My Personal Brand

So for my Internet Marketing class here at Drake, we’re required to start a blog. Which, lucky for me, I’ve been annoying readers with a diverse range of meaningless everyday nonsense to important world issues for years now. The point of this blog is a little different though.

I started Mollie Wheeler Drake as a part of an initiative from the marketing department here at Drake, to show prospective students and curious alums what life is currently like on Drake’s campus. The program was cancelled in July (thanks Marty), so Mollie Wheeler Drake transformed into just another personal blog that gets shared on FB by the writer’s mom and maybe her mom’s friends on occasion. Now I suppose it’s transforming again, as Professor Fleming forces me to find my purpose in life.

So what is my personal brand? On Monday, everyone had to stand up in front of class and tell our 40 classmates what set us apart from the rest. Some people said they were looking for marketing jobs in the digital realm in Minneapolis. My sophomore year roommate said she was looking to get into some kind of equine marketing (which she’ll actually be so fantastic at). As the line of people in front of me got shorter and shorter, I realized that my peers, for the most part, all know the specific job title, industry, and location they want to be after graduation. And as I looked down at my own spiel, which basically said “I’m a people person,” I realized I have no clue what I want to do with my life. And panic set in.

So I did what any young, independent woman would do in this situation. I called my mom. Immediately after class. Between this and Dean Blum’s “do you not have a job by now?” speech to us in class last Friday, I felt like I was completely behind in my decision making process, and if I didn’t act fast I was going to end up on her couch for the next year and none of us wants that. I don’t know where I want to live. I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know what industry I’d even like to enter. But to my despair, my mother did not answer her phone. And neither did my sister (who has yet to call me back now that I think of it, ty for the familial support). Luckily, self-sufficiency is something I pride myself in. Unless of course I have just entered into a time of crisis in which case self-sufficiency exits the building, and hysteria takes its place as I find myself staring at the 20 tabs open on my computer (grad schools, career paths, homework due tomorrow), letting my mind go completely blank to avoid from the inevitable meltdown that will follow.

Inevitable was a drastic word choice though to be honest. My mother eventually texted me back. She told me that the world is my oyster (as every good mother says) and that I am what every employer is looking for (again, mom, thanks but you’re required to say these things I think). But she also told me that I don’t need to decide about grad school right now- I have like 8 months left of school and to stress about where I’m going to continue that education can wait. Which was really helpful because I have so many different directions I want to take my education (global diplomacy? global management? international corporate law?) and I’d rather wait then to go down the wrong path. She followed this by telling me I don’t need to have my entire life figured out yet. And isn’t that a relief. I told her that one of my professors actually gave us an assignment that required us to tell our goals and the niche we wanted to enter. And she said maybe it’s time you narrow that down any way. So without further ado, here is my personal brand.

I am a people person. I love to make connections. I love to talk with new people, to laugh and make others laugh, and to learn new things. I pride myself in staying positive and optimistic even in tough situations and I think this can be a big benefit.

I love other cultures. I love to travel. I want to see the world and figure it all out. I want to learn about the tribes of central Africa and the business customs of Japan, while improving my Spanish and becoming more assimilated with the Latin American culture.

I want to succeed. I always work hard. From a blogging assignment to a 20 page Finance 170 term paper, my goal is to give 100% in everything I do. I love doing well for myself, and exceeding the expectations of the companies I have worked for.

I need to change the world. This is the most important part of who I am. I don’t want just a normal marketing job. I want a job where I know I’m positively affecting others. I want to update the CSR practices at a clothing company to address those factories mentioned in one of my latest posts. I want to work with the poverty gap in Chile and Bolivia. I want to feed the hungry and clothe the needy and fix the broken and help the desperate. There are just so many problems in this world. As optimistic as I am, I know that. Hearing the endless news articles about corruption and sneaky business practices and starving children really affects me. But burrowing under the covers won’t do anything to help. Listening to the news and letting yourself forget what you just heard because it’s too far away to impact your life won’t help either. Because if you’re not improving things, but you’re not making anything worse either, then you’re standing still. I need to make a difference in this world.

So if you’re confused, there’s really no niche in there. I don’t know if I want to focus on social media or print ads, sales or new product development. I don’t know if I want to work in ag or insurance or a non-profit. I don’t know how I’m going to change the world or what that entails in any way. But I do know who I am. I am someone who appreciates a culturally-diverse environment, who likes variety, who strives for success, and who will change the world someday. And that is my personal brand. I think the rest will follow accordingly.

As for my content for the next 10 weeks, you can expect anything from my personal customer relations experiences to my opinion on the Argentinian presidential elections. Because honestly, I’m not someone who fits in a little square box. I fit in a lot of boxes, wear many hats, however you want to phrase it. I am interested in so many different things, from soccer (not like to the point where I know players’ stats but like I enjoy watching games) to travel (but if you ask me where Turkey is on a map, I could not tell you) to coffee (although I just made my first successful pot yesterday) to communication methods to management theories to exercise to international economies to my sorority to local volunteering to fashion to global currency exchange rates. So for me to narrow that down is actually impossible. And therefore I am changing the assignment to fit my own version of my personal brand. Professor Fleming, I hope you enjoy these next few weeks as we all explore my many unrelated interests and I tie them back to my personal brand, however obscure that connection may end up being.

Stay tuned.

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