The Verbal Business Card, the only business card you can't forget to bring.
Tell me something about yourself! Almost every interview or network meeting starts with this phrase and seems fairly simple to answer, right? My name is Ritchie Kruunenberg, I’m 23 years old and I’m Dutch. I like to play tennis and to cook …..(awkward pause). That’s when I start thinking to myself: ‘Seriously Ritch, you could have totally expected this question and you could have come up with something more exciting and professional.’ Luckily the MBA program here at The University of Alabama guides us to present ourselves the best way possible.
MBA Launch Week
My first week of the MBA program here at The University of Alabama was ‘Launch Week’. A week with a welcome dinner, motivational speakers, introduction of faculty and staff, career day and a presentation competition. Say what? A presentation competition in your first week of school?! Yes in groups of four, we got one day to come up and present a recommendation to the board of a selected company. The board existed out of alumni and company recruiters so this was definitely a great opportunity for everyone to impress some of these recruiters. Next to presenting this recommendation, we also had to present our individual verbal business card.
Verbal Business Card
What is a verbal business card? A verbal business card is a creative and relevant way of answering the question ´What do you do?/Tell me something about yourself?’ Others might know it as an 'elevator pitch'. A verbal business card allows you to show your personality traits and make such an impression that the interviewer can’t forget about you. A verbal business card should be about thirty seconds – one minute long. Proudly tell them who you are, where you are from and don’t forget to smile. When you are still a student, let them know what type of work experience you already have or give an example of a situation where you were challenged but found a way to reach success. If you are currently working somewhere, describe what value you add to the company and how you have been able to help the company grow to a higher level. At the end of the day, you need to practice to speak from the heart because no one will forget someone speaking from the heart. When you’re meeting someone at a network event it’s always great to ask someone if they could tell something about their career or experience. People will appreciate you showing interest in their background and career.
On the last day of the MBA Launch Week, I thankfully got the opportunity to talk to a young lady from Facebook. After introducing myself, I got the chance to present her my verbal business card and since I’m working in social media we definitely had a connection. This time I was prepared and was able to impress her by telling her that I was a student athlete at The University of Alabama and how playing tennis for such a big organization taught me how to fight for something bigger than myself. After presenting my verbal business card, she explained how she took many unexpected turns in her career and she shared the importance of writing a good email. Presenting my verbal business card helped me to connect with someone working at Facebook and so can your verbal business card help you connect with anyone you would like to talk to. Don’t wait and start developing your verbal business card because you can be asked the question ‘Tell me something about yourself’ anytime! This is the only type of business card that you can´t forget to bring. And keep in mind, your path to your career is a process and needs to be taken step by step.
‘The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones’