“How will I ever stand out among all the other students graduating? I am nervous about interviewing well. Presenting and networking cause some anxiety. I am not sure what to expect on the job but I know it will be different than grad school. I don’t feel prepared for launching my career.”
This is a challenge for students whether in science, law, vet med, engineering or other fields of study. With Jane, we focused on her strengths and constraints, as well as her passion and purpose. We used a few assessments to get to the core of what she was naturally wired to be great at, how to further develop these superpowers into a competitive advantage, and how to aim them at daily challenges to be more effective.
We helped Jane understand the importance of an articulated personal brand and hers became:
“I am a self-motivated, creative thinker with the ability to see the world from multiple perspectives. I do many things and I am good at what I do. And I enjoy doing it. I distinguish myself from other geneticists by being equally comfortable at the computer, writing code, or in workshop, building electronics for data collection. I enjoy presenting my research and try to bring a little humor into everything that I do.”
Crafting and owning a powerful branding statement in itself boosted her confidence. We then worked to ensure that there was brand consistency in all she produces and does.
We also built knowledge and skills so that the first job experience is not so frightening. Presenting and networking are often anxiety producing. For Jane, being able to quickly build trust and create rapport with individuals was a strength. We had her walk around, greet session attendees and initiate conversations before the conference session started. As a result, she would see familiar and friendly faces among the scientists when presenting. We also added a couple of stories in the beginning of the research talk to engage the audience. Jane was amazed at the difference these changes made in her confidence and performance. Participants were fully attentive during the entire presentation and it was a success.
Bottom line – we believe each student is special and unique. We work with them to leverage their abilities so they have a competitive advantage as they start their career.