How to brand yourself for the job market

You are not special. It’s a fact of life that none of us are. This is something that I think should be ingrained into our minds once we reach a suitable age to understand what is meant by that statement.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, my professor, Michael Edmondson, from Philadelphia was on campus sharing with students about the program and what it has to offer. Outside of just promoting The Philadelphia Center, he had a mini-workshop about branding. Being a TPC alum (Fall 2012), I thought it would be fun to reminisce and hear Michael talk more about marketing yourself.

I’m glad I did because it was a good reminder and an eye opener to some steady facts that everyone should know. He went over the statistics about the number of grad students on food stamps and welfare to the real percentage of households that actually make more than $50,000 a year. He was honest, and this is something that here in the bubble you seem to overlook.

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Michael talking about the chaotic ocean

It’s easy to forget that outside of Hanover and Madison, Ind., there is a real world. Michael referred to this world post-graduation as the chaotic ocean. It’s the nitty gritty things you don’t learn in the classroom but do so through application and experience.

He reminded me that when you come to an interview that your interviewer might not care what school you went to or if you had honors because with the thousands of college students in the country, there is a fair share of them who also went to a small liberal arts school and graduated with honors. That’s not special.

Michael also said that GPA isn’t everything, and that everyone has their niche, whether it’s be inside the classroom or outside the classroom.

His presentation was a kick in the butt to start doing what I can now to get that job after graduation. Michael put into perspective that I shouldn’t expect a huge paycheck with a great pension and 401k but I can expect a job that will serve as a building block to help me work toward my career goals.

He reminded me that I need to do more to set myself apart from the crowd so I don’t get lost in the “chaotic ocean” of post-undergrad life. I can confidently share that being special isn’t just a comment from your parents, professors or friends, it’s something you work toward that helps set you apart from the crowd.

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