Advice for College StudentsBelow is the email response I sent to a college student who contacted me as part of a leadership class she was taking. I decided to post it here because I really hate creating inbound content and then only sharing it with one person. - MV1. How did you get into this field?
I started my career in investment banking, and I loved the technology companies I was working with, but did not love the investment banking side of things. I took that financial and analytical experience I had and joined a startup company working in the demand generation side of marketing because that leveraged my analytical skills more. From there I just kept on working in marketing in different roles and companies.2. What advice do you have for a first year college student to get to your role?
Find a job that will challenge you at a company that is growing. Work really hard and learn as much as you can. Salary, title and role are not that important in your first 1-2 jobs. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint, the first couple jobs are about learning and experience. You have decades of time to maximize your earnings later.3. What projects are you currently working on?
As a CMO, the most important things I do are set the strategy for our marketing, work on the overall business strategy of the company as part of the executive team, and hire and manage our team of marketers.4. Who, if anyone, inspired you to be apart of this field?
I don't think there was one person. I have always looked up to leaders in the technology field who founded companies like Microsoft, EBay, Paypal, etc. because they have used technology to change the lives of thousands of people. And my dad worked in marketing roles at a number of successful technology companies, and he certainly inspired me too.5. What specifically do you do on a day to day basis?
Most of my time is spent managing people, thinking about strategy, and talking to people to evangelize our company.6. What books, related or unrelated to this field, are you currently reading?
These days with a fast growing startup and a 5 month old at home I'm not reading a ton of books. Most of my reading is blogs and news, which I do every day on my computer and iPad - the main topics are general news, business news, technology news and marketing news. The first book you should think about reading to prepare for this field is "Inbound Marketing". After that, I would start reading some marketing blogs, like http://blog.hubspot.com
.7. What skills do young people need to posses for this field?
The most important skills for the first job in any field are a willingness to work hard, follow through on what you promise to do, and an ability to learn as you go. 8. What did you go to college for?
Liberal arts. My majors were economics and government. It was less about learning job skills in the classroom, and more about learning how to think critically and independently, communicate with others, look at things analytically and from different points of view. I am personally not a big believer in teaching business to undergrads, I think those skills are best learned on the job.