How to be Awesome: Experts help CRSM seniors craft their professional brand

Seniors were encouraged to bring an “open mind and positive attitude” Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 when experts from financial services, talent acquisition and social media and marketing at area firms shared their insights with students on how to create their own unique “brand.”

Topics for the day included everything from “The value of social capital,” and “Creating Your Own Path: The Power of Informational Interviews,” to “What is LinkedIn and how to use it,” to “Credit Cards & Credit Scores: What you need to know entering college.”

From LinkedIn and Discover Financial Services, to Lake Forest College, local business leaders shared their personal and professional stories about networking and brand-building do’s and don’ts. In addition, Jim Connell, president of Craftsmen Media, shared some inside tips on the power of digital publishing and a talent acquisition team from Brooksource helped guide students through what they can expect when interacting with recruiters.

A trio of seniors capped off the day showing their initiative with a presentation on financial responsibility and credit cards. Cassandra, Samuel and Javier, who work through the Corporate Work Study Program at Discover, shared their learnings about debit and credit cards, interest rates and the importance of credit scores.

“I wonder if this is part of what is missing from our education system,” said Michelle Mehlis, director of the work-study program. “Not how to search for a job, but how to have a target, create a plan, and access information via the people you know to help reach your goals.”

Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep is grateful to its 76 business partners which include: Abbott Laboratories, Discover Financial Services, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Grainger, AbbVie, Rust-oleum, Barilla, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Wintrust, ITW, UL LLC, Advanced Group, and several divisions of Lake County government offices.