If you’re planning to attend business school in the near future, now’s the perfect time to start planning and thinking about your various social media accounts and online presence. Some applications will ask for the URLs to your personal website, networking account, etc., and you can already start creating content, updating your accounts, and establishing acceptable profiles before you apply to business school.
Here are some of the types of accounts you’ll want and need to have for business school.
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Creating a blog or personal website for yourself is easy and can be a great way to establish your online presence professionally. If you like to write, starting a blog may be the better route for you to take, but you’ll want to be sure to keep it active, posting at least once a week or every other week or so.
You’ll also be better off maintaining a more professional vibe and voice, so while you can choose to write about topics that interest or are meaningful to you, you’ll want to use impeccable language and grammar. If you’d like to write a more personal blog or one that you wouldn’t necessarily want to provide the link to on business school applications, consider keeping a personal blog and professional one. Your audiences will likely differ and one can be used purely for more professional topics while the other can be more for your personal enjoyment.
If you choose to make a personal website, you can still feature a blog section on it if you so choose. Otherwise, you’ll want to include samples of some of your best work, a bio, resume, and contact information. Your personal website can be treated much like an online portfolio and you in fact should have a section called “Portfolio” that includes samples of your work. Graphics will also help catch visitors’ eyes and bring your website together.
There are lots of different websites that focus on connecting professionals as well as linking job seekers and employers. Establishing accounts on several professional networking sites will help you make contacts before business school and then allow you to connect with your business school peers, professors, etc. once you’re a business school student.
Keep your accounts active with the most up-to-date information about yourself, including your work experiences, classes you’ve taken, skills you’ve perfected, research published, etc. You never know who will end up seeing your professional profile, though it’s a given that when applying to business school, it’ll be looked at. Additionally, all kinds of unexpected connections can be made online so be sure your networking accounts are current and complete so your online impression is a good one.
You likely already have social media profiles on a plethora of social networking sites. However, your posts may not be so business school-friendly and that’s okay but you may want to clean up your photos and posts before applying to business school or limiting who can see various pictures and things you wrote.
For some social media sites, you can create more than one account — and if that’s the case, consider making one to use professionally and one to use personally and keep them separate. This way, not only will you establish a more professional online presence for yourself, you’ll also be able to enjoy posting on your social media accounts worry-free as you won’t have to think about who’ll be seeing your content and judging you for it in the future.
You may be assigned an email at your university that’s professional-esque but you likely won’t want to keep it or be able to use it past your graduation. So creating a professional email is something you definitely must do before applying to business school. You don’t want to have to write that your email is ridiculous sounding and childish on applications.
It may take some time if people have similar names or the same name as you to find an available email address that will sound professional but it’s worth doing. Plus, it’s a good idea to create a professional email early on so all your business school-related and other more professional emails are in the same account.
So before you start applying to business school or even if you’re just starting to consider applying to business school in the future, look into creating these types of accounts and more. You’d want or need to establish professional social accounts imminently anyways, so you might as well do it now and have more time to build your online presence for business school and beyond.