By Aly Madhavji, CPA, CA, CMA, CIM

Aly received his BComm with Distinction from the University of Toronto in 2012 and he is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from INSEAD. He is an international award-winning author, motivational speaker, and community builder. He will be discussing how to build your soft skills.

Your personal brand is the image you portray externally, which gives others insight into your reputation, experience, and identity. It is formed based on a combination of social media, personal interactions, pieces of work, and word-of-mouth. Your personal brand is crucial leading up to and following medical school because many times it is used to conceive notions about you based on social media and pieces of work. This is why it is wise to develop your personal brand consciously through Facebook, blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media outlets. For example, using Facebook, make sure there’s nothing you would not want an individual or a member of the admissions team to see. On blogs and Twitter, you can share your viewpoints with the world, but ensure that you are not violating the points of view of others. Using LinkedIn, you can share your work and volunteer experience, passionate causes, skills, and even obtain recommendations and endorsements to provide a more holistic external image. You can share your interests and passion through all of these tools, and it will help with developing connections, medical school admissions, seeking mentors, and experience opportunities.

Developing your online personal branding is a work in progress, but a good starting point is once you have your social media accounts, to spend some time searching through your connections and network for role-model profiles and brands that you believe are good examples. It will help you to envision some of the short to medium term possibilities for each social media platform. Personal branding is an area that you can focus on developing during your undergraduate studies and before medical school, but do not forget that it is a continuous work in progress over the entire span of your career!

For more advanced users, you can start a personal website, which could include a blog, photos, videos, and other interesting things to share. This is optional since you can have a similar impact on existing social media platforms.

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