Recent years have seen an increase in the number of graduates from institutions of higher learning, consequently, recruitment trends have also changed. The implication of this is that students must be well prepared for the current job market and one way of doing this is by creating a personal brand.
Personal branding can be defined as the process of establishing and promoting what you stand for by influencing what others perceive about you and making people aware of what you have to offer.
The Strathmore University Business School had the pleasure of hosting Esther Kinuthia, EMEA Regional Sales Program Manager Facebook for an industry training session on personal branding. The industrial training sessions are organized to help students prepare for life after their studies and to give them insight into what to expect in the world of employment and entrepreneurship.
Esther is a Strathmore University graduate of the Bachelor of Commerce programme (BCOM) and has worked her way to a C level management position at Facebook. “My journey in personal branding started with my blog, “Miss Independent” which I used as the launching pad for my career, “she said.
Two Main Aspects of Personal Branding
According to Esther, the most important aspect of creating a personal brand is authenticity and producing quality work. Being authentic means that students should strive to bring out their real personalities through their everyday work and engagements. These engagements could be anything from classwork to how they interact with people in their networks. Displaying their skills through quality work. Quality is achieved by continuously improving on what has been previously done. Always striving to achieve better results every time, regardless of the task. Every article for Esther was a new opportunity to improve on the last one. The same can be applied to almost everything that a person engages in.
Consistency is the other aspect of personal branding. It is important to strive to be consistent in what you have to offer. This is what makes a person stand out of the crowd because it brings out your true self. Esther used her blog to build her brand by telling different stories on influential people in the industry. This is what set her apart from other students who had applied for the internship at Google. This for her was her ticket into the corporate world.
Does this mean that blogging is the only way to create your brand? No. It is important to identify what you are passionate about and work with that. Once you identify that, then be true to yourself because faking it does not bring out the desired results.
Why Personal Branding?
A personal brand will bring out your best qualities which is what employers and recruiters look for. These may not necessarily come out in a CV. Recruiters consider personal achievements when hiring because this speaks more to what an individual can achieve as opposed to what they have stated that they can achieve.
While working at a multinational corporation has been a real eye-opener for her, she says that being true to herself and venturing outside her comfort zone has helped her navigate her career. This experience has made her more resilient. However, her journey has not been all bliss, there are times when people around her put her down. It took her to believe in herself to succeed. Failures will come along the way, but the real lesson here is to learn from mistakes and work towards achieving better results.
“The Strathmore University career services office was instrumental in creating my first CV and encouraged me to make use of the invaluable resources at the university. I hope that sharing my life experience will help other student create their personal brand and stay true to themselves,” she said.
The Bachelor of Commerce Programme
This programme is designed for students wishing to gain a degree qualification to maximize their career options. The course is structured into a series of modules designed to focus specifically on the core functions of management.
Our graduates are known for their solid understanding of business issues and processes, problem-solving, and leadership skills. They are highly sought after in a wide variety of professions. Learn more here
Article by Anne Muasa.
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