One thing graduate students have in common is group work. Group work is an essential part of graduate studies and of course, in the workplace.
When assigning group work, oftentimes professors will assign students to groups. However, when professors give students the opportunity to self-select their own groups, make sure you take this opportunity to practice building your brand.
Find classmates that have complementary skills to yours. This helps you in a couple of ways. First, it gives you the opportunity to learn from other people’s skill sets. Learning from them gives you the opportunity to see how your unique skill set or brand dovetails with theirs.
The Big Picture
Knowing exactly how your skill set fits in with the “big picture” in organizations will help you—in the future—when you are positioning your brand for a career. In other words, you will be able to intelligently articulate to potential employers how your brand fits in and contributes to an organization’s overall operations.
Second, your graduate group will give you the opportunity to practice building and then marketing your brand. In other words, your graduate group is going to be your incubator, your laboratory.
Actively focus on the group’s task at hand.
Consider all facets of the problem and be sure to focus on how your contribution will help your group meet its goals or create appropriate solutions.
In doing so, use this opportunity to practice your craft of marketing your brand. Express to your teammates how your input will contribute to the overall goals and objectives of the group. I am sure you will have several opportunities to work with multiple groups in different courses and many more projects and each one presents an opportunity to learn from your participation in previous groups.
What is important to remember is that your brand, while unique to you, does not exist in a vacuum. Your brand must co-exist and be synergist with other personal brands. Learning to express how your brand fits in with others will go a long way in helping you market and build not only your brand but also your career.
Howard, an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at the California State University Fullerton, earned his Ph.D. from Temple University. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal State, Howard was on the faculty at Drexel University and The Pennsylvania State University. A native of Philadelphia, Howard has extensive experience in the public and private sectors working for organizations such as the Department of Defense, Motorola, and the CSX railroad. His research expertise is in branding, sustainability, strategic pricing, and education. In addition to teaching at Cal State, Howard has a consulting business focused on branding. You can follow Howard on Twitter or connect with him atLinkedin.