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Memorial High and Personal Branding

April 17, 2018  |   Caitlin Reiff

Question of the day: would you rather present in front of a high-stakes client or a group of high schoolers?

We’re willing to bet more than a few adults would opt for the client presentation. (Those status quo-disrupting, social activism-touting, global perspective-wielding, Snapchat-snapping Gen Z’ers are scary. We get it.)

But, if the kids at Memorial High are a fair representation of the younger generation, we’d be more than happy to present at high schools all day e’erday.

TDR Goes Back to School

Last week, we had the opportunity to spend an afternoon at Madison’s Memorial High School and speak with students about a topic near and dear to our hearts: personal branding. Understandably, the crew felt just a bit of apprehension at the prospect of presenting to a group of teenagers. We think we’re cool – but would they? (Cue self-conscious anxiety and formerly repressed memories of awkward teen years.)

To our delight, the afternoon went swimmingly. With the help of Beyonce gifs and Drake music vids (included just as much for our personal entertainment as for that of the students), The TDR Account Exec team shared the fundamentals of personal branding, asking students to consider how they’d like to be perceived online.

“What are two words/phrases that you’d want associated with your brand?”

“Social activist”
“Artist”
“Intelligent”
“Kind”
“Generous”

Pretty heartwarming if you ask us. These kids know what’s up.

We also included a gentle warning: “The internet is written in ink. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your mom, dad, grandma, college, or future employer seeing. Also – get your privacy settings on lock, but understand that people can find you regardless.” (We did have to reassure a few individuals that, no – college admissions offices cannot call up Evan Spiegel and access an archive of your Snapchats.)

A few brave members of the TDR crew included in their presentations now-deleted Facebook photos from college that they no longer want associated with their personal brand. Despite the fact that the students thought we went to college eons ago – wayyy back in “the 1990s” – the message hit home.

After a general discussion about marketing – what it is, why it’s important, how to jumpstart a marketing career – we said our goodbyes, returned to our lockers, and rode the school bus home.

Just kidding, we drove home. We’re adults here.

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Memorial High for having us. Your students are a delight. We’ll come back anytime.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Caitlin Reiff

Caitlin Reiff

 | Content Strategist