By Emily King, Staff Writer

Developing Your Academic Brand is a seminar focusing on different aspects for success that UTC students don’t get from their regular courses. 

The seminar was held Tuesday Oct. 1, by Dr. Lisa Piazza, the director for undergrad research here at UTC.  It is part of the URaCE Discovery Seminar series. There are two sessions of these held each semester, and one more will be offered later this month. 

“One thing I took away from the seminar was narrowing down who I am and the qualities I have to offer when creating my academic brand for graduate school and future careers,” Samantha Lobbins, a freshman psychology major, said.

Piazza said that the Tuesday seminar was the “branding” session. The point of this session was how to develop a certain academic style, or “brand.”

Developing Your Academic Brand is a topic that is fairly new, concerning thinking about the future, Piazza said. 

“We are trying to help students understand what to expect,” Piazza said. “We wanted to put something together to introduce this topic and it’s useful for really whatever you want.”

During the session, students conducted a mock interview in which they had to ask each other what they are passionate about, what skill sets they have, and what they could contribute to a work environment or graduate program. The goal of this was to help students think about self motivation. 

Piazza said she hopes students will start thinking about how to tell a story of their skills.

“You cannot move forward in life unless you have a story to tell,” Piazza said. 

The academic branding seminar helps students learn how to apply themselves and their skills, to real life career situations. There will be some sessions offered in the spring that will focus more on research dialogues and the specific academic branding seminar will be held again next fall. 

Students also learned how to put together an online portfolio, and how to best highlight achievements, present skill sets and experiences for what each individual can contribute, and how to put that on a curriculum vitae. 

Piazza said that one student in undergrad research came, had the opportunity to speak with them afterward, and ultimately present his own research. 

“It is really exciting to hear the success stories and to actually see the transformation of students that take these opportunities,” Piazza said.

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