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How College Prepared Me For Joining D+B

A picture of Vei Lin at the Diamond and Branch office

Hi everyone! I’m Vei Lin and I’m the Junior Digital Marketing Assistant at Diamond and Branch (D+B). I’ve been a member of the D+B team for almost 2 months now, and I couldn’t be any happier to be working with a team filled with passionate and hardworking individuals.

I graduated from San Diego State University with an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) major, and starting my career in a digital marketing agency was something that I have always dreamed of. I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, and working at a digital agency allows me to take on new, exciting projects.

So, how was my transition from college to the workplace?

My college education has prepared me exceptionally well for the workplace, and I gained a lot of knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.

College Courses

For example, I took an Advanced IMC class, and my professor allowed me to challenge my critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. Students were formed into “ad agencies” who were responsible for creating a promotional plan in its entirety by applying the concepts of advertising and promotions that we’ve learned in class.

My team and I first had to identify and analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats faced by the client’s company. Then we determined and allocated a promotional budget, planned a media strategy, measured the effectiveness of the IMC plan, and finally presented it to the client. This specific project made me feel prepared for the workforce because it was tied to real-world examples. Moreover, my major classes taught me skills that will be beneficial in the work world, such as researching, interpersonal communication, and organization.

Student Organizations

Additionally, it was a smooth transition for me from school to work because I was an active member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) at SDSU. Being on the Executive Board for one and a half years impacted my student and career experience in a hugely positive way. I was able to use the skills that I’ve learned in class, as well as gain new skills.

For instance, I had to learn how to use Adobe Premiere Pro on my own because I had to create and edit videos for the organization. I also learned how to use several online tools such as Canva, Hootsuite, and WordPress. I designed graphics on Canva, managed all social media platforms on Hootsuite, and helped set up an official website for the organization on WordPress. These are also the tools that I now use at D+B. I believe my involvement with AMA during my college years prepared me well for the workplace because I am able to take the leadership and life skills that I’ve gained along with me in my career at D+B.

Networking

Being in a leadership position at AMA also improved the way I manage my time, and gave me many opportunities to network with people who are talented, creative, and share similar interests. For example, SDSU sent my team and me to attend the 40th Annual International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans. We joined over 1,700 marketers for case competitions, professional development, and career advice from industry professionals. It was a great introduction to networking and was a lot of fun.

I strongly believe that meeting new people, making connections on LinkedIn, and building relationships will all help down the line during the career-building process. All in all, I learned that being actively involved in student organizations during my college years has provided me the opportunity to develop new skills, broaden my horizons, and meet like-minded individuals who can further my success as I transition from college to the real world.

Things I Wish I Knew

While I truly value the practical connections between concepts learned in college and how I can utilize them in the workplace, there are certain things that I wish I knew. I believe the coursework gave me the basis for understanding what I do; however, no class can actually 100% prepare you for what you will encounter in the workplace. For this reason, I wish my college offered courses in Search Engine Optimization, Google Analytics, and Key Performance Indicators because that is what most employers are looking for.

But lucky for me, I have an experienced and amazing team at D+B to guide me on all of that! I am confident that working for D+B will take my skills to a new level and give me a really rewarding experience. I am so excited for what’s to come!