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The Education of Marketing

26 Mar 2013

When dental nurse Melanie Stockman travelled to Germany to enhance her skills in the dental industry in 2002, her commitment to her career was slowly, albeit unconsciously, undermined by a new awareness about the world of high finance and business.

Melanie, 27, of Epping, lived in Dusseldorf for three years studying at Dusseldorf University for the Diploma of Dental Hygiene while she worked for a periodontist at the same time.

But the environs of Dusseldorf and its focus on business soon inspired her to take a new direction when she returned to Melbourne in July, 2005 and she jettisoned a career she had always loved to undertake a totally different field of study in marketing.

'The experience in Dusseldorf changed my view of what I wanted to do and I was getting bored with the repetitive procedures in dentistry. I realised I didn't want to be stuck in a building doing the same things every day for the next 50 years and I just couldn't do it anymore.'

Marketing appealed as an exciting and attractive alternative and Melanie enrolled at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) to undertake the Advanced Diploma in Business (Marketing). Going from dental hygienist to potential marketing executive may seem like a radical career change, but for Melanie, it was perfect. Indeed, it allowed her to apply her artistic and imaginative skills in what is often seen as a traditionally conservative business environment.

'I rediscovered the creative streak I'd had in art as a teenager albeit in a different context,' Melanie said.

'Marketing seemed as if it could be a job in business that I could enjoy. I had previously thought marketing was about advertising and I'd never studied any business subjects at school and had no interest in it but in Dusseldorf, it just seemed like a whole new world and I was fascinated.'

NMIT offers both a Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Business (Marketing) with their key focus in the planning, development, implementation and review of marketing strategies and plans. It specialises in marketing communications, direct marketing, international marketing, e-business, business planning and management. NMIT also offers Certificate IV in Business Marketing, which provides graduates with excellent career opportunities in sales, sales management or customer service.

These courses provide the skills and knowledge required in any business, either for profit or not for profit, to go from the identification of potential customers through to business strategy development.

'Marketing expertise can be applied in any profession or business from selling baked beans through to high finance. It underpins nearly all organisations in our society be it the Red Cross or the Traffic Accident Commission as well as BHP Billiton and Qantas,' NMIT Marketing Program Coordinator John Grech said.

'Without understanding marketing, it is difficult for any organisation to put in place a business idea to return an economic or social profit.'

John added marketing could also be used as an essential approach to achieve your own life goals in the same way as an organisation or business tried to achieve their goals.

'It's about marketing yourself and your organisations and marketing concepts and strategies permeate every aspect of our society.

'People can misunderstand what a marketer does, 'John added, ' but in fact, we are all marketers and the issue is really about how well we do it.'

For Melanie, 'it's about everything you do in business - a lot more than a pretty advertisement as I first thought. It's intense, intellectual and very business focused and is so important for everything we do.'

According to Melanie, marketing is about image; a formula for life where you learn all the steps so you know how to do it.

In marketing, she said, you're promoting an image; a business image that she's learning to adopt too.

'My image is important too; learning skills to market myself in a new career, both psychologically as well as physically.'

But what's behind the image is absolutely integral to performance; the skills to make marketing work in the way you want, Melanie added.

Indeed, she is now planning to go on to university (NMIT's Diploma can be accredited towards a university degree) to complete a degree in marketing as well as revisiting the dental arena; but in a new direction.

''I'm looking at working in the distribution of dental pharmaceuticals in a marketing capacity where I can combine my love of marketing with the interest I still have in the dental industry.

'Before I went to Germany, I thought I had my life all planned out. I never expected to do something so different as marketing.'

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NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.