By Alex Hargreaves
Ever wonder what happened to Jacob Ambach, our Google Student Ambassador who
graduated with Bachelor of Commerce at the end of 2016? Jacob has done some pretty
awesome things with his career, and has also had some struggles that most Griffith grads can relate to. Despite this, Jacob has come out on top and has made a steady start to his career. If you’re interested in working in the digital marketing space, Jacob has some great advice to share!
Jacob graduated with a degree in Commerce, however, during his degree and his work as a Google Student Ambassador, he realized he actually had a desire to start his career in a marketing related position. He has recently secured an exciting position as an Adwords Specialist in an advertising firm for local businesses. His current career has been made possible due to his determination and strong interest to learn and develop skills in the digital marketing space. He says
“When I graduated, I was inspired to get a role in the online digital space but I had a dilemma. I had no background in marketing and to get into marketing you needed either a marketing degree or experience in the field, which at the time, I didn’t have. I started doing some research about digital marketing and completed some extra courses online. This helped me to gain a better understanding of the online digital space and I used the skills I gained to go ahead and start applying for relevant positions”.
Although Jacob knew that he wanted to work in a digital marketing role as soon as he graduated, he had to make some sacrifices and work in a job that wasn’t relevant to the field for a while before he was able to achieve his goals. Five months after his graduation ceremony and many job applications (and rejections) later, Jacob landed a job with St George Bank, where he was answering general banking enquiries.
“I applied on Seek and was contacted by the recruiter, to ask some questions. I then decided to call up the recruiter and ask about the role, and I ended up doing a phone interview, which I passed. The job helped with my phone handling skills and showed me how to give customers friendly service. The training I received was great but I was still determined to get a position in online advertising” Jacob explains.
Despite scoring a steady job with a top employer, Jacob’s interest for digital marketing did not dissipate and he undertook two digital marketing internships whilst still doing his job with St George Bank. It has taken him a year to find the right job to suit his passion.
Jacob says that the change from student to full-time employee is a big leap and took time for him to accomplish. He warns student who are graduating soon not to expect an easy ride when you leave university and start applying for positions, as the process can be gruelling. He states
“The change from uni to full time employment is massive. The degree did help open doors for sure, but employers expect you to have experience. I remember when I went for interviews, whenever I didn’t get a role, the response I would always get from the employer is that they hired someone with more experience than me. It was definitely frustrating but you just have to keep going until you find someone who will give you a shot”
It is not always as straightforward as just applying for a position on seek by sending your resume and Jacob emphasizes that often, the best results will come from picking up the phone and calling the recruiter to ask questions and demonstrate your interest in the position. Jacob scored his current position through networking, as a friend referred him to a job with his current employer, however, through Jacob’s keen interest, he was able to score an interview for a position that hadn’t even been advertised yet!
“I have a friend who works at the company I am currently employed by. I asked my friend some questions about working there, including if the company does AdWords, as I knew that they offer digital marketing solutions. My friend said they do, and that I should apply. I went on Seek, and found a job opening for an entry level role at the company that wasn’t AdWords related, which I applied for anyway. I called the HR manager the following day and asked about my application and emphasized how I was highly interested to work in the AdWords team. By surprise, the HR manager told me that they are looking for someone new to join that team, and that the role hasn’t been advertised yet” Jacob explained.
Soon after applying, Jacob was lucky enough to be asked to an interview. A week after the interview, he emailed the recruiter to thank him for the opportunity, which he believes is an important step for any candidate to take post interview if they are really interested in the job. Not long after, Jacob was notified that he had his dream job.
Even though he has an exciting new position, Jacob would still love to have the opportunity to work at Google one day in the future, and he has made attempts to point his career in that direction since graduating.
“I did go through the final interview rounds for a business role at Google overseas last year, but was sadly not successful. The recruitment process was great and the team who I was in contact with were very encouraging to keep applying. The bright side was that out of the millions of applications Google receives, I was able to be shortlisted for the final round and really feel like I have achieved a goal. It was a great learning process. It is not impossible to get into Google” Jacob emphasizes.
For Griffith graduates out there who are currently on the hunt for a job, Jacob says that knowing the role that you are applying for inside and out and providing direct examples of previous work you have done which relates, will win you the best result.
“When applying for a role, you have to pay close attention to the job requirements (experience, grades, and skills in a particular software). Some employers are very specific to what they are looking for and the one thing you can do to stand out, is add in the main keywords from the job requirements into your skill set on your resume, which will help you get shortlisted. For example, if the job description mentions experience in customer service and problem solving skills, copy paste these exact keywords in your cover letter and resume and give an example of how you have demonstrated these skills in your past. This shows to the recruiter that you have read the job description and you fully understand the position that you applied for.”
For students who, like Jacob, have a serious interest in someday working in a digital marketing focused job, Jacob has some advice that you can put into play whilst still a student to help you achieve your dreams sooner. He advises
“Learn as much as you can about the key products in the digital marketing field. Particularly, focus on the big companies Facebook and Google’s key products (Facebook marketing and Google AdWords). There are free courses online that you can learn and become certified. Go on YouTube and look at tutorials about how Facebook marketing and AdWords work and use them to build your skills. Take it to the next level and gain the hands on experience in the field by contacting local Facebook marketing partners or AdWords agencies to ask them if you can do work experience. Keep making contact and network with people in this field.
Jacob warns that it isn’t the easiest field to get into and it does take a lot of persistence,
networking and development of skills to eventually score the right position.
“You will get lots of rejections (which happened to me) but the more rejections you get, the closer you are to hearing a ‘yes’. Remember to keep pushing forward and you will achieve your dreams!”