Career Resources

Advertising and Marketing

Access: 

Advertising Career Paths

Marketing Career Paths

Recruiting Timelines

CCE Resources

Columbia Resources

External Resources

Advertising and Marketing Overview

While there can be overlap in responsibilities and goals of advertising and marketing, the two professions have significant differences and their names are not synonymous. Marketing is defined as “the systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products,” while advertising is “the paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.” In essence, advertising is one component of a marketing process. (ABOUT.COM)

In addition to advertising, other parts of the marketing process include market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement. More specifically, a marketer may plan, direct, or coordinate marketing policies and programs, such as determining the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors, and identify potential customers. They may also develop pricing strategies with the goal of maximizing the firm's profits or share of the market while ensuring the firm's customers are satisfied, or oversee product development or monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services. (ONET)

Advertising Career Paths

Professionals in the advertising field often work for an agency that serves clients in a range of industries. Specific roles in advertising agencies typically fall within four tracks: account management, account planning, creative, and media.

  •          Account management jobs are primarily administrative, involve working directly with clients, developing strategy, and at higher levels involve managing people. Typical career paths inside the account management departments at ad agencies look like this: administrative assistant/account coordinator to account executive to account manager to account supervisor to management supervisor to vice president to director. Skill sets include strong social skills and management skills, organizational skills (multitasking is common) and an understanding of marketing.
  •          Account planners try to understand the consumer in order to offer better services to clients. They devise strategy for clients and conduct quantitative and qualitative research.  Typical career paths are junior account planner to senior account planner to vice president to director. Account planners need to understand psychology and marketing and have strong interpersonal and analytical skills.
  •          The creative team turns a client’s strategy into a concept that can be made into a finished ad. People in these roles must have strong communication skills, lots of fresh ideas and ability to take criticism. A typical career path is junior copywriter to senior copyrighter or junior art director to senior art director to creative director.
  •          Media is in charge of putting ads where they will most effectively reach a target market. The team has two functions: planning and buying. A typical career path is media assistant, assistant media planner/buyer, senior media planner/buyer, media supervisor, vice president to director. Skills include analytical skills, being detail-oriented and understanding of marketing.

Advertisers may also work in-house in the advertising or communications department of an organization. In this role, they are likely to conceptualize, plan and implement advertising campaigns, oftentimes working in tandem with an outside marketing agency.

Marketing Career Paths

Marketer’s roles depend on the sector. For example, the consumer packaged goods sector works with products seen on store shelves. A typical career path is market research analyst, to brand manager, to VP of marketing. In the law and financial services sector, a typical career path is marketing assistant, to marketing manager, to chief marketing officer. Nonprofits generally hire marketers with fund development experience, and high tech companies look for candidates who can explain technical terms. Marketing firms look for candidates with strong quantitative skills, fluency with social media, creativity, good interpersonal and communication skills, ability to multitask and strong research skills. Market and survey researcher positions are good options for students with masters and PhD degrees.

Recruiting Timelines

The large majority of hiring for marketing and advertising positions occurs in the Spring, and oftentimes, full-time openings occur on an “as needed” basis. In other words, they are only filled when a position opens up, rather than filled months in advance like other industries. Like with all industries, however, top firms receive a huge number of applications so the earlier you submit your application, the better off you will be. Many top advertising and marketing firms begin accepting internship applications as early as February. It is essential to continue to grow and maintain your network in these fields, as many jobs will be filled through referrals or may not be advertised at all. 

CCE Resources

  • LionSHARE: Large advertising/marketing firms that have recruited Columbia candidates through LionSHARE include Ogilvy, Digitas, Publicis and Universal McCann. Smaller firms include Allied Integrated Marketing, Collective Media, and Endai Worldwide. Organizations that have recruited Columbia candidates to work on their in-house marketing/advertising teams include Penguin Publishing, L’Oreal, Fisher-Price and Samsung Electronics.
  • CCE Sponsored Internships: CCE hosts several spring and summer internships in a variety of fields. Check out programs like Columbia Arts Experience, Columbia Communities in Action, Virtual Internship Program, Columbia College Alumni-Sponsored Student Internship Program, and the Columbia Experience Overseas for advertising, marketing and PR internships with organizations like Carnegie Hall, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, the Harlem Film Center and the Jordan Tourism Board.
  • Leadership Development Programs: CCE continues to build a list of organizations that offer Leadership Development programs, who train new hires through rotational programs (i.e. rotating through different parts of a company) or specific, structured training programs. Companies that offer Marketing Leadership Development programs include 3M, DuPont and the National Football League.
  • Advertising, Marketing and PR Industry Showcase: CCE hosts a panel and networking session for organizations with opportunities in advertising, marketing, and public relations. This event is held in the Spring semester and sheds light on the differences between these three industries, and allows you to network with professionals from several organizations. Past employers have included AOL, Burson-Marsteller, Finn Partners, National Basketball Association and Time Inc. Check our calendar for current information.
  • Media Networking Night: CCE’s annual Media Networking Night (held in March) is an opportunity to connect with more than 100 alumni and professionals in several media fields, including advertising and marketing. Check our calendar for current information.
  • Fall Career Fair: The Fall Career Fair, held in September, includes 100+ organizations from many industries including marketing, advertising, media, finance, consulting, consumer packaged goods and more and is open to undergraduate and graduate students and alumni. Marketing and advertising employers that have attended previous fairs include Huge, Rocket Fuel Inc. and Rosetta.
  • Spring Career Fair: The Spring Career Fair, held in March, includes 100+ organizations from many industries including marketing, advertising, media, finance, consulting, consumer packaged goods and more and is open to undergraduate and graduate students and alumni. Marketing and advertising employers that have attended previous fairs include Havas Worldwide and Blue Bite LLC.
  • Vault and WetFeet Guides: CCE subscribes to career-focused web services such as Vault and WetFeet, which offer profiles of industries, companies, and careers- such as the WetFeet guides to Careers in Marketing and Careers in Advertising and PR, and the Vault Guide to Advertising and PR.
  • Alumni Profiles

                Cecilia Thomas, GS ’05. VP, Head of Marketing and Communications, Benchmark Solutions Inc.

                Kristin Lorieo, CC ’02. Senior Editorial Coordinator, Bingham McCutchen

Columbia Resources

External Resources

Intensive Educational Programs 

·         Miami Ad School (locations in multiple cities)

·         VCU Brand Center

Internship and Rotational Programs 

·         The Ad Club Internship Program

·         The InterAct Associates Fellowship Program

·         Multicultural Advertising Internship Program

Professional Associations 

·         American Association of Advertising Agencies

·         Ad Women of New York

·         American Advertising Federation

·         American Marketing Association

·         Marketing Research Association

Job Boards 

·         MediaBistro

·         Marketing Hire

·         AdWeek Media Job Market

Other resources

·         Advertising Council

·         Advertising Age

·         Marketing Sherpa

·         Advertising Educational Foundation

Last Updated May 2014