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How Does An MBA Help Build Your Personal Brand?

This week's Applicant Question is answered by the executive director of admissions at SC Johnson Graduate School of Management

By  Jasmine Lee-Zogbessou

Thu Jun 13 2019

It's time for another Applicant Question of the Week at BusinessBecause!

Every week, we give you the opportunity to ask one of our chosen admissions experts anything you want to know about getting into business school. One question each week is chosen for our expert to answer.

This week, our question comes from Robert Donnelly (pictured), author and MBA personal branding educator. 


His question is answered by Judi Byers, executive director of admissions and financial aid at Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Applicant Question of the Week:

Dear BusinessBecause, 

How does an MBA help build your personal brand?

The Answer:

An MBA program, by design, is an experience to help you build and further refine your personal brand.

When you think of most brands, and especially those that are highly recognized and valued, they offer a clear and credible promise to consistently deliver a distinctive set of attributes that will meet or exceed expectations.

When you apply this to the MBA program and experience, candidates have the opportunity to build on their own unique backgrounds and experiences prior to business school.

This can be done through the addition of specialized coursework, leadership development and communications training, and engaging in professional and social activities that will equip them with examples that validate and illustrate their own brand promise to future employers.

Read Why Personal Branding Is Key To MBA Application Success


© Grafner

Recognizing this value to students, MBA programs may offer specific experiences focused around providing feedback that will help to inform a student’s awareness of their self-presentation.

This will give them the important opportunity to reflect and consider how their brand is being received by others.

One such example is Cornell’s executive marketing coaching program, a program offered annually by F. Warren Ellish, visiting senior lecturer of marketing at Johnson and president and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group in partnership with the Johnson Marketing Association.

This program gives Cornell students first-hand advice from some of the country’s top marketing executives and executive recruiters on how to navigate their careers and grow as leaders.

And while the MBA program itself offers the pathway through which you can build and enhance your personal brand, the initial steps begin with the admissions process.

Selecting an MBA program is often the first official step on the path you take to select a community that will consistently offer you the experiences and access to a network of individuals that will help you strengthen your skillsets and presentation to enable you to advance and further exceed expectations.

Ask an Admissions Expert a Question! 


Next week, you'll have the opportunity to ask Pascale Martin-Saint-Etienne, director of the MBA in International Management for ESCP Europe.

Pascale has been at ESCP for almost 30 years. She has held her current position for more than two years having developed and launched the program.

Got a question you'd love Pascale to answer? Submit your question on our TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn pages, send us an email to info@businessbecause.com, or simply post a comment below!