Communications and Marketing Careers

Opportunities for careers in communications and marketing are wide-ranging in both medium and breadth. The fields intersect with nearly every major industry and provide critical services for the private and public sectors alike.

Through a liberal arts education, Bowdoin students are especially equipped to enter the marketplace in communications and marketing. Successful advancement in the industry requires a deep understanding of how artistic, cultural, commercial, and sociopolitical innovation and thought all impact a cultivated worldview. Bowdoin alumni active in the industry have gone off to work for Apple TV+, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Hearst, Hill Holliday, Lego Group, Prosek Partners, PUMA, NBCUniversal Media, The New York Times, and Viacom, just to name a few. The industries are constantly evolving and growing steadily by the globalization of the business world that has been brought closer together through the accessibility and immediacy of digital communications.

Sample Career Paths

Advertising: Advertising agencies operate in a form of paid marketing communication that represents their clients by providing targeted guidance to promote a brand, product, or service, frequently through media channels such as publishing, television, radio, billboards, websites, and social media. Jobs in this field include account service, creative direction, media, traffic, and production.

Public Relations: According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), public relations (PR) is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. Like other areas of marketing, PR professionals work with private businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individual enterprises. Jobs in this field are typically separated into two categories of in-house and agency work. Tasks performed by PR professionals may include creating a communication strategy, crises management, coordinating events or speaking engagements, drafting press releases, and pitching stories to media.

Publishing: Traditional publishing includes books, newspapers, magazines, journals, and other periodicals. While this form of publishing is still a large portion of the sector, content being publishing online has reshaped and impacted the industry in ways that were unfathomable twenty years ago. Entry-level positions include editorial assistant and assistant editor, publicity assistant, and other assistant positions in areas human resources, information technology, marketing, production, and sales. Many of the largest publishers are headquartered in New York City. The largest book publishers are Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Scholastic, while the largest magazine publishers include Hearst, Time Inc., and Condé Nast.

Journalism: The field of journalism is changing rapidly due to the increasing number of digital publications and competition with other forms of new media. In the new marketplace, working as a freelancer is now more common than being a staff writer. Newspaper journalists frequently begin their careers with a postgraduate internship before advancing to a full-time position. The five main categories of journalism include investigative, news, reviews, columns, and feature writing.

Film/Radio/Television: The film/radio/television industry operates in a binary fashion with two major divisions: the creative side and the business side. The creative side is focused primarily on content, whereas the business side involves many advertising, marketing, and sales roles. Naturally, networking is a crucial aspect to this industry, with most companies and firms based in New York City and Los Angeles. Entry-level positions include personal, production, and development assistants. Working at a talent agency such as Creative Artists Agency (CAA) or United Talent Agency (UTA) is a true and tested way to explore the many avenues in this business. Many Bowdoin alumni have launched their careers at these companies as interns in the mail room.

Sports: Sports is as exciting as it is vast, with every category in communications and media found within this industry. ESPN, along with the major networks, account for most of the media jobs. Sports teams and leagues such as the MLB, MLS, NLF, NBA, and NHL offer established internship programs that invariably lead to entry-level opportunities. Sports brands also fall under this category, such as Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Peloton, Puma, and Under Armour.

Meet Alumni

VIDEOBowdoin college alumnus and vice president of marketing at LEGO Mike Moynihan.