Personal branding is important as it helps to establish and reinforce who you are and what you stand for in life and your career. For undergraduates, internships are the way for you to start. They let you gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while building connections in the industry. They also allow you to get your hands and feet dirty to find out what the job is like as a full-time position. (Killing 2 birds in 1 stone, aren’t you?)
However, we acknowledged that establishing your brand is indeed not easy. We were once in that position before. After speaking to a graduate who made it into Gojek here are his 5 tips to get you started on building yours!
It is never too late!
1. Show that you are actively self-developing.
1 internship position, thousands of applicants, and you are only one of them. All candidates, including you, possess relatively similar experience and skills to be called for an interview.
The question is: how do you stand out?
The answer is: it depends on how receptive you are to learning and how open you are for collaboration. Someone who is more willing to learn may stand a higher chance of being selected. Demonstrate to the interviewers how you are actively self-developing. It can be through picking up a new skill, learning a new language, or embarking on projects that you have never done before. If you show that you are actively developing yourself, it does leave a good impression on the interviewers.
2. Take advantage of every opportunity you have.
For those of us without personal connections, we often complain about how it is unfair that some of our friends have it. These friends are getting what we want the “easy way”. But for those of us who have personal relationships, we sometimes feel it is wrong to accept this opportunity for fear that people think we have no rigour.
Regardless of your connections always remember that this is just 1 out of the many steps needed. Connections can get you the opportunity, but rigour realises it.
So why artificially reduce your opportunity due to guilt and make the journey unnecessarily harder than it needs to be. Either way it is going to be a difficult journey, so take advantage of every opportunity you have! (Here is a resource for you to start.)
3. Be genuine during interviews.
Everyone struggles with this fine line of wanting to be genuine vs. presenting the perfect version of themselves during an interview. Hence, we tend to be more cautious with what we say during interviews. By doing so, we give ‘correct’ answers which portray us as someone who is flawless. It is not wrong, but it can come off as insincere at times.
Why not unloose a little and be yourself (with these tips below)? Interviewers do appreciate genuine conversations too!
4. Always look ahead.
Have you started thinking about what you would like to do in the future? If your answer is yes that is a good start! But if your answer is no, do not worry as you can always start now.
Ask yourself what your interests are and whether your current major is something that you can envision yourself doing in the future. If it is not, begin planning what you can do now to help yourself reach where you want to be in the future.
5. Rote learning is no longer the way.
We are all brought up in an education system where rote learning is heavily emphasized and sad to say, such methodology is no longer applicable in university and the working world. In fact, memorizing information from repetition is not the way you should be learning things!
In the working world, you are expected to make your own decisions without any guidance or textbook-solutions to guide you on how to solve a problem. Indeed, it is a big transition gap. Now that you have learnt that the working world is much different from books and papers, embrace the change. Start to work on developing yourself as an independent thinker!
If you find these tips useful and want to learn more feel free to check it out here!
This article is exclusively written for INTERNSG by: Guang Jin (Grehg) YEO, the creator of the podcast 1 Foot In. The podcast introduces the listeners to someone who has made it into the top/fastest growing companies in the world. From what they did in university, tips & tricks during the resume & interviews and things they wished they could have done if they were to do it all over again.