These days, students need to understand that school is not just a place you go in order to get a degree and get out. School is a place to start laying the foundation of how you want to be perceived later on in the future and what you intend to be known for. Every great man you can think of today, has something they did in school that served as a foundation or scaffold for the greatness they are now living in.
While I was in school, there were things I did that now serve as a foundation for the career I am building and the reputation I am enjoying. I didn’t just pass through school, focusing only on getting a certificate and passing out; rather, I went through school as a student who also wanted to build a life. I intentionally designed the impression I want people to have of me and everyday of my stay in school, I stretched myself to live it out for people to see.
Campus life is not just about the fun. A lot of life and business transactions go on in the campus even in the midst of the fun, hanging around and partying. A lot of people you call your classmates or faculty mates are sitting at some tables and making certain decisions with top personalities in the school whom you may never have access to, all your life in the school. Several students you see around you are entering through doors you may never be able to knock. This is why you shouldn’t just be carried away by looks and fun here and there. You need to also level up your game as a student.
How do you build your brand as a student?
Personal goals and routine
As a student, you need to have a routine for your life and how you spend your time. Don’t just live each day anyhow it comes. You need to have goals for every aspect of your life and adjust your daily routine to fit those goals. People need to know you alongside with how you spend your time. Your academic goals, spiritual goals, relationship goals, talent building/personal development goals, etc., all need to have a place in your daily living. You don’t build a brand without having a routine. People only begin to take note of you when you get consistent on something.
A lot of students start having a dent in their reputation right from class. The way you dress to class, the way you carry yourself before your lecturers and classmates, the way you participate in lectures – how your concentrate, ask questions and answer questions, the kind of friends you mingle with in class and the kind of discussions that turn you on in class, etc., all of these are what people use in rating and defining you. You need to begin to look into all of these things. Every night before you sleep, think back on how you spent the day in school and look for areas where adjustment is needed.
It is very essential that you maximize the life outside of classroom. The campus is not just a place for learning about rats and lizards. It’s also a place for talent/self-discovery, personal development, skill acquisition and capacity building. People need to know you, not only in the classroom, but also outside the classroom. Engage in fellowships, student associations, volunteering, talent shows and all of that. Let people see what talents you’ve got. Go for competitions, volunteering, inaugural lectures, talent shows, exhibitions, etc. All of these are what make the campus life complete and they serve as avenues for you to discover your passion, build your talent, add to your skills and build profitable futuristic connections.
Apprenticeships & Internships
A few students are wise enough to spend their holidays and IT periods in active engagement with the business of their future career. There is nothing as good as spending time to understand the industry challenges, work requirements and landscape of your career field during periods like long holidays and Industrial Attachment sessions. Part of the branding we’re talking about is that you’re able to look for internship jobs or apprenticeship opportunities around your course of study so as to learn the skills and practical aspect of it. These are the things that make you industry-ready when you graduate.
Be loyal to a set of values for your life
Never let your individuality get lost in the crowd. Let people know you for certain key values regardless the situation. This is what brings about respect and reputation. Have some boundaries for your life and never cross those boundaries for anyone. Get your values clear and at every slightest opportunity, make it known. Without boundaries, you don’t have a brand. Having a brand means, there is something you’re known for and you don’t take just any ‘shit’. In the way you talk, the discussions you welcome, people you relate with, how you handle money, how you relate with the opposite sex, etc., get some values and never compromise them.
In conclusion, I need to let you know that as a student, you can build so much reputation, not only among fellow students, but also among your lecturers. You need to understand that you’re a person of value and someone with so much to offer, even as a student. Be conscious of this fact everyday and be it in appearance, in speech, in attitude and in the way handle time, always make it known.