#ThisIsNMSA – Syed’s Breakthrough into Marketing

#ThisIsNMSA – Syed’s Breakthrough into Marketing
February 20, 2015 nmsayorku

I didn’t choose the marketing program when I first entered York University. I was actually undecided. I knew whichever program I chose should be something business-related and have the probability of me making a lot of money. So like many, I thought why not become an accountant? They’re in business, and they sure do make a lot of money.

So for my first two years at York University I was in accounting with the hopes to one day become a CA, as they called it back then. Semesters went by and eventually after a number of courses I realized accounting wasn’t for me. The numbers made sense but it lacked the creative aspect that I felt I had such a talent for.

So there was I was again: unsure, unfulfilled and undecided.

The confusion lasted until I took marketing. Right away I knew this was something I could see myself in. Something about the creative side of coming up with a plan to market or promote an idea really drew me in. Although I had a fear I wouldn’t make as much money being a marketer than an accountant, I overcame it by deciding to be the best at it.

So there I was, in my third year, knowing what I wanted to be but being one of the hundreds of other students wanting the same thing.

So I asked myself, “how do I become the best at marketing – when on paper, I am the same as the rest of the students?”

I don’t mean to come off as saying I’m better than everyone. What I mean is realistically everyone else is your competition and at the end of the day you want to be the best so you can land the better job.

So there I was again with a new problem, how could I be better than my other classmates? I could try and ace every class but realistically that wasn’t going to happen. I’d like to say I’m more of a B, B+, occasional A student. At this moment reality kicked in and that’s when I began doing extensive research on things I could do to make myself look better to employers. The most recommended thing I found was to get more involved in extracurricular activities and doing internships.

With this in mind I created a 3-Step plan comprised of: 1. Getting Involved 2. Acquiring an Internship and 3. Becoming so attractive to potential employers that I land my dream job and start making a lot of money.

So I continued my Internet search until I came upon a club, the New Marketing Students Association (NMSA). It was only in its first year of operation, but it was created by marketing students for marketing students. It was perfect. I got in touch right away, and as my luck would have it, they had an opening for a Director of Marketing position. I applied, prepped, did my interview, and eventually got hired. Hired in the sense I got the job, not that I got paid, but the non-paid experience made it worth it regardless.

It was from NMSA that I learned vital things: how to work with cross functional teams, organize events, market events and build strategic alliances with other clubs, universities, as well as companies for event sponsorships. Before I knew it I was already one step ahead of my classmates and 1 step into my 3-Step plan.

Since I had started to build my skills with the NMSA, I realized I had the experience to be qualified for internships. I started applying like crazy and soon enough, I finally obtained one at Toronto Fashion Academy. Now I don’t want to make it sound like it was easy. I got rejected from a lot of different companies but I stayed persistent like the NMSA had taught me to.

Since the NMSA was a brand new club, there was a lot of grunt work involved in obtaining corporate sponsors for our events. You could imagine how hard it is to sell a university club in its first year of operation. With persistence and just of bit of luck, we were able to obtain several well-known sponsors and partners such as Putting Edge, Steamwhistle and Toys R Us.

Fast-forward one year and I am already 2 steps into my 3-Step plan. Currently, I am the proud Vice President of Marketing and Communications of NMSA who together with my wonderful team, have expanded the club to two times its original member size and launched many successful events. If you’re reading this and have the same goals as I did, to be successful one day, my advice to you is doing something about it. Join a club; get more involved and start making those steps to make yourself more competitive than the rest. At the end of the day, life is what you make it, so make it awesome.