Having a unique personal brand allows you to market yourself to business school recruiters and sets you apart from your peers once you enter your cohort. A business school brand can also help you stand out to future employers and raise both your profile and credibility within your chosen industry.
So how do you build your business school brand? Here is a complete step-by-step guide.
1. What is your business school brand?
A personal brand is an image you build that can showcase your individuality and market your unique strengths while at business school, and later on in your career.
Before taking the steps to refine your business school brand, you first need to identify what kind of image you want to convey.
To do this, consider what your personal strengths, passions, and career goals are. This will help establish what differentiates you from your peers and the qualities you want to highlight to others within your industry.
2. Build an online presence
Building connections and a reputation online is a key step in curating your business school brand.
You can achieve this by utilizing social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
Make use of these sites by creating professional accounts specifically for connecting with others in your field. You can share your thoughts and ideas with them, and even curate and share content that is relevant to your field.
Social media is also a great tool for staying up to date with recent developments and events within your industry. This is especially helpful if you are new to an area or a sector and need help to develop your expertise and build connections.
3. Make the most out of online tools like GradSelect
A large reason for curating a personal brand is to help you get noticed by top business school programs.
If that’s your goal, be sure to make use of online tools, such as GMAC’s GradSelect service, a platform which can connect you directly with many of the world’s best business schools.
With GradSelect, you can answer a few questions related to your background and aspirations and instantly connect with more than 500 business schools. Not only does GradSelect allow you to connect with multiple schools, it also enables them to connect with you.
That means if you have already established your business school brand you will be an attractive candidate for business schools.
4. Create a portfolio
Throughout your time at business school, it is likely that you will undertake professional projects and develop a long list of achievements.
Aside from sharing these on social media, you can also display the work you’ve done within a personalized portfolio which you can share with employers and others within your industry.
This could take the form of a physical portfolio or an online website. Whichever format you choose, a portfolio is a chance to showcase your experience and exhibit your abilities to others.
5. Showcase your academic achievements
Strong academic achievements are a great element to build into your personal business school brand.
A high performing GMAT score, exceptional GPA, or other academic achievements can get you noticed by other professionals at business school and establish your expertise.
You could showcase your academic achievements on social media, on a personal blog, or via your website.
If you already have curated a professional network online, then this is an ideal way to stand out and market your academic knowledge within your field as an asset which sets you apart from competitors.
6. Network as much as possible!
We’ve already highlighted the power of social media, but while networking online is sometimes more convenient, don’t underestimate the power of networking in person and the benefits this can bring to your business school brand.
The wide variety of initiatives available during business school makes it an essential time to attend industry events and connect with like-minded professionals.
This is your chance to showcase your skills and unique personality, which is imperative for building your brand and expanding your network.
7. Gain experience outside of your industry
Gathering experience and forming connections within your chosen industry comes with many benefits.
However, when it comes to your personal business school brand you should expand your skills outside of your comfort zone by undertaking new experiences and liaising with people who have different backgrounds and skillsets to your own.
Take on opportunities to intern or shadow in different management sectors. In doing so, you can gain a greater understanding of your own abilities, strengths, and values which can improve both your personal and professional development and in turn strengthen your brand.
By following these steps, you can identify and establish your personal brand, make the most out of your business school experience, and set yourself up for career success.