University of Kent, Kent, UK
MSc Digital Marketing and Analytics
Employability varies upon different perspectives, mine means to be able to be employed using my abilities that is being met to employer's expectations which I believe it is not the core meaning of it yet. However, I might need further experiences to define employability while this course also helps me to reach further to the core meaning which is a set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace – to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy (CBI and Universities UK, 2009). My goal in this paper is to analyse and reflect on my employability and leadership skills to pursue my desired career after graduated from Kent Business School (KBS). Currently, finding the right job with suitable qualification is quite difficult, only half of all UK graduates are working in a field that relates to their degree after leaving university (Garner, 2014) which I am the one who went on working in a field that was not related to my degree.
I graduated my bachelor's degree in Marketing concentrated in Strategic Marketing at Assumption University, Thailand. During the undergraduate study, I was a “Marketing Committee” who had to organize all events and activities which run by Marketing department. Moreover, I also was a “MSME Ambassador”, which is a representative of the faculty to promote and advice the faculty to others. Both of experiences develop my leadership skills in collaborating with my colleagues. Beyond that, I could apply my skills gained from activities attended and my knowledge with my studying and doing group work with classmates. After that, I graduated with cumulative G.P.A 3.29 out of 4.00 with award of Cum Laude.
After graduated, I worked for 1-year experience in the position of Account Executive at Network Training Center Co., Ltd. (NTC) in Thailand, I gained new experiences and knowledge from this position giving me a broad view of how employability works. Although I was not meant to enter this position as an Account Executive, it strengthened me to adapt to new experiences. In this position, I had to communicated with many different kinds of people, my communication skill was enhanced. In addition, I also got an opportunity to organise the whole project of customer's company in Thailand, which led me to gain the next step of my career path and leadership skill as well. As NTC provides various IT courses since basic to advance technology level, I was required to learn a lot of IT knowledge to explain various training courses to the customers. It is very difficult for me because I did not graduate in this field. However, I excelled it.
In order to combine my Bachelor's degree in Marketing and IT knowledge from work experience, I decided to continue my Master's degree in MSc Digital Marketing and Analytics at University of Kent, United Kingdom. My plan when after I have completed my master's degree at the University of Kent is to carry on working in the field relating to Digital Marketing. I look to apply for a position as Digital Marketing Executive with Central Pattana Public Company Limited (CPN) in Thailand. CPN is the largest retail developer, for over 30 years of experience and more, in Thailand. There are up to 30 shopping centres, 7 office buildings, 2 hotels, and 2 residential projects. All these projects span over 4.7 million square metres. The company is the leader in the retail development and management sector with the biggest share of Bangkok's retail market at 22% (Cpn.co.th, 2018).
According to the job description at my desired position, I found that there are several employability skills which require in the position of Digital Marketing Executive.
Firstly, strong creativity is required in this career to design and maintain digital communication in social media platforms to creatively reach and communicate with the consumers via all integrated online, social network, mobile, and other interactive platforms Additionally, this skill is very important skill to lead company success and also set companies apart from others. Every company would have the same patterns in technique and marketing including goods and services if there is no creativity skill (Neal, 2018). Kinkade (2018) mentioned that if you want to start winning at marketing, you need to start thinking differently.
Secondly, decision-making is needed to enhance strategy and define tactical plans for creating brand awareness. In addition, it is a critical skill for effective management and leadership. Some people are just not suited to leadership roles because of lack of ability to make decisions (Vaughn-Furlow, 2017).
Thirdly, researching is necessary for this position as well. It enables people to identify a problem, collect informational resources that can help address the problem, evaluate these resources for quality and relevance and come up with an effective solution to the problem (Reachivy.com, 2018).
Fourthly, as the world is changing, and updating continuously, digital marketer should be having accepting change skill to handle with recent changes and trends. Hence changes are one way by which improvements can be achieved. There are a number of things that happen just because of change (Reddy, 2018).
Lastly, every companies need to deal with international accounts so English skills are very important to communicate and also required in companies recently. A lack of language skills means a lack of economic power – poor language skills mean a reduced employability (Kruschwitz, 2011).
As 96% of graduates who are the age of 24 had switched careers by the time (Garner, 2014) which mean they do not know what careers they are suitable with. This statistic shows I should look for a job that matches with my qualification and personality traits or I should develop my skills to match with a desired job. This is a reason why I should analyse my strengths and weaknesses to pursue the desired job as Digital Marketing Executive after graduated my Master's degree.
Looking from the job description, I found that accepting change is only a skill I currently possesses. As I mentioned before that I used to work in the position, which is not related with my degree. Then, I had to work hard, learned a lot of IT knowledge that I had never known it before. I tried to learn from my real experiences no matter it was right or wrong. At first, I always had to meet the customers for giving them information and also maintaining the relationship between companies with my manager but when I thought that I am ready to go alone, I decided to tell them and tried to learn by myself.
As self-learning is proved to be one of the top traits of successful people around the globe, no doubt the people embody hunger of learning are the one succeeding (Arora, 2017). It was challenging and competitive. As a result, my target was increasing gradually until I finally gain exceeded sale target by 100% in the third quarter.
On the other hands, there are many employability skills, which I need to develop in order to achieve the desired position. These skills are creativity, decision-making, researching and language skills. I would be setting SMART goals to clarify my goals, focus my efforts and develop my needed skills (Tracy, 2018).
For creativity skill, I would like to be able express my idea creatively. As creative thinking means looking at something in a new way, it is the very definition of “thinking outside the box.” (Doyle, 2018). I was taught to think by following a theory or pattern without thinking creatively since I was young. This will be a challenge for me to improve my creativity skill if I would like to pursue in this position. From recent researches found, there are 2 outstanding ways to develop this skill using colours and music. According to the University of British Columbia (2015), blues were ideal for the work environments of creatives, as the colour promotes communication, trust and efficiency. In addition, since blue is naturally calming, it is great for the workspace as it opens your mind to new ideas. Moreover, classical music may be key to heightening creativity (Dovey, 2017). Listening to music likely to make someone happy, known as positive valence, and also high in arousal, helped volunteers come up with more creative solutions than listening to silence, according to the study, published online in PLOS ONE. Since half year from now, I will try to be with myself listening to classical music outside the blue sky while I am free to train my creative thinking skills.
To pursue this position, I would like to improve my researching skills which will be measured by be able to clarify all problems that I may be face with or talk about. I will accomplish this by practising from all reports or courseworks that I need to complete for this course. According to Kea (2018), there are 4 tips to improve the researching skills to help to conduct better general research, strengthening ability to present practical findings and be successful as below;
• Define the research
• Make a plan
• Know your sources
• Check authority and expertise
This effort is worthwhile because graduates who can research more deeply into their industry are often able to come up with new ideas and better ways of running a company (Thebigchoice.com, 2018). It will be achieved by discovering a lot of articles and researches to fulfil my knowledge after graduated. Kaila Kea (2018) defined that when you conduct research for a report, project, or presentation, you are becoming a source of information yourself. People will look to you as a knowledgeable conveyor of information. In improving your researching skills, you are empowering others to do the same.
Last but not least, decision making skill is required in this position and also related with leadership skills. As I am indecisive person, I often hesitate when there are many options for me to choose from. Then, I would like to be able to make decisions4 without any hesitation. I will accomplish this by listing potential causes and putting an emotion and ego on the back-burner (McClafferty, 2015). The New York Times suggests that you pretend like you are advising a friend through the decision. This effort is worthwhile because decision making is the key skill in the workplace and very important for leader. It is also important every day in a personal life (Becky, 2017) and will be achieved by trying to face with the situation that is difficult to come up with a decision to get myself used to all kinds of situations.
Lastly, English skills are the one that I would like to improve the most. Although I graduated from Assumption University, is an international university in Thailand, my English skills was still questionable due to the fact that most of the students in the university are Thai and it was hard for me to try to practise my English. Recently, when I speak English, I always have to think in Thai first and the, translate into English again. My goal is to speak English fluently without thinking in Thai first, which will be measured by getting the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test with score 7.0. I will accomplish these skills by watching movies in English which will help to improve listening and speaking skills as well (Bloomsbury International, 2013) and speaking English with native speaker at least 2 hours per day. Kelly Knight (2015) mentioned that if you can speak English with confidence there is a good chance that you have either studied or experienced English culture to some extent. This cultural understanding can be valuable for employers who want to work with or sell to English speaking countries. It will be achieved by keep practising with milestones set after graduated.
Although employers want graduates with relevant subject-specific skills, knowledge, and understanding, in addition to this are looking for well-developed generic skills in a number of areas (Harvey et al., 1997). With that being said, I need to have what they require in order to meet their expectations. I still need to improve my skills all the time in terms of my weaknesses in order to prepare for professions that I would like to become in the future.
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