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Your Personal Brand

What is your personal brand? This is a question I’ve been tasked with answering by Tuesday the 31st at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Jeffrey Papa, first-year adjunct professor here at the College, teaches a course on branding in higher education. As the name suggests, the course centers on how institutions brand themselves to their constituents (i.e., the public, current students and alumni, other schools, etc).

Perhaps this form of self-assessment is more common within the SPACE program, or the counseling field, but taking a personal inventory within the EPPL PhD program is something I have yet to do (with the exception of EDUC 603, College Student Development). I spend much of my time taking inventory of external topics: certain places, things, theories, ideas. So, how do we, as students, brand ourselves? If you brand yourself as Diet Coke while in school, do you stay Diet Coke while outside of school, or, do you morph into Cherry? Finding and defining a personal brand is much more difficult than one would think. As a student, our minds change on a regular basis, sometimes by the day, week, or month, sometimes by the millisecond or which direction the wind is blowing.

For me, I think our personal brands act dissimilar to any other “traditional” brand, given that as students we are expected to make some form of quantifiable progress while in school, whether that progress is related to learning new concepts, opening our minds to different or alternative ideas and opinions, graduating, or finding a job. So try and think of your personal brand, how you would define it to someone else, what it means, or how you’ve come to grow into your current brand. It’s more difficult than you think.

We’ll see if I can pin down my personal brand over the weekend…if it doesn’t change by then.