Why I chose my major: Marketing edition

Like many seniors in high school, I was a very hard-working student with a full schedule of AP classes, various extracurricular activities, and a part-time job. I was always told that I would have so many amazing accomplishments in the future. And while I was ready to experience college, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to declare as a major.

My passion in high school was around performing arts, and I was always either at a theater rehearsal or prepping for a speech tournament. My dream was to be a theater major and then naturally go on to win an Oscar — but I knew that I also wanted to learn skills that would lead to job security. With my love of performing (and talking), I figured that business school, specifically marketing, would be my best option to be involved in creative work.

My first thought was that marketing equals advertising, and while that is a part of it, marketing is so much more than that. There are so many different areas of marketing that fit a wide range of skills and people, from individuals who are artistically inclined to those with an affinity for data analysis and everyone in between.

While I am still exploring exactly what I want to do with my marketing degree, I know that I love using social media and creating content to help brands connect with the people they serve. After taking my first marketing course, I knew, without a doubt, that I had made the right decision.

When examining my particular skills, I think marketing made sense for me because my background in acting, which gave me an increased sense of empathy as each role required me to lose myself and step into someone else’s life. Marketers need to be able to put their own judgments aside and listen to understand their audience. They also need the ability to quickly adapt to trends and changing technology.

No matter what industry you are interested in working in, there is a job in marketing that is important to it. For example, my goal is to work in the entertainment industry and marketing is critical in this sphere. To put it in perspective, the cost of marketing makes up at least half of the budget for a film.

My combination of marketing and film and media studies has led to some really amazing opportunities from working at the Cannes Film Festival to interning at America’s Funniest Home Videos. And there are tons of other chances for W. P. Carey students to dive into the different areas of marketing, from sports business and event planning to public relations and sales, and beyond.

If you're undecided or thinking about changing majors, the best thing to do is talk to W. P. Carey career coaches, set up informational interviews to learn about careers in different industries, plan a coffee meeting with upper-division students, and meet professors who teach courses you are interested in. The W. P. Carey School offers many opportunities for career exploration and taking advantage of them will help you learn more about your professional interests and meet people who can offer perspective along the way.

There is no one right path to follow in deciding your major, but it’s important to really take the time to do the research and reflect to make sure that you are doing something that adds value to your life. Pursue your passion — and 30+ business degrees — at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business.

Courtney Robertson

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