Contest teaches college students how to market themselves

A $5,000 prize will be given to the college student who submits a video with the best elevator pitch. The “Best Elevator Pitch Contest” caps an interactive, online event sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) this week. “It’s something to give students an opportunity to highlight their personal brand and get a little cash on the way,” said Amy Thompson, director of campus recruiting at PwC. An elevator pitch is a short speech often used to market a product or an idea by highlighting its best details in a short amount of time. Personal Brand Week 2.0 is a week-long program on PwC’s website. Its purpose is to teach students the ways to stand out from the crowd in a job search. This year, the elevator pitch contest is a new element of Personal Brand Week. Undergraduates can submit a 30-second video pitching their personal brand using techniques learned throughout the week. The deadline for submissions is March 25. Personal Brand Week 2.0 kicks off Monday, Feb. 7 and goes through Feb. 11. Every day is geared to teach a new aspect of building a personal brand or image. On Monday, students learn about building personal networks from a video featuring PwC’s U.S. and Global Talent Leader, Paula Loop. She will highlight three steps on how to build a good network that helps with a job search. “It’s about opportunity,” Thompson said. “Networking is how you do that. It’s friends, family, the people you know and they know.” Personal branding is an essential way to gain the attention of prospective employers, Thompson said. With the lingering effects of a recession and a job outlook that is still bleak to many college grads, Thompson said students should work on a personal image that is unique and shows their best side. Tuesday’s event is on effective writing skills. On Wednesday, students get the chance to ask an expert questions about personal branding, and learn about building a professional online image. Thursday’s event is called “View from the Other Side: Getting the Job.” Making a good first impression is important in a job interview, said David Herrmann, USU management senior lecturer. “Oftentimes the person doing the interview makes their decision about you in the first two minutes,” he said. Friday is dedicated to learning about the elevator pitch. Herrmann said the term ‘elevator pitch’ is an idea that could, theoretically, be explained on an elevator ride in such a way that the right people will be convinced it has value. He gave an example of a lowly company employee who has a great idea and only one chance to explain it.

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