Blog25-Louis

Day 25: Louis van der Wal – A Brand

Louis van der Wal 2017, Blog

The first time I was faced with the chance to shape my identity occurred when I packed my bags and flew across the country from Westlake Village, CA to Ann Arbor, MI. Moving into college as a freshman came with a whirlwind of experiences and emotions, but the most significant lied within the opportunity to be any person I wanted to be. All I knew coming to school was that I aspired to break into the sports and entertainment industry. With that freedom, I choose to immerse myself within the storied athletic department at the University of Michigan. In October of my freshman year, I became the only freshman Student Manager of the Varsity Baseball team, and that organization has served as the baseline of my social identity ever since.

“I’m confident my MSBA experience to this point has truly expedited my understanding of where I want to be and who I want to become. Each day that passes by while I am in Manhattan, I can feel my identity growing into my own personal brand.”

After developing this first aspect of my identity, I began to build a digital profile for myself on various social media accounts including Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I had never put much thought into the professional repercussions of my presence on social media, but today the MSBA Class of 2017 went through a “Crafting Your Online Identity” Workshop in which MSBA’s own Lorne Segall, Program Director, and Bailey Weigel, Dean of Students & Marketing Manager, gave an informative and interactive presentation on the “do’s and don’ts’” of digital profiling. As an aspiring sports business professional, I learned that building my personal brand is my responsibility. One tip I took away that applies to anyone looking to break into any industry was to follow brands, companies, and industry professionals on Twitter instead of patrolling through job boards or Google searches. By doing so, I will be able to keep up with day-to-day operations to find places where I can contribute to the team. Additionally, by being authentic, I can control how social recruiters perceive me as a professional. When used correctly, LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool that keeps me in contact with my industry connections while acting as a virtual copy of my résumé, skills, and interests.

Throughout my first three weeks as a Corporate Sponsorships and Marketing Intern at Premier Partnerships, most of my responsibilities have consisted of prospecting leads for our various clients to researching companies and contacts in preparation for sales calls. Just when I thought I had gotten the hang of my role with the company, I received some blunt constructive criticism on some of my previous work. Instantly, I knew I could either back down and let my mistakes get the best of me or bounce back stronger. I thought to myself, “The next chance I get to make an impact on the team, I will not let them down.” Little did I know, that opportunity would come just hours later. I was tasked with creating a weekly newsletter to be circulated throughout the entire company, spanning over three cities nationwide, that will assist everyone with how they approach their jobs. In that moment, I saw the chance to shape my professional identity and move past my previous mistakes. As I dive deeper into my social, digital, and professional identities, I realize that they are constantly evolving. Yet, I’m confident my MSBA experience to this point has truly expedited my understanding of where I want to be and who I want to become. Each day that passes by while I am in Manhattan, I can feel my identity growing into my own personal brand.