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Julia-and-Arika-PierceBy Julia Lutsenko
The Personal Brand Workshop at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus on March 27th provided a great deal of useful knowledge we can apply as we continue along our own entrepreneurial ventures.
This workshop was run by Arika L. Pierce, author of The Millennial’s Playbook to Adulting and host of the YOU GOT THIS- The Podcast to Adulting. She began the workshop by saying she likes to call it the “Me, Myself and I workshop” and that “we are the CEO of the company ME incorporated.” She continued, “personal branding is the process by which you differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd” and that the real world is extremely competitive. She stated that differentiating yourself is extremely important because “most major decisions about your career [are] made when you are not in the room.” This led to her elaborating on the five aspects that are included in personal brand; appearance, attitude, work ethic, experience and online presence. This segued into us learning about the 6 steps to begin creating a personal brand.
The Six Steps in Beginning To Create a Personal Brand
Step 1: Know what your current brand is. This meaning to Google your name and email, review your social media accounts and activity, then do damage control (if needed), improve your first impression and adjust your privacy settings
Step 2: Determine what you want your personal brand to be. This step is meant for self-reflection and evaluation. It is where you try and figure out what your passionate about, what you want to be known for, and knowing your strengths and weaknesses. I learned that the five key traits I would like my brand to present is dedication/loyalty, honesty, intellect, leadership and compassion.
Step 3: Develop your image. This step is meant on focusing on how you look, act, and speak. Making sure your attire, hair and makeup is done. Your attitude and behavior is positive (this includes body language) and that you are able to communicate and engage others in conversations. This step is important since you never know where you could meet your next potential investor, partner, or employer.
Step 4: Clean up your online presence. This step is exactly like step 1. It’s where you check on your social media accounts and make sure that what is posted on your accounts, represent you as a person.
Step 5: Expand your network. This step is meant for you to network with peers, professors and professors. It stressed for you to get involved in groups, associations and attend networking events.
Step 6: Build knowledge and authority. This final step is meant for you to subscribe to industry specific news sources, to follow industry influences and attend industry events. Since things are constantly evolving, this step allows for you to stay educated.
This community engagement was extremely beneficial for my future. For example, she stressed for us to create an elevator speech. After the workshop was finished, I was able to ask for advice on what an elevator speech for an undergraduate should include.  I intend to use the information mentioned in this paper and others that were not to create a successful business.

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