Getting the Most out of Your Marketing Degree

By: Jess Bauman 

College seems to last an eternity until suddenly it will be your last quarter. So be present and take advantage of every opportunity while you can because you will be left stunned unsure of where all the time has gone. College can provide you with the building blocks to be successful in life and in your future career, but only if you apply yourself. 

Suggestion 1: Become a T-Marketer

When studying a broad major like marketing, you will leave college with a general understanding about your major. You will need to become a t-marketer to develop from this framework and find your specialty. 

The horizontal of the “T” is the broad knowledge about marketing – what you are familiar with but not an expert in. The vertical of the “T” shows the depth of knowledge in one subject. Having general knowledge lets you understand each part of the marketing strategy, but deep knowledge in one section means you can shine in that facet with winning strategies compared to other marketers. 

To determine out where your vertical line starts, think about what you are an expert in. “If you aren’t already an expert (or you want to tune up your skills), take a few courses on your core discipline. You want to layer trainings, certifications, and continuous learning to make sure that your expertise keeps up with changes on the industry” Digital Marketer

Lets say you want to be an expert in Data Analytics… consider taking a couple classes or even striving for the minor. Aside from coursework, there are many online resources to supplement your learning as well. For example… Google Analytics

Here is a list of the 15 best digital marketing certifications to obtain in 2020. 

Suggestion 2: Add a Minor 

Aside from the courses required for the Marketing Major, Western offers other courses that can add to your skillset. If you are feeling ambitious go for a minor.  

Minors often paired with a marketing degree:

Other useful minors: 

Take a look at some of the other minors!  Maybe one will stand out and deem itself useful.  

If you don’t want to complete a full minor, still look up the courses they require. Use them for elective classes. That way you are still getting some of the value from those minors without having to make a huge time commitment.   

Examples of classes:

  • CSCI 141 – Computer Programming (HTML) 

  • COMM 331 – Advanced public speaking  

  • LDST 201 – Leading with Emotional Intelligence  

  • PSY 240 – Social Psychology  

 Suggestion 3: Extracurricular Activities

Another way to expand your knowledge and marketing experience is by joining clubs or participating in events. Clubs are a way to create community, network, and an opportunity to learn from your fellow marketing students. If nothing else -- think of them as resume builders.  

A few clubs to look at:  

Some of these clubs do require a membership. Each of these clubs hosts events throughout the year that are designed to help students grow as business professionals.  

For example… SMA holds an annual case competition where students compete and present to a panel of judges from companies such as Microsoft, New Engen, WWU faculty, and other local marketing firms. The event involves networking opportunities with the judges. It's a perfect resume booster and provides participants with real life experience. This event has even provided students with future jobs.  

Suggestion 4: Become a Fan of Business

Bill Miller, the Innovation and Sales professor here at Western once said, “Be a fan of business”. Just like people follow sports teams, or their favorite music artists, marketers should follow their favorite businesses. This means knowing who the CEO is, what the business is currently doing, who their competition is, etc. Follow business and be a fan by: 

Doing the above activities helps you connect real-life scenarios to your general knowledge of marketing. Concepts that you learn in class will aid you only if you can apply them. Following companies' actions can activate your critical thinking about why they decided to do what they did, and whether or not you think it was a good choice. This kind of thinking is essential in becoming a good marketer. 


Make use of your time now; do not make the mistake so many college students do by just going through the motions. The information in this article is only the starting point for the endless number of opportunities. So, pull out a laptop and start looking, and start participating!