It was with much honor to interview S. Renee Smith, an image consultant, motivational speaker and author. My heart was truly fulfilled after an hour inspiring talk with Ms. Smith on the topic of student branding and life coaching.
By the time we ended the conversation, we both came to the conclusion that without truly knowing yourself, it is impossible to develope your own positive personal brand. Personal branding is not only about selling yourself but it also includes being highly aware of the spiritual side or the inner core of oneself. Here are some of the tips that I gleaned from from my interview with S. Renee Smith that may help you get closer to your true self to create a better self-image.
1. Find out your space.
When discussing the most important factor of student branding, S. Renee pointed out that finding your space is the first step. A majority of students consider the success of their college career merely as high GPA in academics. But what we, as college students, really need to focus on, is the process of discovering who we are and what we want in life. Some students are pleasant about following what their parents want them to be instead of questioning their inner desire. Some students know what they love, but lack courage and confidence to follow their heart. As former CEO of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs says, your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
2. Be consistent with who you are.
When presenting in public, some people describe themselves in one way, but act in the other way. If you want your self-image stay in people’s mind and gradually grow your credibility, you need to correspond your words with your actions. People trust what they actually see more than what they hear, so the bottom line is BE HONEST with yourself and be consistent.
3. Identify your strengths.
During most interviews including the career ambassador interview that I participated in, , you will be asked a lot of questions about your strengths. If you are not certain about who you are …your strengths and weaknesses or have never even thought about them yet, now is the time to do so.. But how do you do that? Begin learning about yourself through other people’s perspectives. You can begin by asking other people for their honest feedback about you. People you select to ask for feedback could be from your work as an intern, like your boss or your co-workers or it could also be from your private life, such as your family members and close friends. Ask them to write down your strengths along with a specific example so that it can be credible and useful. How others think about you may hinder or even harm your own self assessment. Therefore, trust yourself and believe in your own values and voice because external voices can sometime be a distraction. While on the other hand, external voices, can assist you with maintaining an objective view point about yourself..
4. Showcase your talent by taking actions.
After being completely conscious about who you are, what you want and what strengths you have, the last thing you need to do is to take action. During college, you can start by keeping up with the latest news within the industry you are planning to work after graduation; connecting with professionals in the field that you are interested in; or utilizing Blue Hen Careers to find a winter or summer internship. Don’t think all those actions are something one can postpone until graduation. Start doing them NOW! Then you will find your personal brand is developing as fast as what you could ever imagine.
Finally, I want to quote one word from S. Renee Smith to motivate everyone, that quote is ” Life is a journey of discovering the truth of who you really are.”
What are your opinions and comments about personal branding?