It's raining, but a grey day is just a good occasion for me to pull out my favorite umbrella. There is nothing particularly memorable about its design, but the logo of LBS (London Business School) reminds me of a great time I had at LBS back in May, when I took an executive course in marketing.
Or take this one, for instance: jogging in the park. Each time I go running, I always put on my favorite sweatshirt with a Fletcher school logo. The two wonderful years at Fletcher, where I was a Fulbright student, has been an ueber cool experience of discovering the world and meeting quite amazing people (Fletcher is famous for attracting people with very vivid and ueber cool personalities!). Underneath it, I wear a T-shirt with a logo of IE Business school -- a reminder of an intense experience of long nights analyzing cases, non-stop work in teams, fun and gaining a massive amount of business skills.
There is a bunch of other paraphernalia I own from all kinds of other institutions I attended -- I guess I've spent a significant chunk of my life studying! :)
The point is, each one of them has made some sort of impact on my personal and professional development. They are part of my CV and my LinkedIn profile and each of them has contributed to my personal brand in many wonderful ways. I still benefit from being part of the alumni communities of each of these schools and keep meeting great people around the world. Benefits all around! :)
So, choose your college or university smartly. Its brand will end up being part of your personal brand, and you can take advantages (in case you make smart decisions) from that throughout your life.
It also means that colleges, universities and other educational establishments have to devote a significant amount of time to positioning themselves. They have to take a long-term view on their brands in order to attract the kind of students who would fit their culture and style most. Some MBA programs are excellent examples of how to do it smartly. Also, the Fulbright program, a US public diplomacy initiative that goes back to 1946, is a great example of consistent educational branding, based on consistent values.
Your Alma Mater is YOUR brand!
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