We Use to Brand Cattle: Now We Brand Ourselves?

By Matt Lehrer, Career Coach

Since ancient times, “hot branding” has been used to identify the owner of livestock.  Today, some ranchers brand livestock differently, for example, with ear tags or tattoos.  But whatever the method, branding has always served a very important purpose for ranchers:  to identify the livestock’s owner.  How and why do business professionals brand themselves today?

Peter Drucker says that we are living in the era of the three C’s – accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition.  Therefore, creating your personal brand is the only way you can stand out from the crowd.  But how do you develop your own brand?

Start by asking “what makes me different?”  “What do I want to be known for?”  Here are several keys to building a quality personal brand.  These are certainly not the only keys, but they are important ones.

Ask Why.  What is the ultimate purpose, belief or cause that inspires and drives you?  As Napoleon Hill said in “Think and Grow Rich,” “without developing an all-consuming obsession, a definite purpose and a burning desire, you won’t find the motivation to succeed.”

Do you want to leave a legacy?  Achieve great things?  Provide the very best lifestyle possible for your family?

Be Authentic.  Having an authentic personal brand is a valuable asset in today’s online, virtual and individual age.

Your personal brand should reflect your passion, dreams, purpose uniqueness, values, characteristics, experience and ambition – who you really are and what you really want.  This builds trust and credibility.

Position Yourself as the Go-To Expert.  Top experts often command the best jobs.

Dare to be Remarkable.  “Average is for losers,”  said Seth Godin.  Some say that if we are not remarkable, then we are invisible.

Develop Your Pitch and Get Noticed.  The purpose of the pitch is not to close the sale.  It’s to start the conversation, to sell the appointment.  And the best pitch is a true, stunning, brief little piece of your story.  Something real.

Strengths.  Know your strengths.  Live them and leverage them in the service of others.

Value.  It is powerful to have strengths but this must be paired with value.  How do your strengths deliver value to others?  Can you leverage your strengths to increase value for your organization, team, customers and clients?

Visibility.  How do people know about you and what are they saying about you?  How well do you network and make use of social media to create and broaden your visibility?

Engagement.  Deliver on your promises and your strength and value.  Personal branding is more than a clever slogan.  Ensure that you continually engage in developing your strengths, thinking and acting upon the value you offer to others and maintaining a vibrant and authentic visibility.

Oh, did I mention creating a resume that reflects your brand?

The PDC can help you with envisioning or developing a personal brand, or with your resume or other career planning needs. Please feel free to make an appointment with us at any time.

There are so many analogies between the branding of livestock and our branding of self.  But my word limit is up, oh well, so I’ll leave that discussion for another time!

The Importance of Digital Marketing Skills

By Ally Lee

Last year I had the opportunity to work at Nuanced Media through their internship program.  I was assigned the position of Junior Account Executive which seemed like a title above my skill set at the time. Of the “real” jobs I’ve worked thus far, Nuanced Media provided the steepest learning curve which accelerated my marketing skill set.  Rather than doing mundane tasks such as getting coffee and picking up dry cleaning, Nuanced Media fostered independence, creativity and career growth.  They included me as part of the team from the outset. Everyone there was more than willing to help you learn as much as you could.  Going into the internship, I knew I would be helping clients with marketing and gaining exposure for their businesses, however, by the time I completed my internship, I learned: How to build a website, basic coding, how to create Facebook ads and re-targeting ads, how to create a lead gen page and how to integrate Google Analytics. Within the first week, I had my own list of clients and shortly thereafter, I was meeting with them and helping them find solutions for their marketing objectives.

Over the summer I landed an internship at DeutschLA where there were over 700 applicants and only 12 spots.  I owe a huge part of that to my internship at Nuanced Media.  The skill set I acquired there has opened doors and helped me stand out among my peers.  I am extremely grateful for my time at Nuanced Media, and all the amazing people I met there!

You too can learn from Nuanced Media CEO, Ryan Flannagan, on January 27th. He is hosting a digital marketing workshop in McClelland Hall from 5pm-7pm. You will learn about website design, branding, retargeting, SEO, and social media marketing. Click here to RSVP.

Why Excel Skills are Important in Today’s Job Market

BenMalisewski_Microsoft (2)By Ben Malisewski

This summer as an intern for Microsoft, I was given a tremendous opportunity to drive impactful change into the commercial licensing business, which was the area my internship focused on. Within my first week, I realized just how important data was going to be throughout my project. My internship was designed that after the 12 week program I was to present my project and recommendations to the general manager.

While I made some initial observations and formed various hypotheses during the first few weeks, having strong data to back up those hypotheses to convince an executive to take action is essential. I spent a good amount of my time manipulating large amounts of data and extracting conclusions from it. Utilizing functions within Excel like pivot tables, VLOOKUP and a handful of other skills was essential to my success as an intern. Even when I came across functions that I had not seen before, having a high level of comfort within the software allowed me to experiment with different equations and functions and ultimately understand more than I did prior to my internship.

No mater what industry you go into, understanding data, manipulating data, and presenting data is an essential skill that you need and one that employers are looking for.

If you’re interested in learning more about Excel skills for the business world. RSVP for this skills workshop on February 10th!

Students interested in careers in operations, supply chain, sales analytics, data analytics, retail management, buying, and marketing analytics will definitely not want to miss this workshop!

Why Design Skills are Important in Today’s Job Market

Resume Snapshot


By Jenifer Wong

Early on in our education, we have been taught a certain way to format our work: name in the top right corner, double-space our essays, and so on. Fast forward to college and we are given templates to structure our résumés and cover letters. While these templates are well organized and content-focused, the standard black-and-white résumé is not enough to get you noticed in many competitive industries.

When I was interviewing with the ad agency R&R Partners in Los Angeles, one of the Creatives made it a point to tell me that he was more impressed by the design of my résumé than the content that I put into it. (Keep in mind that content is still equally, if not more, important.)

But as IDEO CEO Tim Brown said,

“Just last year, we had about 14,000 candidates applying for jobs at IDEO. You can imagine how tedious it would be to look through that tall stack of 8.5 x 11 black-and-white typed documents. At a certain point, they all start to look the same, and your chances of singling out that special person with unique skills are very slim.”

It may be worth your time to put a little touch of design into your work, before and after the hiring process.

After being hired on as an Account Management Intern at R&R, I was tasked with researching products and competitors. Within the first two weeks of my internship, I had to present my work to some managers and directors at the agency. PowerPoint is still very prevalent in the professional world of presentations, and being able to put together a clean PowerPoint is a necessary skill that demonstrates your eye for detail.

During my time at R&R, I was fortunate to be able to observe the Creative Directors as they worked on campaigns in Photoshop and InDesign. These are two extremely powerful tools that are useful to learn if you are interested in a creative or publications career. However, really knowing your way around Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and understanding the basic elements of design is beneficial to everyone.

Whether you are putting together your résumé, a presentation or a business report, a well-designed document can enhance the way information is communicated and captivate your audience. The best part is that you can be creative with the tools you already have!

If you’re interested in learning more about the elements of good design and how to use functions in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint more fully, RSVP for this skills workshop on February 4th!

Winter Externship: Mallory Wollenberg at Groupon


Where did you extern and where was the company located?

I externed at Groupon in downtown Chicago.

Who did you shadow at the company and what was their role/ job title?

I shadowed Tim Compton who is the manager of Finance at Groupon.

Why did you want to do this externship?

I wanted to do this externship because I wanted to get a better idea of what corporate finance was going to look like in the real world. I wanted to get a very hands-on experience so I could have a better view of the industry I plan on pursuing.

What did you do during this job shadow experience?

During my job shadow experience I was able to sit in on meetings with the CFOs of the company to talk about the financial statements they received for closing the books.  I was able to listen in on calls in the customer support section, sit down with a buyer to understand their role in the company, have one on ones with top management, as well as interpret and manipulate financial statements and which numbers correlated with what.

What did you learn as a result of the externship?

What I will take away from this internship is the wonderful experience I had at Groupon as well as the knowledge I gained from working with such enjoyable individuals who really wanted me to learn and enjoy the financial industry.

Winter Externship: John Jackson at Bottle Breacher


Where did you extern and where was the company located?

I had a one day externship with Bottle Breacher in Tucson, AZ. Bottle Breacher produces custom engraved bottle openers out of 50 caliber bullets.

Who did you shadow at the company and what was their role/ job title?

I job shadowed both Eli and Jen Crane during my externship. Jen and Eli are Co-Founders of the company. As a growing entrepreneurial start up, Bottle Breacher has a very flat management structure. Being a start-up company, most employees (including Jen and Eli) are asked to do a variety of tasks instead of just specializing in one or two things. Eli is the CEO of the company, but Jen had no official job title.

Why did you want to do this externship?

I am extremely interested in entrepreneurship and I hope to start my own company after my graduation. Bottle Breacher was my first choice for an externship because it is a locally owned start-up owned by two University of Arizona grads. Bottle Breacher also recently appeared on the TV show Shark Tank and finalized a deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary, which was an experience I was very interested in learning about.

What did you do during this job shadow experience?

I started my morning with Eli teaching me about the history and operations of the company. Bottle Breacher started with Eli putting stickers on 50 caliber bullets and selling them on Etsy. As the company grew, Eli sold his own motorcycle in order to purchase a laser engraver, significantly increasing his production. After learning about the operational side, I shadowed Jen to learn more about her day. For Jen, there is no such thing as a typical day and each day will come with different challenges. Jen first took me through Bottle Breacher’s marketing strategies and how that relates to different sales channels. Next I was able to take some photography for the website with Jen. I was also able to sit in on a phone call with Jen and Eli for a potential new outside firm to handle marketing tasks and customer fulfillment. Since their appearance on Shark Tank Bottle Breacher has been extremely backed up because of the huge amount of orders that have been placed, so order fulfillment has been particularly important for the company. After going to out to lunch for an employee birthday, Jen and I went into greater depth about their experience on Shark Tank and where the company plans to expand. To end the day, Jen and I had an insightful conversation about the balance between personal life and business life.

What did you learn as a result of the externship?

Instead of learning about one or two specific topics, I was able to learn about many different topics that are necessary for Entrepreneurs. A successful entrepreneur has to be willing to do anything and cannot be above anything, even taking out the trash. An entrepreneur must be able to understand marketing, operations, and finance all simultaneously, and I was able to get a taste of each part during the day. I also loved learning more about the “real” Shark Tank experience, which is much more intensive and laborious than what is seen on Television. On a more personal level, it was also important for me to realize that recognition and understanding of personal strengths and weakness will lead to greater success. Eli and Jen work well together and use that to their advantage. It was very interesting to learn how Jen and Eli balance running a successful and ethical business with their personal and family life and I hope to apply similar practices to my own life as an entrepreneur.

Winter Externship: Jessica Hosek at JW Marriott

untitledWhere did you extern and where was the company located?

JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson Arizona

Who did you shadow at the company and what was their role/ job title?

Meredith Nicklas: Director of Finance and Accounting

Why did you want to do this externship?

I wanted to gain a better understanding of the Director’s position within the company and what kind of finance career opportunities are offered within the hospitalitly industry. 

What did you do during this job shadow experience?

Throughout the day,  I attended a variety of meetings involving the resort’s Accounting Department, management, and executive board members.  I observed the Director’s role and examined specific reports pertaining to each meeting. I was also exposed to multiple departments within the resort and the directors involvement within each department.

What did you learn as a result of the externship?

After this externship I have become increasingly interested in pursuing a career within the hospitality industry.  It was great to hear how passionate and dedicated the employee’s within the resort are about their job and the company they work for.  Many employee’s I met have been working for the Marriott for at least 10 years.  I have also learned the importance for specific positions such as the Director of Finance and Accounting to understand the roles and operations of each department within the resort to optimize success for the company.

The Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge Experience

ej Marie participated in the Edward Jones Portfolio Challenge last year and her team was selected as the winner.

By Marie Archibald

I heard about the EJPC from professors and from fellow students who were also planning to compete in the challenge. I thought that it would be a beneficial way to gain hands on experience and a chance for some friendly competition.

I worked with three other finance majors: Jessica Schulte, Lauren Hoepfner, and Andrew Magill.  We were all taking the Wall Street Professional Development class at the time and are all good friends which made the whole experience more fun. We divided the work according to our strengths.  For example, Andrew Magill covered most of the fixed income securities because he knew more about them than the rest of the group.  We did work more collaboratively as the competition progressed because we wanted to understand each other’s parts entirely.

Out of the five teams that made it to the final round, we were one of two sophomore teams. We were ecstatic when the two sophomore teams took first and second place!  We were not expecting to win which made it that much more exciting.

Participating in the EJPC is a great way to get real world experience. You are given the opportunity to step into the shoes of a financial advisor and create a portfolio for a fictitious Edward Jones client.

To learn more about the EJPC visit: http://ugrad.eller.arizona.edu/events/portfolio_challenge/

The kick-off is  Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 5:00pm in McClelland Hall Room 207 (Berger).




Winter Externship: Matthew Jarvis at Facebook


Where did you extern and where was the company located?

I externed at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA.

Who did you shadow at the company and what was their role/ job title?

I had the opportunity to shadow Daniel Garcia, a University of Arizona/Eller alumni. Daniel is the IT Strategic Sourcing Program manager at Facebook. I also got to shadow and interview with the head of the Financial Department who handles all money coming in and out of Facebook. Along with those two I shadowed a procurement lawyer who works directly with Daniel and his team as well.

Why did you want to do this externship?

I wanted this externship mainly because I knew that I could gain some experience and field knowledge about some of the careers I am considering to pursue.  I knew Facebook and its employees would be able to provide me with great advice to better myself as I continue my years here at U of A.

What did you do during this job shadow experience?

Throughout my day at Facebook I had the ability to sit in on Daniel’s, the IT sourcing manager, morning meetings as well as tour his two work spaces on campus. I was also able to interview and speak with the head of the Financial department one on one for almost an hour. Along with that, I also interviewed one on one with a procurement lawyer. Aside from the interviews, I got a full tour of the Facebook campus. Daniel and his colleague showed me all the different buildings and departments around the campus, I even caught a glimpse of Mark Zuckerberg in action.

What did you learn as a result of the externship?

The externship was an amazing experience and overall a great glimpse at how a social media site handles it’s employees on a day to day basis. The main thing that I learned from all the people that I spoke with at Facebook is that everyone’s journey to a certain career is going to be different. Every person I spoke with that day had different paths to their positions as well as different majors/previous experience.

Harvard’s 10th Annual Intercollegiate Business Convention

By Gabrielle Maluto

Last October, I was given an exciting opportunity to attend the tenth annual Intercollegiate Business Convention (IBC) hosted by Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business. IBC is globally recognized as the largest undergraduate convention held in Boston, bringing together women from around the world who share a passion for business and the drive for success. Their mission is “to build a global support network and community of empowerment for college women interested business.” Although the programming spans only for a day, IBC has touched the lives of thousands of aspiring business leaders, including myself. I was able to reflect on who I am, what I want to do, and how I want to do it. I was fortunate to hear from the three leading businesswomen of today, including: Lyndsey Scott (Model, Actress, and App Developer), Maureen Chiquet (Global CEO of Chanel), and Jill Abramson (Author, Editor, and Journalist). I was truly inspired by their stories on how they made it, and gained concrete skills and applicable advice to becoming successful in the ever-changing business world.

In addition to having these inspiring keynote speakers, a broad spectrum of panels and workshops were set up for us to explore potential career paths and learn more about a single industry. The first panel I attended focused on the business behind fashion. Leaders of the fashion industry discussed their careers in merchandising, corporate strategy, digital direction, and executive management. The panelists shared their personal experiences, gave industry insights, and provided tips for those interested in pursuing careers in fashion. The second panel I attended focused on the media and entertainment business. Senior leaders behind my favorite comedy series, an Emmy-Award winning film producer and news strategist, a news anchor and reporter, and a director at the world’s largest media agency network shared their personal experiences in media and entertainment, provided industry insights, and described what they love about their jobs.

Panelist networking sessions were also created to give us a chance to interact one-on-one with the panelists. This enabled me to follow up with speakers from panels that I attended and grow my own professional network across industries I am interested in. As an aspiring film and television development executive, I formed valuable and lasting connections with major Hollywood players, including: Carolyn Cassidy (Senior Vice President of Comedy Development at Twentieth Century Fox Television), Eddie Dalva (Executive Vice President of Entertainment and Music Groups at Viacom Media Networks), and Kibi Anderson (Emmy-Award winning producer and Senior Manager of Business Strategy and Operations at ABC News Digital). To this day, I have remained in close contact with them, especially with Kibi. She serves as my mentor, guiding me through the tricky situations and providing me helpful advice about breaking into media and entertainment. Knowing that I want to pursue a career in such a competitive industry, Kibi constantly reminds me to “be fearless” and to “be true to myself.”

I realized how important it is to surround yourself with people who inspire you. Having a mentor is said to be one of the most important keys to success. This is especially true not only early on, but also crucial at any point in your career. Since they’ve been there and done that, you can learn from your mentor’s mistakes and avoid making them yourself. It is possibly the best free service you could ever get.