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When meeting someone for the first time you should be able to give them a quick summary of who you are and what you do. Your ‘elevator pitch’ is an approximately thirty second story to tell during a brief elevator ride to a hypothetical top floor. I like to think that I used to have a decent pitch ready to give. It went something like this, “I’m a public relations student who wants to work in the non-profit sector when I graduate. I love meeting people, volunteering, playing tennis, etc.” While all of those things are still true I find that my pitch has been changing lately, or in come cases disappearing.
I’m starting to ask myself where I want to go next. I would still love to work in the non-profit sector one day but I’m starting to see other possibilities. Too many possibilities – that’s my issue. There are a lot of things I could do, careers I could pursue, dreams I could bring to life. How do I explain to others where I am going if I have no idea myself?
Now when I meet new people it feels like I’m rambling off a million different thoughts and ideas. This isn’t exactly an awful problem to have. I’m excited for new possibilities. It’s great to question yourself and reevaluate your goals. I know that I’ll find my pitch again soon. Until then, let’s hope we don’t meet in an elevator.
On twitter I am @openinggtndoors – (It stands for Opening Giant Doors FYI). I have mixed feelings on my handle choice. Many would advise when signing up for Twitter, to pick your name or something close to it (if yours is taken). When I created my account I didn’t think twice about it. Basically, I have been ‘openinggntdoors’ for as long as I’ve been online. It was my first email account when we got the internet at my house. It was also my first instant messenger (AIM) username and I still use it today. It’s part of my online personality.
I’ve been told a few times that I should reconsider using my name instead. I do understand the power of my name in building my personal brand but I also wonder if it’s the best choice for me.
Some reasons I like being @openinggntdoors:
- My name is not that easy to spell and it’s long. If you have a short easy to spell first and last name then yes, it would be smart to turn that into your handle. I don’t know if it would be an advantage to switch it. I would only be saving two characters by switching.
- If someone really wants to find me my Twitter handle shouldn’t matter. I have my name on my profile with a bio and website link. You can find my profile by Google or via Twitter search. Plus, there are no other Hannah DeMiltas around to compete with.
- Can’t I make any name famous one day? If followers are invested in who I am and the content I produce my choice of Twitter handle should be unimportant. There are definitely people who I would consider successful who don’t use their real name.
- It’s unique to me. I want to stand out and have a different style. I recently met Andrea (@aslesinski) for the first time in person. When I introduced myself she said “Oh my God, opening doors! I feel like I know you!” I like being opening doors and getting that type of reaction.
I don’t like being @openinggntdoors because it is too long and makes it harder for people to re-tweet me. I also think it appears unprofessional to some people. I mean, I did come up with it in middle school. A lot of people just don’t understand it or wonder what it means.
What is your opinion on this topic, do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment. If you make a good enough argument and maybe I’ll be @hannahdemilta by the end of the week.
UPDATE: Well that was short lived. I lasted about 1.5 hrs. Give me a follow @HannahDeMilta
I’m learning that senior year is a tough transition time. You are stuck between what feels like your quickly fading college years and a terrifying “real” world approaching quickly. I often wonder what label(s) I should give myself when meeting people for the first time both online and off. I want to be seen as a young professional but at the same time I’m still learning.
Some students try to separate themselves from being labeled a student or undergrad. They want to be viewed as pros so they feel pressured to strictly present themselves as pros. This has advantages if done well. In certain situations you may be taken more seriously. The downside is that it can come off as potentially arrogant. I’ve also been turned off by big talkers without the back-up and true knowledge (or experience).
I’ve found that being labeled a student doesn’t necessarily give you less credibility. If you are humble and willing to learn from others, some will be more willing to help you in return. You don’t have to act less professional or lower yourself to a different level to achieve this. I think it’s important to be transparent about who you are. You don’t have to label yourself a student, but you also don’t have to hide it. We as young pros have knowledge to share too – so don’t sell yourself short or have the attitude “well I’m only a student.”
What labels do you give yourself?