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How can I gain more Marketing/Advertising skills when most open positions require experience in the field already?


Meredith Wilson Honolulu, HI

I have a Communications-Public Relations degree with a Marketing minor, but graduated several years ago. Since being in another industry for while, I'm hoping to find ways to get into this realm without going back to school for financial reasons. I would imagine that some companies would be open to taking on someone who's interested in learning on-the-job.

29 July 2020 2 replies Career Exploration



Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

First, determine what the necvessary TALENTS are to successfully ace doing this position. Second, line up YOUR TALENTS with those that are required and communicate convincingly about how, experience and education aside, YOUR talents are a match for their open position.

IF you are not clear about what YOUR talents are, there is a great assessment tool (free) that will help guide you. They also have an on-site interpretation of the results that may point you in a good direction, too. If you have some difficulty interpreting the results and would like my off-channel opi nion (also free), please provide me with the 4 letters and the percentage of each [should look something like I-42, N-8, T-45, J-50] to my e-mail address

The web site for the assessment address is:

Regards, Dr. Hank


Ming Lai Alhambra, CA

Hi Meredith!

I hope you and your family are safe and healthy during the pandemic.

I think it’s great that you have a communications/public relations degree with a marketing minor and want to enter this exciting field.

Before film, I worked in advertising as a copywriter, writing copy, creating concepts, developing strategy, and building brands.

Plus, I had the chance to work at an ad agency in Honolulu for a short period of time.

Hopefully, I can offer some helpful advice through my experience in the creative side of marketing/advertising (versus the account side).

To gain more marketing/advertising skills without having to go back to school, I recommend joining a local Hawaii chapter of a marketing/advertising/creative organization.

I did an initial search and found:

American Marketing Association, Hawaii chapter:

American Advertising Federation (AAF), Hawaii chapter—AD2 Hawaii:

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Hawaii chapter—AIGA Honolulu:

Through these organizations, you can learn, network, volunteer, and do many other activities that can help build your marketing/advertising skills.

A mentor or multiple mentors might be able to guide you further.

If you’re interested in the creative side of marketing/advertising (copywriting, graphic design/art direction, web design, commercial/corporate video production), you can start building a portfolio in one of these areas, offering your services pro bono to smaller businesses or non-profit organizations.

Maybe the most important advice that I can give you is don’t wait for permission to enter this industry—give it to yourself.

By doing so, you’ll start finding your own voice and making your own valuable contribution to this industry.

As a veteran, you already have so many powerful skills to offer.

I wish you much luck in your career!

Best regards,
Ming Lai

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