How to build an authentic and unique personal brand
Thinking about personal branding can help students work out career aspirations, matching who they are to what course or career best suits their personality and talents. While guidance from parents, peers, and teachers is invaluable, the personal branding process makes sure students are in control and find the right study programme and university.
PricewaterhouseCoopers provides a personal branding process that teachers can ask students to follow, using self-analysis, and then apply the results to university choices.
PwC suggests you start by sending the electronic Personal Impact Survey to friends, family, teachers, mentors, and UK employers, before completing the Personal Branding Workbook that guides you to:
Clarify your strengths, communicate them via your online profile and capitalise through extra-curricular activities, committees, voluntary work.
- Identify your values and seek activities and interests that align with them.
- Pursue your passions to engage, enthuse and inspire those around you.
- Define your purpose for a fulfilling life.
- Reflecting a personal brand in personal statements and UK university admissions essays
Having established their personal brand, students will be set to incorporate their values, strengths, passions, and purpose in personal statements and essays. While they can learn from past successful applicants to see how they inject their brand into statements and essays, it’s each student’s unique offer to a university, faculty, and programme that’s crucial.
Universities are businesses looking for increased financial support, higher placement in university rankings, and greater positive publicity, so encourage students to show them the benefits of their personal brand. They want to know what any UK student can offer as a well-rounded person, how they will flourish in their community, and what difference they can make to the wider world.
While it isn’t yet standard practise for UK universities to look at online profiles in the admissions process, if you want the best chance of securing a place at your dream UK university, leave nothing to chance. You don’t want to labour over University applications and prepare meticulously for job interviews, only to find a Google search on your name throws up images and comments long since forgotten.
Building a personal brand is a journey. Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Angela Merkel, and Usain Bolt have all built authentic, unique, and consistent personal brands over time. You may change direction but keeping your values, strengths and mission in mind, every step takes you towards any UK university course and UK career that’s right for you. In the words of University of Pennsylvania founder Benjamin Franklin: “What you seem to be, be really.” Above all, enjoy the journey.
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