Interdisciplinary Studies

Given my ramblings as of late, why did I go into Marketing? It seems so much more pedestrian than heady topics like Astronomy and Economics which are so interesting to me.

I could be solving important world problems. Why am I building emails?

If you’ve read my blog, you may know that in college I received a bachelor’s in Marketing and I minored in Computer Information Systems. This was prior to the existence of marketing automation to the masses. I loved programming, but I know I didn’t want to be a programmer. And I knew there was a connection between marketing and programming, but I didn’t know what it was.

I say this a lot to people I work with: “There’s something there in those ideas, they’re connected somehow. I don’t know what it is.”

One of the reasons I love my team is that they’re absolutely excellent at figuring out what the “thing” is. They figuratively, and literally, complete me. That’s why it’s so important to think strategically when building a team. You can’t over-index a team with thinkers, because nothing gets done and you can’t over-index on doers, because new ideas don’t get created. My team completes me because they’re all a mix of both.

Someone on the team told me that she was like me, she enjoyed interdisciplinary studies. She is like me in many ways, and I’d never heard of interdisciplinary studies. The meaning is obvious, but I googled it to make sure I really understood. I don’t remember interdisciplinary studies being a thing when I was in school in the early 2000s or maybe I had a skewed view of what a successful career was and didn’t think to look into interdisciplinary studies.

For those, like me, who don’t know what interdisciplinary studies are, it’s essentially creating your own major by combining seemingly unrelated programs.

So I unintentionally created an interdisciplinary degree for myself for a field that didn’t yet exist.

Marketing allows me to connect data and connect systems. Management allows me to connect ideas and people. And I enjoy writing and storytelling. So…yeah, Marketing Manager makes sense.

What’s even more important to take away from this is that the rise of interdisciplinary studies gives me hope that people will stop seeing life, and career paths, as so black and white, so linear. Seeing the connections between seemingly unrelated things is how ideas are made. Are you a teacher that really enjoys when you can discuss civics with your students? Consider running for a local office. Teachers are great at translating difficult concepts, which would make for an excellent politician. Are you a teacher who enjoys creating lesson plans? You would probably be an excellent project manager. The same rigor is required for both.

Be mindful enough to know what you’re good at. And be brave enough to pivot.

And maybe my next career will be astronomy.

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