Ok, after borrowing almost $46K to finance my undergrad education why am I now ready to sign on the line to borrow another $31K for a Masters and why am I pursuing it in a field that by all accounts is dying, close to dead, or is already dead?
A little back story is needed. In 2009 I was having considerable difficulty finding anything but commission sales jobs. I love marketing but I HATE SALES. I’ve been through hundreds of hours of sales training and read books by Tom Hopkins, Joe Girard, Zig Ziglar, Jeffery Gitomer, and at least a dozen others. I understand the process but I hate it and I feel like a scumbag when I employ the tactics. So I decided to focus on finding a marketing job.
After the hundredth time seeing the jobs I wanted, marketing jobs, on Monster.com or Craigslist, required a marketing degree, I decided to return to school. I spent a considerable amount of time researching schools that would offer me a degree focused on the digital side of marketing and wouldn’t be outdated by the time I graduated. After about 6 months I discovered an online degree program at Full Sail.
I loved my undergrad experience. It was 100% online and that allowed me the flexibility to structure school around my life and not the other way around. It also taught me things that, while I could have learned them on my own, the deadline of an assignment forced me to learn AND apply them quickly. I know so much more now than when I started but I still can’t find a job.
So, aside from the unemployment, why am I now, after 4 months returning back to school. Well when I started school I was focused on the technical side: SEO, SEM, analytics, market research, etc. The more I learned about these things the less I liked them. I slowly learned that I liked the creative side of marketing. Crafting copy, creating compelling presentations, editing videos designed to stir emotion, and my favorite, using photography to tell a story.
Telling a story is the best way to make a connection with another human being. The greatest communicators are always the greatest story tellers. I figured what better way to learn to tell a story than to attend journalism school. The challenge is that many journalism schools (not all mind you, but many) are still teaching how to write for print. So I returned to my alma mater, Full Sail, and applied for the Masters in New Media Journalism.
I’m not so concerned with becoming a reporter, but I want to be able to create a story with words, video, and imagery, that connects with people and makes them want what you have. One of the best examples I’ve seen recently is the video below from HubSpot.
Do I know if journalism school is the right place for this? No, but it seems to be the best option I could find that worked with my geographic limitations and current financial status.
By the way, if you are looking for a creative marketing guy with ninja level social media skills feel free to reach out to me via email.