Cisco Employees Tell How to Influence Your Personal Brand
by Marin Dennis ’12
It is a busy and confusing time for all of us graduating seniors here at Santa Clara. With spring quarter in full swing and the hunt for a full-time job going strong, we are all forced to consider what we will be doing post-graduation.
In preparation for applications and interviews the greatest question one can ask is, “Who am I?”. This question is not posed so much in the philosophical sense of searching for yourself, but rather about how to propose yourself to a future employer as your own “Personal Brand.”
Cisco Systems, Inc. employees Colin Gibbs, David McElyea, and Camille Gatenby spoke to Retail Management students on February 27, 2012 about “How to Influence Your Personal Brand." The presentation was broken up into three parts that focused on Personal Branding, Technology in Corporate Business, and the Cisco Sales Associate Program.
Cisco is a company that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment. The company centers its brand around the quality of its service and products, as well as customer centricity. According to Gatenby, Cisco is “in the business of connecting people and enhancing communication around the world.” This value proposition accurately aligns with Cisco’s brand definition.
To make a successful brand, the three Cisco employees proposed that understanding the product, the experience, and the service and knowing how to market all of these things is essential.
If you are preparing for a job or internship interviews, you should take the time to think about your personal brand. After having interviewed several times, I am going to second myself by saying that it is a very helpful exercise.
The Cisco speakers were kind enough to share some good questions that you can ask yourself:
1. What capabilities do I offer?
2. What are my features and benefits?
3. How do I promote myself?
4. Why choose me over others in the market place?
If there is one take away from this presentation, it would be that in order to seriously develop your own personal brand, you must first be self-aware. Being aware involves the capacity for introspection and the ability to answer the question: Is that the impression that I want to give? Once you are self-aware you must align your resume and your experiences with this brand that you have developed. In order for your brand to be valuable it must be consistent.