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An Intern’s Perspective: The Challenges College Business Programs Face in a World Driven by Digital Transformation

July 19, 2019 | Julia Schwark

Before interning at Symposia, I had a very limited perspective about what digital marketing entails. Beyond social media advertising, digital marketing also includes: search engine optimization, PPC (pay per click advertising), content marketing, marketing automation, email marketing, online PR, and more. After stepping outside of a classroom, I found that much of this was new to me, and about a month ago, I would not have been able to tell you what any of those terms mean.

As a business student, I was curious as to why I had not been introduced to the field of digital marketing in my classes. This made me think that perhaps digital marketing cannot thoroughly and effectively be taught in a classroom. As trends and technology continue rapidly changing, digital marketers are tasked with adapting and innovating in order to stay ahead. With this in mind, it is easy to see how a digital marketing classroom textbook would quickly become outdated. 

Additionally, unlike many other subjects or industries, digital marketing does not always have right and wrong answers. It is often a complex strategy, requiring trial and error, and constant efforts to improve. There is not one universal formula that provides a solution to every problem. Each client requires a unique and personalized equation in order to achieve their specific goals. 

With that said, you may be wondering: what is the best way to learn about digital marketing? You can certainly learn a lot from talking with experienced professionals in the field, or by dipping your toes into the world of digital marketing to discover it for yourself. As a student, I strive to take advantage of real-world opportunities offered outside of the classroom, such as crash course sessions taught by professionals, Q&A panels with experts, internships, and any other hands-on learning experiences. Either way, just remember that whatever you learn today could change tomorrow.