Friday, September 28, 2012

Developing Your Brand

by Lauren Ruple, Senior Hospitality Management Major
President, National Society of Minorities in Hospitality - AU Chapter


Choosing the right career or major is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be stressful.  Deciding what to do “when you grow up: is all about finding the right fit for you.  Learning your likes and dislikes and matching them with your strengths and weaknesses will help you grow stronger as an individual.  These experiences will be key factors which will help you determine your "brand” and start your career path.

Developing your brand is discovering the “right fit” or what works well for your style.  I started working when I was 14 years old.  I was a server for picnics at an outdoor park.  It was probably the only job available for someone so young.  However, the skills I developed and the concepts I learned created a great base for my resume.  I began to realize that all my jobs had a common theme:  customer service.  I enjoy working with people, but more importantly I want to help them.  Whether I am decorating a venue for a bride and groom or suggesting what to eat at the local restaurant, I like to offer my advice.  I chose to study hospitality management because of all the opportunities within the hospitality industry.  The skills are transferable across departments, and I could work for companies ranging from Disney and ARAMARK to Hyatt and Ecolab. 

Why not spend four years earning a degree in a field you love?  Classes, internships, and even professional organizations can lead to your perfect career fit.  I truly believe that no experience is a bad one.  Each obstacle makes you better-rounded and stronger.  Combining what you know and what you like are essential in finding that fit to develop your brand.

The National Society of Minorities in Hospitality is teaming up with the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Career Services Center to host “Develop Your Brand,” a panel discussion.  Six different companies will bring representatives to serve on the panel, answer questions, network, and even accept resumes!  These companies include Bob Evans, The Cleveland Indians, Ecolab, Nordstrom, Smuckers, and Westfield Insurance.  The panel discussion will take place on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. followed by a meet and greet.  The discussion panel and meet and greet will take place in the Trustee room of Upper Convo.  Dress is business casual and business professional for those handing in resumes.  Registration is encouraged and can be done in person at the Career Services Center or online at:  https://www.myinterfase.com/ashland/event_view.aspx?token=e2NGaUNwSnZZfo324ADC6g%3d%3d.  All majors are welcome and encouraged to come.  Please contact Lauren Ruple at lruple@ashland.edu if you have questions. 

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