Sales and Marketing
Overview of the Sector
Sales and business development roles can be found in organisations throughout the private sector.
Marketing roles are found either in-house in organisations across different industry sectors or in specialised Marketing or Multi-Service Communications agencies.
Market research roles exist mainly within Market Research organisations.
MAIN AREAS OF WORK ARE:
Account Handler/Manager– based within Marketing/Communications agencies – liaising between the agency and multiple clients.
Marketing Executive– identify suitable markets for products, understand customers through commissioning market research, develop marketing plans and campaigns and manage production of marketing materials.
Market Research– use qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect and analyse information on behalf of clients.
Sales– building relationships with customers, understanding customer needs, maintaining in-depth product knowledge, meeting targets
WHAT DO I NEED TO GAIN GRADUATE EMPLOYMENT?
- Enthusiasm, drive and resilience
- Communication and interpersonal skills– being able to listen as well as talk, compromise as well as persuade.
- Creative problem solving
- Commercial awareness– understanding business priorities
While a degree in Business or Marketing may help to demonstrate an interest in and aptitude for the work, most placements, internships and graduate schemes for this type of work are open to students of any degree discipline.
For in-house roles, a degree in a subject related to the industry sector can offer an advantage e.g. for a Marketing role within the life sciences sector, a degree in a life sciences subject can give an advantage in understanding products and terminology.
In-house Marketing roles– there are lots of opportunities for students to gain experience through placements and internships and many graduate schemes in this area. Most of these will be well advertised on MyFuture and other student and graduate job websites.
Agency Marketing roles– there aren't many advertised roles targeted at students and graduates in these organisations. Carefully tailored speculative approaches can work well.
Market Research roles– a few graduate schemes with large Market Research companies e.g. Gfk, Ipsos Mori and Nielsen. Not many internship or placement opportunities to gain experience but a part-time job as a market research interviewer can be a good way in.
Sales roles– there are a few graduate schemes which are well advertised on MyFuture and other student and graduate job websites. There aren't many internship or placement opportunities to gain experience but typical student jobs in retail and hospitality provide excellent experience.
Other great ways to gain useful experience:
- Develop a strong social media presence– essential for this type of work.
- Volunteer– many charities advertise voluntary marketing and media volunteering roles through e.g. Volunteer SU and Volunteer Now
- Clubs and Societies– promoting events and encouraging new members to join
- Part-time work– understanding how to merchandise stock, to up-sell products or to meet/exceed sales targets
Key Employers– Northern Ireland:
|Multi- service agencies:|
Key Employers – UK and Global:
|Multi-service agencies:||Market Research:|
|AMV BBDO||Leo Burnett||Gfk|
|Adam & Eve||OMD||Ipsos Mori|
Local/ Northern Ireland Opportunities
On Campus resources–
- Careers Fairs– Many of the employers who attend the Graduate and Placement Fair in October and the Work Experience and Placement Fair in February will be recruiting for roles in Sales and Marketing.
- MyFuture– Internships, placements and graduate opportunities.
Many of the in-house roles will be well-advertised on MyFuture and other student and graduate job websites.
For Market Research graduates schemes, in addition to the above, check the companies’ own websites: Gfk, Ipsos Mori and Nielsen.
Marketing/Communications Agencies may advertise junior roles, but speculative approaches can be a more effective way of securing work in these organisations than waiting for junior roles to be advertised.
Unadvertised roles & networking
Self-promotion is important for these types of roles, so take every opportunity to present yourself professionally at employer events on campus and online.
Job search websites specific to Northern Ireland include:
UK and Global Opportunities
On Campus resources–
- ‘GoinGlobal’– MyFuture/Jobs/GoinGlobal– database of jobs and internships, key employers and country guides
- Opportunities to internationalise your degree (Erasmus, Study USA, EVS, INTO China) Advertised on MyFuture.
- Graduate Recruitment & Placement Fair– annual showcase of NI and international firms with vacancies
Useful sites for finding student and graduate jobs in this sector in UK, Ireland and further afield:
Professional Related Bodies and Organisations
|Institute of Practioners in Advertising||Institute of Advertising Practioners in Ireland|
|Chartered Institute of Marketing||Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)|
|Association for Qualitative Research (AQR)|
Further Reading and Information
Further information resources are available at the Student Guidance Centre Hub (Opening hours: Mon- Fri 09:00- 17:00), including free copies of Gradireland, TargetJobs and Prospects guides plus self-help guides and employer brochures. The Student Guidance Centre Hub has free wifi, tea and coffee.
This information is obtained from a variety of sources, including the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS), Prospects, Gradireland and relevant professional organisations and other appropriate resources, as available.
We endeavour to ensure that our online resources are current and contain relevant information. However, we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of external websites.