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Top 5 Tips To Implement Your Personal Brand

By Valia Glytsis

December 11, 2017

Thanks to those of you who joined us on our webinar about defining a personal brand (didn’t see it? Watch on demand!). While discussing branding is fun and energizing, putting into practice is critical for lasting momentum and success.

Below are some practical tips and mindset-based insights to help you stay on course as you navigate “what’s next” and continue to define who you are from the inside-out!

#1. Be the Boss of Your Thoughts.

Mindset is the glue that holds our personal brand together. The top invader of owning our brand is our mental chatter. This mental chatter shows up as imposter syndrome, playing small, feeling insecure, suffering from low confidence. Here are a few tips to tackle this inner critic when it decides to pop up and say ‘hello’ (by the way, it usually surfaces when you are courageous enough to take up more space and be BIGGER):

Name It.
This voice is completely normal and part of our human experience. It never goes away. However, you can objectify it and recognize that it is simply a piece of your thoughts, not an all-encompassing sense of self. Give it a name and a separate identity so you can remind yourself it is “other”.

Unravel It.
This voice gets scary when it takes a life of its own and begins to catastrophize our thoughts and feelings. It can only take hold of you if you buy into its narrative. Instead, allow it to unravel. Keep asking it: “And then what happens?” See how your worst nightmare eventually runs out of steam if you let it unwind. It can only go up from there when you realize that the worst case is actually kind of OK.

Ritualize It.
This voice can bleed into all aspects of your life if you allow it. Rather than have it consume you, give it its own ritual. During this time, journal about the voice, share what it is telling you out loud, read to it, and so on. By honoring it with ritual, you’ll realize that you can actually nurture it like you would do to a younger version of yourself (which is exactly what this voice represents – it’s here to keep you safe and secure!)

#2. Know What Your Stand For.

Our personal values are the fundamental point of differentiation in our brand. Even if you and I share similar strengths and passion, what is most meaningful to us and how we make our decisions is at the core of our inner truth. Revisit the branding webinar for more details on doing a personal values exercise – this work is paramount. Write out your personal values that are most prevalent right now.

WARNING: This work normally elicits thinking well into the future for “aspirational” values rather than “practiced” values. Aspirational values do not exist in our current reality and if we continue to strive for them in the day-to-day, we feel as if we are failing. Instead, be honest about your practiced values that are alive and honored in your current life chapter.

For example, give yourself permission to stand for “Excellence” rather than “Balance” right now. It is OK. In fact, it is truth and will allow you to make empowered choices and meaningful connections.

#3. Get Clear On What You Want.

All too often, I see women getting very vague and wishy-washy when asked what they want. This is detrimental to a brand. We think we are being “easy” by allowing more options and flexibility while, in fact, we are making it extra difficult for our audience to support us or open possibilities. Get very clear on what you want. And remember, this doesn’t mean you have to know what you want for the rest of your life. The magic words are: “for right now”.

What do you want for right now in your personal and professional path? For example, rather than saying: “I want a job in consulting”, you can specify, “I want a job in X company with a focus on digital strategy; I prefer a start-up environment where I can leverage my entrepreneurial skills. Working in San Francisco would be ideal.” The former tells me nothing about a personal brand; the latter tells me quite a bit.

Even if it feels unnatural, allow yourself to be targeted, specific, and clear on what you are asking for. You make yourself visible and allow others to be partners on the path.

#4. Ask Assertively and Own Your Space.

Nothing is more tragic than having a compelling brand (content-wise) and then shrinking completely when declaring your brand to the world! The magic tool here is assertion. There is a misconception that “assertive” is half way between passive and aggressive. In fact, assertive is nowhere on that continuum. Assertive is all about clarity. When you are clear, you speak succinctly with power and gravitas. A few pointers to clear up your verbal and written brand communication pronto:

Clear the Verbal Clutter.
That means no more filler words or hedging words like “just”, “kind of”, “maybe”. These words and phrases diminish your impact.

Stop Apologizing.
That means no more qualifying phrases to apologize for your opinion or the space you are taking. “Sorry to bother you but…” – sound familiar?

Punctuate and Pause.
That means take your space! Watch any tendencies to rush, pile questions, end a bold statement with up-talk, etc. If you believe that you deserve your space, your personal brand will shine. If you don’t give it its space, it will shrink in kind.

#5. Connect with Why.

Move beyond “what” you want to do and into “why” you want to do it. When we infuse our brand, our values, our choices with the power of why, we compel people with emotion, not just logic. Connecting with “why” allows for human vulnerability to be the glue between the rational objectives and professional goals we outline. “Why” engages people’s hearts, including your own.

If you have a hard time connecting with your personal mission and purpose, try thinking of it this way: A purpose is nothing more than where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger. Keep connecting to what matters to you and where you find meaning. The puzzle pieces of your brand will then be brilliantly obvious to you when you spot them! Your work is to stay true to the uniquely distinctive you.

 

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Transferrable Skills of a Writing Mentor

By Mairead Tuttle

December 7, 2017

My work as a writing mentor has been one of the most rewarding parts of my college experience. My school’s writing center has not only been a wonderful place of employment, but also a source of personal growth. While helping my fellow students improve their own writing, I have developed transferrable skills that I know will help me greatly in the professional world.

Working as a writing mentor has helped me to improve my own writing. Writing is a skill that is important in every field, but is especially relevant in industries in which communication is key. As someone who is interested in marketing, working with pieces of writing that span academic disciplines has helped me to see writing skills are not only important for English majors. All academic disciplines need to “market” their findings. Effective writing can solidify a business plan or explain the gravity of a scientific finding. Witnessing the ways in which students across disciplines convey their messages has helped me to strengthen my own written (and spoken) communication skills.

While it might not be the first skill that comes to mind when you think of “writing tutor,” time management has been very important throughout my time in my job. As is likely the case at most colleges, my school’s writing center has appointments that must end when the hour (or thirty minutes) is up. When a student brings in twenty pages of her senior thesis, I immediately know that we will be unable to read over every word, or even every page. Therefore, I quickly need to figure out a way to structure the session so that it is productive as possible. Situations like this also arise in the professional world, where the stakes might be higher and the time even shorter. Working as a writing mentor has allowed me to develop the skill of creating a productive plan at a moment’s notice.

Another skill that I have developed while working as a writing mentor is to always lead with the positive and offer constructive criticism. There is often a positive element of a negative situation and a silver lining to every cloud. The same is true with writing. Despite the fact that an essay might be rife with grammatical errors and have three unrelated theses that are all unclear, beginning the session by pointing out what the writer did correctly sets a positive tone for the remainder of your time. The student knows that you intend to be productive, not purely critical for an entire hour.

This skill is one that is quite valuable in managers in the professional world. Employees who are constantly berated by their supervisors are not likely to be very motivated workers or have a positive affinity toward their workplace. If a student has consistently used an incorrect verb tense, I tell her constructively so that she will not make the mistake again in the future. If an employee has unknowingly used the incorrect terminology in a report, a manager must tell her so that she too will know what to do in the future.

No matter what type of assignment or skill level of the writer, I always enjoy the time I get to spend working in my school’s writing center. The lessons that I have learned there will stick with me for many years to come, and throughout my career, I will think back to the skills I developed during my time spent there.

Mairead Tuttle is from Pennsylvania and is currently a French and Economics major at Mount Holyoke College. Through her economics classes, she found a passion for business, and hopes to someday work on the management side of the fashion and beauty industries.

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Creating an Academic Bucket List

By Aury Cifuentes

December 5, 2017

We might all have those quirk college traditions that everyone is encouraged to experience before graduation. As a current senior, I am missing a few, such as jumping into the only fountain on campus. Yet regardless of your class year, everyone can have an academic bucket list! (No fountain required).

Below is a sample bucket list but you can make one with as many points and goals as you would like to accomplish this semester.

1. Contribute to the class discussion at least once per class

This means even when you know the answer, there are awkward silences, or you just do not feel like sharing, being proactive can not only help you recall certain concepts but clarify the content for someone else. This has a snowball effect that could inspire someone to participate when you need it most.

2. Go to office hours once per month (or as needed)

Let’s say you grasp everything perfectly, why would you make the trek to your Econometrics’ professor’s distant office? Because you never know whom you will need to know in the job market or academia. Faculty typically have access to research opportunities and certain elusive alumni that are only accessible through connections, so unless you network, you will never know.

3. Work with someone outside your immediate friend group
I am not encouraging you avoid your friends for group projects, but inviting someone new to join your power group can have its benefits. One of them includes preparing for the workforce where everyone from various backgrounds and ages will be trying to create a deliverable with you!

This bucket list is pretty brief as all of the above are big commitments depending on the type of person you are. Overall, there is no right or wrong way to list your wants for the semester so go ahead and start writing!

Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

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Diversity Conferences That Made a Difference In My First Year

By Megha Karthikeyan

November 30, 2017

One of the best tips I have for women getting into the finance industry is to attend diversity conferences and externships. You will be able to learn a lot about the company culture of the places you want to work at and understand the various divisions and opportunities at the company. It is also a great way to network with other college students from around the country.

Goldman Sachs Women’s Leadership Camp

Last year, I attended the Goldman Sachs Women’s Leadership Camp where I learned a great deal about the company culture, business principles, and the divisions at Goldman Sachs. I attended the conference in Salt Lake City which is one of their biggest offices. To apply for the conference, I had to submit my resume and then complete a Hirevue, which is Goldman Sachs’ online interviewing system. This came in very handy this year when I was applying for the Goldman internships because they use Hirevues to evaluate summer analysts, so I already had practice using the system.

At the two-day conference, I learned about the many divisions Goldman Sachs had through open networking sessions where representatives from the many divisions spoke with us about their jobs and day-to-day work life. I gained a lot of insight about what Goldman Sachs was looking for when hiring summer analysts.

Another benefit for this conference were the resume reviews that the recruiters did for us while we were there. Since this program was for first and second years in college, they helped us edit our resumes and told us what recruiters look for when reading a resume. We also got a chance to do practice interviews where we learned to tell our story and speak to our activities.

This conference gave me the chance to meet college women from all over the country and network with employees at Goldman Sachs. I recommend anyone interested in working in finance and banking to attend a conference like this one because it is very informative and exciting.

Deutsche Bank’s Rise Into Success Conference

This past May I attended Deutsche Bank’s Rise Into Success conference for people of diverse backgrounds including minorities and women. This program took place in New York City and I got a chance to learn more about Deutsche and its company culture.

One of the great aspects of this conference was the session where we did a practice interview with professionals at the firm. I was assigned to a Vice President in Global Markets who gave me practice questions which she would ask to interviewees. I got insight into what sorts of questions were asked during Deutsche interviews and got to practice my speaking skills.

The Rise Into Success program also set up networking lunches and sessions where we got to speak with former interns and employees about their experiences at Deutsche and what they like about the company. It was great to hear about the different divisions in Deutsche and meet people from all over the world who work there.

Programs like this will help women interested in finance expand their options and learn about the different jobs that are out there in the banking world. Since this program is only for first years, it is a great opportunity to start networking for that third year internship.


Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

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Balancing Academics and the Job Search During Your Senior Year

By Mairead Tuttle

November 28, 2017

When your senior year of college begins, you can already picture yourself walking across the stage at your college’s commencement ceremony. As you attend graduation information meetings and check off your required courses, it can feel like your final months of school are simply an obstacle to starting your career. I know this feeling first-hand. For the past several weeks, I have learned how important it is to strike a balance between my academic work and my post-graduation job search. Here are four strategies I have used (and will continue to use) to work toward achieving this balance.

1. A digital calendar:

The most helpful organizational tool in balancing my academic work and extracurricular activities with my post-graduation planning has been a digital calendar. While many people have likely used this tool for years, I have always appreciated my paper planner, and will probably always find myself with a new one each January. As I started adding more events to my calendar, I realized that my planner could no longer fit everything in my day. Switching to a digital calendar has allowed me to plan every block of my day. Furthermore, I have the ability to quickly add or modify an event, which are changes that will then appear on all of my devices. My preferred platform is Google Calendar. I like that I can have separate calendars for different parts of my life (such as academic and job related activities) that appear simultaneously to me but can be shared separately with others. My calendar also keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by my academic work. When I can see a clear block of time that I know I can fill with course readings, I feel more in control of my schedule.

2. Scheduling:

Generally, scheduling helps me to organize my day and my life. This might seem like an obvious fact, but it is not one that I have always understood. Searching for jobs can be an overwhelming task. Scheduling a set amount of time during which you will look for jobs can help to make the process seem less daunting. Rather than telling myself that I will find a few hours during the weekend to look for jobs and then forgetting about it, I put those hours on my calendar to ensure that I follow through with my job search. It can also help to further specify those hours. Rather than just writing “search for jobs” on my calendar, I add what particular industry I will research. For example, from 1:00 - 2:00 on Saturday, I will look into entry level jobs in the marketing field. This will not only help to narrow my search results in an employment database, but also give a sense of focus and purpose to my job search.

3. Career Center visits:

Visiting my college’s career center always leaves me feeling more certain about the future. This is especially true when the future seems like it is approaching more quickly than I could have ever imagined. Depending upon what college you attend, your career center will likely offer different services. I am lucky enough to attend a college where the professional staff in the career center offer advice and guidance on a wide variety of topics ranging from a simple question about my resumé to the decision about which graduate school path to take. If you are able to do so, setting up a meeting to speak with a career advisor one-on-one can be a great help in balancing your academic work and job search. You will hopefully narrow your job search after this meeting, while being reminded that you are still a student (which is what gives you access to the career center in the first place!).

4. Drawing connections:

During the first few weeks of my senior year of college, I have found myself thinking about how the work I do in class will connect to my eventual career. This is not always the most productive train of thought, but it can be incredibly valuable. By reminding myself that the homework I need to complete will soon help me in a professional setting, I realize how truly important it is to finish my college career strongly. Take a few moments before starting an assignment to gauge what elements of it will be useful in your professional life. You can also think back to internships or jobs that you have had already, and recall the knowledge you gained in class that you used in those settings.

Graduation is quickly approaching, but it is not here yet. Employing even one of these strategies can help you to think toward the future without forgetting about the present.


Mairead Tuttle is from Pennsylvania and is currently a French and Economics major at Mount Holyoke College. Through her economics classes, she found a passion for business, and hopes to someday work on the management side of the fashion and beauty industries.

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Helpful Apps For Boosting Your Productivity

By Nuriya Saifulina

November 23, 2017

In college, technology can often hamper your workflow by providing you with endless sources of procrastination. However, with the right apps it can also do wonders to your productivity by helping you keep track of your assignments, optimize your studying, and prepare for your exams. We compiled a list of holy grail apps that will help any college student tackle their work more efficiently and even fun!

EasyBib
There is nothing more annoying than trying to put a watertight bibliography together, so anyone procrastinating on their papers out of fear of citation will love this app. Just scan the book’s barcode or enter the title to instantly get citations in different styles — APA, MLA, Chicago, you name it.


Tinycards

The cute design and clean interface of this flashcard app from the creators of Duolingo makes creating your own adaptable decks easier than ever. The app also has over a thousand premade cards organized by topic, with a wide variety of subjects from biology to history.

Forest
Forest is a game where progress depends on how long the app is open, with your planted trees only growing if you don’t check any other apps like Facebook or Groupme. You can then compare your forests with friends to see who is has spent the least time on distracting social media..

Exam Countdown
There is nothing worse than forgetting about an important test, so this exam-tracking app can come in handy. This app is basically a doomsday clock that lets you know exactly how many days separate you from your next exam.

Grammar.ly
Never let silly grammatical blunders embarrass you with this ultimate proofreading app. Your papers will be mistake and typo-free in no time!

Self Control
Let’s be honest – self-restraint is hard with an abundance of tempting Internet distractions. Curb your procrastinating tendencies with this website blocking app that will surely prevent you from wasting hours on Facebook.

These useful apps will surely help you squeeze the most out of your work time and boost your GPA, so head over to the App Store to give yourself an upper-leg this semester.

Nuriya Saifulina is a rising sophomore at Harvard College who is concentrating in Economics and Psychology. In her spare time she writes for the college newspaper, volunteers with immigrant communities in Boston, and dabbles in costume design for the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club.

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From Extern to Intern

By Aury Cifuentes

November 21, 2017

My journey with Bloomberg LP officially began during the summer right after my sophomore year. I think we have all heard about how important the junior year internship is in terms of job prospects but the truth is you can never start too early. In my case I was exactly a year away from the all important junior summer internship when I walked into the Bloomberg Princeton office.

As an extern our first day was to introduce to the company values such as transparency and where we would fit in within the culture of collaboration. The absence of cubicles and clear glass meeting rooms literally created an open environment not to mention the number of people meeting in the pantry over an array of snacks. Yet the key purpose of day one was “Terminal 101”; being comfortable with the terminal was significant for not only my time as an extern but as an intern working on thesis and capstone plans over the summer. Out of the thousands of functions, the more you knew the better as they could be used in conjunction with several layers of analysis simultaneously. The second and third day prepped us for public speaking and the amount of teamwork needed at the firm.  At the end of the third day an intense interview was scheduled with the top performers of each department for a chance to land an internship for the following summer.

My interview went well as I demonstrated that my interests aligned to where the company is rapidly making a mark. Technology whether through coding, machine learning, or other wise is providing a faster way to not only understand client needs but create even more value within the firm. My summer was an extension of externship in the sense that I was within the forecasting department and eventually spent the last month of my summer working extensively with my intern team of four engineers to launch a proof of concept for our final project that would transform one of the most popular functions on the terminal.

Overall, my advice for anyone who is tempted to start early in the recruiting cycle is to take chances and apply, apply, and apply! Additionally, any tech skills today will transform your tomorrow so take advantage of all the great free resources online. Even if it is basic Python or C you will now be able to understand more in meetings, product launches, and networking opportunities thus making yourself available to even more opportunities in the long run.

Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

 

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Scheduling Spring Classes and Career Connections

By Aury Cifuentes

November 9, 2017

Whether you are in your first year or are a seasoned senior ready to register for the last semester of undergrad, it is always wise to craft a path of your own within your course of study. While a majority of schools have a suggested track for each respective major there is usually some wiggle room in terms of electives and other requirements.

The first step to a successful scheduling season is checking in with an advisor or trusted professor when possible. Chatting about your dreams and aspirations with members of academia helps when they might already have suggested courses to try out based on previous students or perhaps an inside scoop on a new class being offered for the first time next semester.

This was the case at my school, as I like chatting with two or three professors before scheduling season to make sure I am making the best decisions with my courses and to get different feedback. For example, next semester a course being offered for the first time based on student demand is Venture Capital Management. While it unfortunately conflicts with my required Strategic Management class I definitely let my friends and organization members that the class will be offered for the first time next semester for anyone interested.

Scheduling might vary by school but whether you have a shopping period or a time to add or drop courses in the beginning of next semester, remember to use it to your advantage. Depending on whether you are more productive in the morning and afternoons some of the most successful students I know cater their schedule to their productivity strengths too. An example would be that a morning person could benefit from the semi-filled 8AM classes for their week freeing up their afternoon for extracurricular or leadership opportunities.

Additionally, there is benefit to making at least two or three what-if scenarios if certain classes you were interested in get full before your timeslot. Here is where you can use your freedom to cater those extra spots to classes you can use to your advantage in interviews and beyond. Taking a Java class even if you are not a computer science major can not only make you stand out but provide a new skillset if you were ever interested in design or website creation.

Another example, can be a non-technical class such as an art history course in which your knowledge of the arts can not only be a conversation starter but inspiring to de-stress in realizing how many themes that we consider modern have repeated themselves over various centuries visually.

Lastly, if you are ever in a situation in which you believe you are not going to fulfill your requirements to be on track for graduation, know that while the course might appear to have a cap online, sometimes certain professors are willing to make exceptions. In that case going to talk to them personally or a well-worded email can also be a way to ensure a successful next semester by obtaining your classes of choice. So remember to take a step back and see if the courses are fulfilling not only what is required but what you wanted to learn in college.

Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

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