How to Gain More Digital Marketing Experience in College

How to Gain More Digital Marketing Experience in College
  • Opening Intro -

    For college students focused on marketing who want to maximize their earning potential, the future is largely digital.

    After all, a digital marketing manager can clear over $100,000 a year.


While some colleges have adapted to the new reality, many colleges are still weak on digital marketing. The rapid evolution of digital marketing doesn’t make that any easier.

As a student, you may wonder how best to pick up digital marketing experience during college rather than after. Keep reading for some options that can pad your resume.

Take the Courses Your College Offers

Whatever digital marketing courses your college offers, take all of them. If nothing else, they’ll expose to you key concepts and essentials. They should also include assignments that include some hands-on experience you can put into a portfolio.

Take External Courses

While your college may not offer in-depth digital marketing coverage, you can find training courses outside of your college. Think of it as extended training over the summer break for example.

You can find things like social media marketing courses online that range from personal branding and YouTube marketing to Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn marketing.

Feel like you’re not getting a solid grounding in your college courses, you also find courses that teach social media marketing essentials or strategy. Many of these courses offer certifications or diplomas that you add to the education section of your resume.

Again, most will also include hands-on exercises that can provide samples or portfolio material.

Look for Internship Opportunities

One of the best ways of racking up experience is through an internship. You literally learn by doing under the guidance of someone with more experience.

Internship experiences teach you about how digital marketing ideas develop in a business setting, along with the standard kinds of restraints that come with executing those ideas, such as:

  1. In-House style guides
  2. Branding guidelines
  3. Budgets
  4. Deadlines

Internships also make for a valuable addition to your resume right out of college.

Start an Online Business

Let’s say that you can’t find an internship with a digital marketing focus. Working for someone else isn’t the only option for you to learn by doing. You can also start an online business.

Starting online business forces you to employ digital marketing as a practical consideration. Without digital marketing to attract customers, your business will fail.

It also makes you confront the limitations of a budget, the equipment available, and your own limited time.

For practical reasons, you’ll want a simpler online business or it can overwhelm every other part of your life. You could focus on something like an e-commerce store that uses dropshipping, which eliminates the problems of inventory control and reduces your upfront costs.

You could also offer freelance services on a limited basis or go into basic travel planning.

While making some extra money is nice, remember that it’s primarily a learning exercise to offer you some experience with digital marketing. The upshot is that you’ll have ready answers for questions about a problem you faced in digital marketing and how you overcame it.

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Work for a Friend

Odds are good that you have at least one friend who already has an online business up and running. Talk with them and see if they’ll let you run their digital marketing for a while.

You get much of the same experience you’d get running your own business or interning somewhere. Plus, you get to help out a friend.

Pro tip:
Talk about money at the outset. If you do a good job and dramatically increase their profits, you don’t want to be arguing about money after.

Either agree that you’re working for free or settle on a percentage you can both live with if profits go up.

Getting experience in digital marketing while you’re at college can look like a huge challenge at first. It’s not like most people want to hire someone with zero experience.

You do have options, though. You can take the courses your college offers as a ground zero experience. You can look for online courses in digital marketing.

Starting your own online business will guarantee that you must practice digital marketing or watch the business go nowhere. You can also offer your services to a friend with an online business.

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Categories: Career Planning