Students learn to build their brand at special seminar at TECO-NY
Mr. Kerzner taught, among other concepts, that each student is a “brand,” much like Nike or Apple; when others look at you, they have an image of who you are. The more attractive you make your brand the more likely someone will “buy” you. For international students, however, building their brand is often affected more by their humility than by their language.
In being humble, students fail to highlight unique accomplishments and instead sound generic and ordinary. In a pile of applicants where everyone has an internship, the one who stands is the one who highlights how difficult it was to get that internship (for example, 2 out of 50 who applied) or unique contents of the program (building houses for an entire summer in a foreign country).
Furthermore, many students, when asked, will elaborate on exceptional accomplishments that are not written on paper. Mr. Kerzner urges students to make sure those achievements are on the resume and learn to prioritize what successes to highlight. Mr. Kerzner emphasized that modesty will not get you a job or internship, especially when you are competing against those from other cultures who are not afraid to boast.
More than 30 students – some from as far as Pennsylvania and Connecticut – attended the seminar. All of them agreed that there are parts of their resumes that they will change and that there are different experiences that they will prioritize. Everyone, whether commuting from near or far, learned something that can improve his or her chances at landing an opportunity.
Alan Kerzner teaches at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania. He is an alumnus of the Wharton School’s prestigious MBA program and has decades of marketing and business experience with companies like Johnson & Johnson and Olay. Mr. Kerzner elected to not lecture from the stage, but instead to walk among the students in order to be more engaging. Mr. Kerzner founded the Institute for Global Student Success (www.globalstudentsuccess.com) and is currently the Institute President and an active teacher.