2018 delivered more than what I anticipated.
The year began with my last semester at the University of Melbourne which turned out to be busier than other semesters – I volunteered as a media officer at Red Cross Australia and writer for the Students’ Association of Management & Marketing at the university. Throughout my journey as an international student at UniMelb, I kept looking for ways to share my story. This wound up taking shape as a side project called Humans of UniMelb that continues to publish inspirational student stories. An advocate for personal branding, I realized that students wanted to know the stories, accomplishments and hardships of the ones before them. While to some, stories might help answer questions, to others they may serve as motivation.
One of the most rewarding internships, my stint at Catch Group lasted 8 months. It was a great space to work in as I got to get my hands dirty with creating SEO-optimised content for the Catch website plus their sister website Brands Exclusive.
After two years of assignments, deadlines and an unhealthy consumption of coffee, graduation day finally arrived. My dad and his partner flew in all the way from Morgan Hill, California for a 12-day road trip across Australia.
As I reflect, time spent at university has been more about exploring evolving marketing concepts than just reading up on existing campaigns and strategies. I grew closer to understanding the DNA of marketing and communications as I dived into topics like sensory marketing, information vacuum in social media, and the ever-changing face of digital advertising.
Towards the end of October, I landed a job at Choice Hotels Asia-Pac. I consider myself lucky to have such a diverse and ambitious team to work with.
The future of my profession is undeniably experiential marketing. We are increasingly integrating it with our everyday life, the most recent instance – Netflix’s interactive movie, Bandersnatch where we get to ‘choose our own adventure’.
It truly is The Age of the Consumer. Not that it ever wasn’t. But today, consumers aren’t just consuming what brands give them, they have a voice and appreciate a sense of real connection with brands. Choosing a brand is personal and consumers want to make sure they choose one that listens to them, represents their values, and validates the content they create.
After a short trip back home in Delhi for the holidays, I’m excited to be back and ready to create some magic. ✨