May 10, 2018
As an athlete, I learned there were no short cuts to success. When I entered the corporate arena, was the first time I heard the phrase, “there is no elevator to success.” Through my athletic experiences, I knew this to be true. Recently, that opinion has changed for me. Last weekend, I co-hosted a workshop at my alma-mater’s first ever, Alumni Career Conference; specifically a workshop about branding.
For the past few years, I have had the privilege of experiencing world class branding first-hand, working at one of the biggest and baddest brands on the planet, Under Armour! It was integral to my very first project on the innovation team, the creation of Idea House as well as some of my favorite projects, such as Kevin Plank’s Cupid’s Cup.
In our workshop, Sabir Peele ’08, Tony Ubertaccio ’11, and I, covered what is takes to create a winning elevator pitch and cultivate a personal brand. The highlights of a successful elevator pitch include the ability to concisely articulate who you are, what you do, what makes you unique, and to close by making the ask (job seeker, career transition, or networking). Each of us provided the group with examples of our own pitch:
“Hi, I’m Kelly Becker. You know ideas are a dime a dozen, it takes an action-oriented innovator to bring them to life. That’s what I do! I have identified and collaborated with entrepreneurs who have appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. I oversee Under Armour’s Idea House and the academic side of our collegiate partnerships to bring ideas to market that will make athletes better. Here’s my business card I’d like to schedule time to grab a coffee so I can learn more about your career path.”
In order to cultivate a personal brand, we gave some tips on how to leverage social media as well as how to create and find a supportive tribe. My top recommendation is to maximize LinkedIn and inquiry for informational interviews. I have practiced this networking tip and experienced great success, I wrote about it for Career Contessa.
As for creating a tribe, that’s one of the things I love about working at Under Armour - the culture. The team, as in the entire organization, shares a passion for bringing our mission to life; to make all athletes better. In our workshop Sabir, Creative Director of Men’s Style Pro, talked about the impact of members of your (professional) tribe. Surrounding yourselves with individuals that are not in your immediate industry can allow you to get energized by their unique perspective. Overall, your tribe should include people who will encourage your creativity and challenge you to take a risk or gain new experiences.
Be prepared and strategic. Prepare a great elevator speech and be sure to make ‘the ask.’ Tony reminded us all that research has shown you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You will draw energy, inspiration, and motivation from those people; so be thoughtful about your tribe.While there is no elevator to success, preparation and surrounding yourself with a great tribe will get you there!
By Kelly Becker ’10