After a wonderful presentation from Rishad Tobaccowala at the University of Michigan on 2/6/09 (check out my blog for a breakdown of his presentation), there are a couple of quick points I want to highlight. He discussed how important it is for every student to carry a story, niche, and voice about themselves. So, I broke down myself- and figured it all out. It’s actually pretty fun and will work to my advantage when interviewing- check it out!
The first thing to remember: YOU are your own BRAND.
What’s your story? Brands are built by storytelling. YOU are technically a brand- a very specific brand that should be marketed to a particular area you seek. So how do you do that? Format what you’re looking for through your story. My STORY was created a while back, and then dropped into my personal website. Be honest. Be yourself. Be original. You want to set yourself apart from everyone else out there- and there are TONS of people who possess the same qualities as you. It’s all how you market them and carry your story!
What is your niche? You have up to 3 words…. A brand decides what it’s not, much more than what it is. Think about what you are- and what you’re not. My Niche: Future, Change, Fun.
What is your voice? Do not live in other peoples’ minds. We’re too busy with what other people think. Live in your mind. Developing 3 words to describe your voice can give your brand an edge. My Voice: Tenacious, Distinct, Brave.
I also have a fun exercise that deems to be beneficial. Sit down and come up with 10 questions that you want to ask yourself. And then answer them- however you can only answer them in 4-5 sentences each. I dropped a few of my questions and answers below. You could bring these questions to an interview with you- show them a thing or two about who’s running the interview (KIDDING). But it’s another great way to give employers a STORY about yourself, without them having to ask.
A quick interview with Jeff Bobick.
What/who inspires you? My aunt and uncle have worked so hard in their careers to be where they are today by working extra hours, traveling around the world, and still maintaining a sophisticated social life. If I have a positive, passionate attitude towards life and my work, like my aunt and uncle, I can get the best out of life- and it will show.
What are you passionate about? My career and future, or at least what I’m trying to make of it. I have been determined to go out, work with a smile and not settle for anything less than success. My accomplishments of discovering who I am are held deep inside of me- I learn from my mistakes and live with no regrets. The only mistake I can make, is not marketing myself to the world. The only mistake they can make is passing me up.
What cheers you up? Any of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s piano works, his Prelude in C# Minor particularly. Most of his music is very dark and dreary, especially this one. Whenever I am stressed out or in a bad mood this is the first song to be played on my iPod. It starts out very dark and works into a very fast-paced ride that stirs up my senses. I play piano, so I have a deep respect for complicated pieces and this shines.
What is your favorite food? Thai food with spice. Egg noodles, ordered “hot.” My nose needs to be running in order for me to really enjoy the spiciness of the Thai food. It’s not a painful “hot” sensation in your mouth, but something that can be enjoyed with a little bit of water.
Coffee or tea? That’s a touchy subject. Coffee, for sure, bit it’s much more than just a “cup of coffee” to me. I go to Starbucks at least 4-5 times per week, ordering a venti non-fat vanilla latte for the sweet taste of vanilla against the bitter espresso. The calm, sophisticated atmosphere of the barista adds to my coffee experience too.
What are you known for among your friends and family the most? My smile and attitude. I always carry my smile with me in my pocket and I try to view everything positively- even though I know that’s not always going to be possible. The smile and the positive attitude go hand-in-hand when helping others. Not only is it gratifying for me but I think that my friends and family really appreciate it when times are particularly rough.