The Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program held a workshop on Feb. 10 to help students create a personal brand and learn to network with recruiters.
Northwestern Mutual recruiter Milton Patton presented at the workshop, giving students his advice on how to sell their personal brand, how to effectively network with recruiters and how to present oneself in an interview or at a career fair.
Patton first emphasized that students need to follow up with employers after initially meeting them.
“It’s not enough to go to a networking event and put your name out there or introduce yourself,” Patton said. “After you give your card out or have received their card, make sure you send some follow-up emails after the event, whether it’s that night or the next day, while that memory of them meeting you is still at the top of their mind. Connection without following through means nothing.”
Patton later asked students to take out a piece of paper and write down a few sentences describing what they are passionate about and their unique qualities to create their own personal brands. He had students share what they wrote, and he worked individually with students to critique their statements.
“Thinking of your personal brand, it’s basically who you are,” Patton said. “You don’t want it to be so focused on what your job is or what your current role is. You want it to be more centered around who you are as an individual. What are your interests? What are you passionate about? Who are you? Not just what your career is or what your job title is.”
Patton also asked attendees to role-play together as employers and potential candidates and use their personal brand statement.
“This whole thing was really helpful,” said senior marketing major Nachelle Cooper. “I’m happy to be talking to an actual recruiter who knows what other recruiters like him are really looking for in people at a career fair.”
Toward the end of the presentation, Patton also recommended that students not only create a LinkedIn profile that stays maintained and updated, but also to get involved on campus.
“I hear people all too often say that getting involved isn’t really a big deal,” Patton said. “Being involved is so related to the real world, you wouldn’t even understand. Meeting times, having an agenda, making sure you have a sign-in sheet at events. All of these basic things are going to go a long way in your career.”
He also informed students that Northwestern Mutual is currently looking for financial advising interns and said anyone interested should contact him through his LinkedIn profile.