Marketing is one of those rare, best-of-both-worlds fields — one that calls for creative and analytical skills. And that’s precisely what drew Steve McGloin ’15 to the major.
“I had been in the Army, where I worked in information technology, I wanted something that allowed me to combine my data-driven side with my creativity. Marketing let me do that.”
McGloin is not alone. Growing competition in all segments of the economy has placed a premium on professionals who can articulate value in a way that sets an organization apart and creates a story that both resonates with consumers and leads to long-term brand loyalty. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in advertising, promotions and marketing is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.
“Parents and students are interested in majors that lead to jobs,” says program director Eddie Rhee. “And marketing is a major you can take almost anywhere.”
It’s no surprise, then, that marketing is an increasingly popular major at Stonehill.
At Stonehill, the major has five tracks: entrepreneurship, sales, communications, graphic design and business-to-business.
A World of Internships to Put Theory Into Practice
That’s something Carissa Mak ’06 looks back at longingly. Now digital associate creative director at Connelly Partners, an advertising agency in Boston’s South End, Mak built her road to a marketing career by majoring in fine arts and minoring in communication. “The marketing and graphic design track would have been ideal,” she says. Still, Mak forged a path in the field, doing an internship at Boston advertising giant Hill Holliday.
“That was a great experience,” she recalls. “I made some great connections and eventually ended up working there a couple of years after I graduated.”
Internships are a central part of a Stonehill education and a key part of the marketing program. “We encourage all students to do multiple internships — either for credit or for experience,” says Rhee.
This is exactly the path marketing major Kelseigh Ryan ’17 has taken. She interned at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston for credit during the summer and is continuing during the school year for the experience.
“I’m able to do a lot of hands-on things here — help produce ads and brochures, prepare mailings,” she says. “I love the writing, and it’s fun to get exposure to the design end.”
Already, Ryan can see her Stonehill education at work.
Faculty Who Empower You
Ryan praises Stonehill faculty for being approachable and open to new ideas, noting a recent collaboration with marketing professor Courtney Spencer. “I worked with Professor Spencer last year to start a new group, the Stonehill Social Media Scholars,” she says. “It’s all about helping students use social media as a professional tool. We’ve had alumni come in to talk about how social media is part of the mix at their organizations.”
McGloin, now an associate merchandising manager at W.B. Mason, also gives marketing faculty high marks. “I had a great mix of professors — those with real-world experience as well as those who had written textbooks. I found my classes both thought-provoking and practical. In particular, the capstone class, Decision Support Systems, was a phenomenal experience. We each had to do an in-depth presentation on policy and strategy — research a topic thoroughly and demonstrate mastery of it.”
In addition to hands-on coursework, Rhee points to small classes, experiential learning and a liberal arts foundation as giving the college and its students an edge.
“At Stonehill, the marketing major provides the knowledge students need to launch marketing careers,” says Rhee. “And because we’re a liberal arts college, students also develop the critical-thinking, problem-solving and communication skills they need as they advance to more senior positions. That’s what separates us from straight business schools.”