The One Where You Learn to Build Your Personal Brand

Hello AMA family! 

Hope everyone has been able to take some time to settle in and enjoy the fall weather! I know this time of year can be especially hectic and chaotic as business students with company recruiting and interviewing for summer internships and jobs, but don’t forget to take a moment out of your busy weeks to soak in the new fall vibes! 

Speaking of vibes, as a business student, we all know how important it is for us to properly present ourselves to companies and learn to stand out against other applicants in business meetings. Building your professional “vibe” and determining how to best showcase your strengths to recruiters is a skill all of us use and might need to freshen up from time to time! In today’s blog post, AMA presents to you some ways in which you can create your personal brand. 

So…What is your PERSONAL BRAND anyways?

If you’ve never heard of “personal brand” before or you have but only in a vague sense, don’t worry!

You’re NOT alone! 

In fact, most university students struggle with this concept because it’s usually never taught traditionally in the classroom! 99% of the time, students come to discover and build their OWN personal brand through experience! 

All in all, a personal brand is just a fancy way of describing all the aspects of your life and decisions you make that help shape WHO YOU ARE and how other people see you!

I know what you’re thinking. Easier said than done!

 It definitely sounds intimidating but now that you know a bit about what your personal brand is, there are ways you can learn to navigate it and make decisions that better support the way you want to present yourself! 

Ask yourself these questions. What decisions do you make and how could you change them to alter your “personal brand?” 

  • Are you someone who is always 5 minutes early to meetings or 5 minutes late? 
  • Do you show up to meetings dressed appropriately or do you tend to pay less attention to the dress code and show up underdressed? 
  • Are the things you post on social media a positive reflection of yourself? If you were in an interview and an employer asked you to show them your Twitter feed, would you be comfortable showing them?
  • Is your passion for the field/career you’re interviewing for apparent in your personal life or online presence? (ex: having an online portfolio of drawings if art interests you)

These and many other questions can help you better understand where your brand stands now and where you would like it to be. 

Writer Kathryn LeBlanc from Mission.org says:

Content Creation 

Relationship Building 

are two ways university students can revamp their personal brands!

Content Creation 

In her article, LeBlanc says students now are more knowledgeable than they think when it comes to content creation. With all the tech-savvy methods we use, including social media, podcasts, YouTube, video editing software, Photoshop, and more, going online and voicing our opinions about the things we are passionate about and our interests can be done within minutes! Additionally, connecting through LinkedIn, emailing professionals, resume building are more ways to build “content” under your name! 

Relationship Building 

LeBlanc also talks about how leveraging our communication skills is the best way to build our networks and make connections with important people! By attending campus panels, one-on-ones with employers, finding professional mentors and putting ourselves out there, we can easily and slowly build our personal brand! 

In all honesty, while networking is always made out to be super professional and uptight…

(Imagine the tense atmosphere of career fairs with everyone dressed in business casual, resumes in hand and questions prepared)

…networking is really all about connecting with other humans on a personal level by finding something in common! While it is important to keep the relationship cordial, it doesn’t have to be robotic and stiff! 

As you can see, “personal brand” is nothing more than taking what you already have and “packaging” it up into a nice professional gift you can present to companies! 

In your free time, refer back to the questions in this article and answer them honestly. Ask yourself what “items” you have in your “personal brand toolbox” right now and what you want to have. Finally, make a list and get out there and start CREATING CONTENT and BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS!  

Read more from Kathryn LeBlanc at:

https://medium.com/the-mission/how-students-can-build-their-personal-brand-while-in-university-50303e21c1e0

BY ANANYA GOKHALE

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