Business, Consulting, Marketing & Sales

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Business-related roles exist within most industries, so it is important to distinguish what functional role you would like to play within a company/organization. Perhaps you are passionate about working in health care but are interested in consulting. Or you want to work in advertising but are interested in sales.

A common perception is that business means working in a formal environment for corporations such as General Mills, Cargill or 3M. These companies do need people in consulting, marketing, sales, human resources, finance and more, but organizations within the nonprofit industry also need these roles! To begin this process, consider which industry segment you’d like to work in: government, non-profit, education, start-ups/entrepreneurial ventures, or “corporate America.” Then, explore functional roles (example: sales) and consider if this aligns well with the work environment.

Career Information

As you search, remember that there are other business-related roles to explore that cut across most industries. Some positions have certain degree requirements but others do not. Therefore, it is possible to get a business-related position even if you do not have a business-related degree.

Consultants, sales representatives and marketers need strong relationship building skills. Much of the work revolves around working closely with people, both internally (your team) and externally (your client). They also have an ability to learn information quickly. Consultants will be immersed into a project quickly and will be expected to advise on complex problems. Sales representatives need to learn as much as they can about the product or service they are selling before pitching it to an audience. And marketers need to be aware of factors that could impact the demand or awareness of a product or service.

Job Titles & Descriptions

O*NET, a free online database, provides career information including job duties, salary, and job growth information for hundreds of careers. You can get started with sample titles like: Industrial-Organizational Psychologist (please note: this requires an advanced degree), Marketing Manager, Market Research Analyst, Sales Representative, or Sales Manager.

Job Opportunities

Below is a small sampling of organizations and their positions that have recruited CLA students in the past. For a more comprehensive list of job openings, search GoldPASS and utilize the “Job Category” search field and select one or more of these options: Analysis/Consulting, Business, Marketing-General, Market Research, Project Management, Sales-General, Sales-Pharmaceutical, Sales-Technical. Under “Industry”, select one or more of these options: Business Management and Operations, Marketing, Sales. The same search criteria are helpful to use in the “Find Employers” tab to identify organizations.

  • Account Manager, ShopNBC
  • Business Management Associate, General Mills
  • Business Management Consultant, Boom Lab
  • Consultant, Deloitte
  • Marketing Manager, Ameriprise Financial Inc.
  • Project Manager, 3M Health Care
  • Sales/Marketing Coordinator, The Caldrea Company
Job Search Advice
Prepare for this Career Field

Seek out opportunities, such as those listed below, to develop the 10 core career competencies. Teamwork & Leadership, Oral & Written Communication, and Applied Problem Solving are especially valued in the Business, Consulting, Marketing & Sales Career field.

Pursue Internships
Below is a small sampling of organizations and their internship positions that have recruited CLA students in the past. For a more comprehensive list of internship openings, search GoldPASS, a free database of internship, volunteer, and job postings for UMN students. Under “Industry”, select one or more of these options: Business Management and Operations, Marketing, Sales. Organizations that have hired CLA students in the past and roles held include:

  • Business Development Research Consulting Intern, Astaran Corporation
  • Interactive Marketing and Media Associate, The Brewer Group
  • Marketing and Event Planning Intern, Alliance Francaise
  • Sales and Grants Intern, Heartland Concert Artists, LLC

Talk to Professionals
Networking can help you explore a career field; start by doing informational interviews with people who are in organizations that are of interest to you. Find professionals by utilizing the “professional networking” tab on GoldPASS, using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool, and getting connected to professional organizations.

Join a Student Group
Consider getting involved with a Student Group. Use the search function to find groups that match your interests. Here is a list of groups that may be of interest to you:

Volunteer
The Center for Community-Engaged Learning  has advising staff that will help you get connected to one of the 300+ community organizations that match your interests. HECUA is a program that offers off-campus study that addresses some of the most important issues of our time. Semester-long HECUA programs incorporate classroom studies, an internship, and field work.

Take Courses
There is not one major or minor that will prepare you for this field as there are many pathways into this profession. Some students choose to go on for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or other related programs. Most graduate schools prefer that you gain some experience before applying. We encourage you to explore programs further at www.gradschools.com.

Advice From Employers

“I would suggest for the students to get involved in student organizations and seek out roles beyond just being a member. Challenge yourself to take on a lead role whenever possible so you can exercise making decisions, collaborating with others, delegating tasks, solving problems etc. Only doing well on individual class assignments does not prepare you enough for all careers.” –Target, representative

“I would suggest seeking out connections to network with as a sophomore in hopes to get an internship as a junior. Take time to go to networking events and career fairs because we are there in hopes to find you!”  –Target, representative

“Be able to talk to people in person and on the phone - not just email or other digital communications.  The ability to build good relationships and influence people is critical in this business setting.”  -C.H. Robinson, representative

“You have to be prepared for the interview and do research on the company and industry. We offer an awesome career path and a lot to offer, but we also want to see the interest and excitement to come and work for us.” -C.H. Robinson, representative

“Do your research, learn about companies and their competitors. Have a grasp of the marketplace, trends, history, etc. Practice interviewing, do research and try to do informational interviews.” –Best Buy, representative