Sunday, June 9, 2013

Brand: New

“You are your own brand.”

Of all the advice we received during orientation, those five words have a constant, echoing presence in my subconscious.

What will my brand be? Based on this week, I can tell you some slogans that may have been appropriate:

“Wasteful panic is our promise”

This is the brand that walks into Starbucks (which has an obscene number of locations in Manhattan) on a Monday, 25 minutes before it has to be at work. This is exactly the right amount of time for a coffee to cool down, offer two sips, and be thrown impulsively into the garbage on the way to an office building.

“Mumbling under pressure since 1992”

This is the brand that speaks in only consonants in high-pressure situations.

“0.5 lead is what we do best”

This is the brand that still is confused about why it’s not okay to use pencil on formal thank you notes.

With what is currently forming my brand–a magazine staff that continues to build my confidence, trusts me with increasingly important projects, and genuinely wants me to be in the office–I know that these slip-ups and bad habits are not my brand. They most definitely are not the final product.

Each day I walk into that glorious, glowing mecca on the 24th floor, I am less intimidated, less tense and more in awe of how I managed to score the perfect internship at Parents. As someone with a passion for working with children, I am in love with everything I’m reading, researching and writing.

Tell me that this alone wouldn’t make you excited to come to work every day:

Of course my brand will not be carefully packaged and polished, because that would be false advertising. But it will not be defined by any one mistake from this first week or any other single moment.

My brand will be a walking, breathing cumulation of who I meet and what I learn this summer, by my own design.

As Sinatra said,

I'll make a brand new start of it.

By Sara Gentzler, Creighton University, Parents
Edited by Kelsey McKinney, The University of Texas at Austin, Reader's Digest.

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