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Promoting yourself

By Sharla Nurse

The reality is it is not what you know, it is who you know. In today’s society, the idea that your knowledge and your skills will aid in achieving your dreams does nothing but give you false hope. Don’t get me wrong, those characteristics are essential; I firmly believe that you can get ahead with ample worldly insight, but I have also realized that in order to differentiate yourself from other graduating students you must have close community connections and the ability to promote yourself.

Have you ever been a guest at a black tie event and felt out of place and awkward? Did you feel as though everyone was looking at you because you did not know how to stand properly, because you were noticeably underdressed, or because you were that loner standing in the corner staring at the ceiling? Do you ever try to participate in a serious conversation and you attempt to form words and nothing but gibberish comes out? I am here to tell you that you are not alone!

We have all been there – it is embarrassing, isn’t it? The real world consists of networking in the business community and setting yourself apart from the crowd. And no, this does not imply that it is appropriate to get a little tipsy and shout profanities at those top business executives or that it is the place to break out those ‘80s dance moves that you have been hiding.

Promoting yourself is about being able to socialize in a professional manner, pulling off that great first impression you were hoping for and most importantly, being yourself.

That being said, this is not as easy as it sounds. If you find yourself in this category, I strongly encourage you to join MUN’s Marketing Association (MUNMA). This school year, MUNMA is dedicating its efforts to helping students interact with industry professionals and develop a network of contacts within the business world that will help land that perfect job upon graduation.

With a focus on selling yourself – this, of course, includes learning about appropriate business dress attire – MUNMA will organize workshops, social events, speaking engagement, and networking opportunities to build members’ confidence, skills and opportunities.

I have recently joined this association and let me assure you, it was a wise decision. I can relax now, knowing that I am not the only student out there who fears graduating and the real world. In order to feel comfortable in social settings, there is no better way than to get out there and experience them yourself. No one can educate you on how to successfully promote yourself; some things you just have to learn on your own, unfortunately. No one can dress you, no one can speak for you and no one can be you!

It’s not too late to join. MUNMA is currently planning two events coming up in November, including a wine and cheese and a networking seminar.
If you are interested, for further information, please e-mail So, put on your best suit and come out and join the networking community and watch the graduating blues fade away. In no time, you will be rockin’ your new and improved self. I hope to see you there.