosing the right marketing mentorship program for you.
This was the very reason that I was determined to find what results the mentees who have been a part of PetriVenture’s Marketing Mentorship Program had achieved.
As I was browsing through the information regarding the program, I noticed the testimonials from past mentees.
What appealed to me was the authenticity of the mentees as I felt like I was able to relate to them.
Being able to see that they were real people just like myself within a tightly knit Facebook group, it personally made me feel more comfortable in comparison to a more daunting corporate environment.
Most of all, it was evident that the program was actually producing results.
It started to make me question, if these are ordinary people just like myself, what is stopping me from getting my first marketing job?
These were people who were just like me a couple of months ago, itching for their chance to develop their skills and land their first or next marketing job.
After seeing the credentials of the mentor that I would have been signing myself up for along with the results that the program had produced, I was convinced.
The last thing I had to figure out was, what on earth was I going to be learning in a couple of months to allow me to become competitive for marketing jobs?
3. Determine What Value the Program is Giving You
Congrats, you made it to the third and final step!
If you made it this far, chances are that you’re determined to find a marketing mentorship program right for you.
After determining your chosen mentorship program has the credentials and proven results to be an attractive option, it is important to understand what value the program is really giving you.
This can be in the form of skills, knowledge or benefits that come with joining their program, this step just highlights exactly you are paying for.
AMI does a great job in providing what value their program will give to its mentees as it provides a broad overview of what they can expect.
Combined with the testimonials in the previous step, it is evident that AMI has made it clear what value we would get from joining their program.
AMI achieves this by providing mentees all the benefits they will receive by joining this program as seen in the image above.
When I was going through this step myself for PetriVenture’s Marketing Mentorship Program, I was able to easily locate what was covered through referring to the FAQ.
I discovered that the program covered a wide range of skills and topics such as:
· Content Marketing
· Social Media Automation
· Understanding Demand Validation
· Building an Online Profile
· Digital Marketing
· Latest Marketing Software
This provided me with a clear answer of what exactly I would be learning in the program, allowing me to be reassured that I will be learning things relevant to the marketing industry.
As well as what I would be taught, I was provided with the list of benefits that the program had to offer.
After seeing these benefits, the value that I felt the program gave to me was further enhanced.
A professional reference for interviews was a great benefit as having a reference from a highly accomplished professional within the marketing industry would further bolster my applications in comparison to the references I had from irrelevant jobs and other activities.
I felt that access to a private Facebook group was a great addition into the program, as it would allow me to connect with other like-minded individuals and draw inspiration from the progressions they made in their own careers.
What surprised me was that the program also came with lifetime access to Online Creator Institute’s Youtube Education Course for free.
Although it may have seemed like every other sales offer when I read it initially, creating a channel that amassed over 2 million views and 5000 subscribers is no easy feat.
After witnessing how the videos on Louis’s YouTube Channel were professionally crafted and generated passive income combined with the value that the rest of the program offers, it convinced me to go ahead with PetriVenture’s Marketing Mentorship Program.
The final step of determining what value the program is giving you is the most important.
Although the credentials of the mentors in a program and the results it had achieved could leave you impressed, the value the program provides you is what ultimately matters.
Once you realise what value a program has to offer, you will be able to determine if it will facilitate and benefit the progression of your career goals.
After going through these 3 fundamental steps for finding a marketing mentorship program, you will be fully equipped to decide if a program is worth your time, investment and energy.
The Cost of a Marketing Mentorship
We’ve now hopefully chosen a mentorship program that we determined was the best option for our goals.
There is only one last thing in the way:
The cost of the mentorship.
I get it, mentorship programs usually require us to pay a sum of money that we are quite hesitant to let go of.
The best way to approach this situation is to put the money almost all of us have invested into our education into perspective.
For those of us who are domestic students and are fortunate enough to receive Commonwealth support places, the cost of studying is subsided in comparison to international students studying at Australian universities.
A marketing major can be studied at most universities in New South Wales under a 3-year Commerce or Business degree.
However, as most of us do not repay our HECS fees while we are at university, the costs associated with our education is not quite felt.
When we take a closer look, many people will be surprised to realise how much money they are actually spending to study each unit at university.
Commerce students are approximately paying $33,345 over the course of their degree which equates to $1389 per unit.
$1389 x 4 units a semester = $5556
When we put it into perspective, we are paying $5556 for every semester that we are studying at university when each of these courses last for approximately 3 months.
That’s almost $500 every week that is going towards our university education.
Keep in mind, the total figure of $33,345 over 3 years does not take into account any failed subjects or if you are adding an additional degree on top of that.
If you are about to start your commerce degree in 2021, this news only gets worse as Commerce degrees will be increasing from $11,155 annually to $14,500 in 2021.
Although university degrees are still very beneficial in present times, the question that you have to ask yourself is if you are really getting enough value for what you are paying for?
Your answer is most likely going to be no.
The lecturers and international students you have trouble understanding due to language barriers, the irrelevant content you need to memorise only to be forgotten once the exam is over, not learning any practical skills in the current industry… these are all common frustrations that university students share.
Unfortunately, this is the reality.
However, we still pay thousands of dollars every year.
And that’s ok.
Despite feeling like you are overpaying for what you are getting back, a university degree is not something that many people choose to simply give up on or avoid entirely.
And hey, I don’t blame you for it, because we all like having a sense of security and stability in our lives.
However, when you look at the cost associated with the mentorship program, you need to truly assess if you feel like the value you will be getting is worth the money you will be spending.
Although you might be hesitant when investing in things that require a bit more money, make sure to keep in mind how much you are already spending at university.
In my experience, if the mentorship program you have chosen was a reasonable choice, the value you get from it far surpasses the value you receive from university.
The skills, connections and knowledge you receive in a marketing mentorship program is an experience that is not currently offered at university.
Ultimately, the amount of value your chosen mentorship program gives you in comparison to a university is ultimately up for you to decide, which is why I provided you with a 3-step plan to find it out for yourself!
Life After the Mentorship
Looking back, I was surprised the first time I spoke with Louis.
It didn’t feel like I was in a professional conversation with my superior despite all his achievements, but more like a friendly chat with a friend.
After all, this was a mentorship program.
But this concept didn’t get drilled into my brain until I had the chance to experience communicating with him firsthand.
As I began to learn more about Louis, I soon found out that his road to success wasn’t an easy one.
Just like many of us, he too had challenges along the way and some that are still present to this day.
Being diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 27, Louis always had a challenge when it came to traditional learning as his brain didn’t operate the same way as other kids.
He’s even starting a training program to help adults with dyslexia at DyslexiaConsulting.
When others may have used it as an excuse for their shortcomings, Louis adapted to what he was given and achieved things that many would never dream of.
Although it is not easy, Louis also finds the time and compassion to care for his grandmother with Alzheimer’s, as he is a firm believer in adopting responsibility.
By learning all these things about Louis and his positive outlook on life, the marketing mentorship program that I had first signed up for seemed to be deeper than that.
“Louis wasn’t just a mentor for marketing but also a mentor for life”
In reality, our careers are more than just our jobs.
They affect our way of life, our relationships and mental health.
It isn’t easy progressing in things you want to when you have constant obstacles that need to be dealt with.
But having a mentor along the way that understands that life can throw its challenging hurdles at you will make the journey far less bumpy.
Although the mentorship has come to an end for many mentees, Louis still keeps in touch and discusses how they are progressing at their jobs, how to get promotions or just a friendly chat to see how they’re going.
What’s special about a mentorship is not only the skills, knowledge and connections that you gain from the experience but your outlook on the industry and life in general can change quite drastically.
When you listen and learn from the experiences of your mentor, you may change your outlook on the world around you and learn things about yourself that even you didn’t realise.
Maybe you ignited the spark inside you that wants to become an entrepreneur or create a side hustle, maybe you found a new area in marketing that you never thought you had an interest in before, the possibilities are endless.
However, you will never know until you dip your feet into the water.
I hope this marketing mentorship guide has enhanced your understanding of the marketing industry through the eyes of a student that recognised a lack of parallels between marketing jobs and the current education system.
More than that, I hope it has inspired you to look into joining a marketing mentorship program of your own as it truly is a worthwhile experience.
If you are interested in joining or learning more about my own marketing mentorship, make sure to check out PetriVenture’s Marketing Mentorship Program and fill out the the 30 minute career strategy session form.
Wherever your journey takes you, I wish you the best of luck for the future!