‘Your social media is already your personal brand’

At the beginning of the workshop, students are given an assignment: research each other online. Students don’t know one another and are astounded by how much of their personal information is out there. “Were you born in May?”, “Why are you following a channel about tea on Clubhouse?!”, “Your art is amazing!” – are among the comments.

Workshop’s lead, Dheeraj Ramchand – an International Business Administration alumnus and a co-founder of CreatEURs Guild – warns: “If you are on social media, you already created your personal brand. It will be researched by recruiters and other parties of interest. Be conscious of what you post, because brand is a combination of reputation and features that make you stand out, so this is what you will be known for”.

Asking existential questions helps you stand out

Skills workshop personal branding
Image credit: Natalia Khozyainova

There are multiple techniques that can guide you during personal brand development: think about which problems you can help people solve; your unique features, or which values you support. However, arguably the most important question to ask is: “If someone woke you up at 3 a.m. to talk about a single topic, what would it be?” says Ramchand.

Ramchand, who has been interested in marketing from the age of three, shares: “I can talk about marketing 24/7, even at night. To understand what your key passion is – which makes you stand out and translates into your personal brand – you need to find what you cannot stop talking about.”

‘We compete with the whole world’

What are the motivations of students to learn about personal branding? Richard Gattringer, a bachelor student of International Business Administration, shares: “I wanted to learn how to stand out, because today there is so much pressure to be exceptional, or at least present yourself as exceptional. Due to globalization, our generation is competing with the whole world. If an employer can just as easy hire someone from Asia, while I am in Europe, I need to know what will make my profile memorable.”

Nicoleta Tartu, a master student of Health Economics, Policy and Law, agrees and adds: “It was also important for me to learn how to narrow down all of my interests, because there are so many! Presenting yourself as a consistent persona is a challenge, but workshops like this help.”