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Why Personal Branding Matters (Featuring Dr. Carlos Valdez) by Julia Amorim

When applying for a job or a desired promotion, we often ask ourselves, “how can I stand out?” With increased qualification requirements for different industries and positions, showcasing your abilities and personality is a skill to invest in. Parallel to acquiring the many other expertises currently expected of business professionals, ensuring you have a cohesive personal brand is essential to differentiate yourself.

Dr. Carlos Valdez, Program Director of the integrated business masters program and Associated Lecturer and Lead Faculty for the Integrated Marketing and Sales course, explains that “personal brand can be the main factor of differentiation between two qualified candidates in the eyes of the recruiter or employer.” Dr. Valdez, whose research focuses on personal branding, has been investing in helping integrated business students to start and grow their brands.

But how can we start investing in our own brands? Dr. Valdez explains the first steps to building a personal brand that is unique to you:

  1. The first step is, where am I? – You start with an internal analysis of who you are and what your professional passion is. Reflect on how you see yourself helping others with your strengths and what the areas of opportunity for you to explore are.
  2. The second step is, where do I want to go? – Here, you define where you see yourself professionally in one year, five years, and ten years. This will help you build a forward-thinking path, viewing yourself where you want to be in the future and not solely where you are now.
  3. The third step is how I will get there, especially in your first year. – After defining yourself professionally and your goals, you start working on three essential personal branding tools: your resume, elevator pitch, and LinkedIn profile.

Highlighting the importance of the LinkedIn platform in building a powerful personal brand, Dr. Valdez emphasizes that after the first three steps, “you have to become active on LinkedIn.” The platform provides users with the opportunity to communicate what they are doing, share valuable information, and interact with others online, all of those being critical to business professionals. “Students will increase the opportunities of getting hired by their desired companies if they are diligent in using LinkedIn, connecting with peers and recruiters, and interacting on LinkedIn to position their brand in the mind of employers,” Dr. Vadez explains.

“Personal branding is an ongoing effort,” Dr. Valdez says. It is essential that professionals keep investing and growing their brands by having an active LinkedIn profile and continuously making meaningful connections with others on the platform. Valdez also gives one last piece of advice to those investing in their personal brand, “be authentic.”

Many critical skills are taught by the professors of the Integrated Business master’s program inside and outside the classroom. These skills are essential for the formation of quality business professionals. With Dr. Valdez and the experienced professors at the Master of Science in Management – Integrated Business track, students are undoubtedly prepared to continue growing in their careers after graduation.

More information about the program:

To attend an informative session:

To have a meeting with the MSM-IB Program Director