The women’s organization STARS, Sisters Transcending and Reaching Success, brought in TCU alumni to discuss the power behind knowing oneself and knowing how to capitalize on that.
STARS president Jasmine Tucker said the mission of the event was to inspire, which is also the main goal of STARS.
“This organization is about supporting women and youth in need and helping them succeed,” said Tucker.
Tucker said in order to fulfill that mission, she wanted speakers to talk to students about how to present themselves after they graduate.
Racquel McBay, a 2014 TCU graduate, spoke at the event. McBay works in Dallas in the non-profit management field.
“A brand is a reason to choose,” said McBay.
She also said the best way to brand yourself is to figure out what makes you unique.
“There’s only one you,” McBay said. “Being yourself will lead you to the employment and opportunities you deserve.”
McBay was one of two TCU graduates who spoke.
Marquis Harris, who graduated in May, informed students as well. Harris serves as the Executive Pastor at The Crossroads Church in Fort Worth.
Harris introduced the importance of branding by talking about his journey of redefining himself after he did not make the track team his first year at TCU.
“I wanted to run but I knew it wasn’t going to happen that way,” said Harris, “I didn’t want to be a typical black guy that hid in the shadows at a predominantly white school.”
Harris also talked about the importance of ‘branding’ in a way that redefines any preconceived notions people may have of you. For Harris, that preconceived notion was that he was an athlete.
“For my brothers,” Harris said, “one of the premier questions I got asked every year was, ‘How did you get to TCU? Do you play football? Do you play basketball?'”
Harris said that dressing in shorts and a T-shirt every day “communicated that he had no other way to be there unless he was running, throwing a football or dribbling on the court.”
He also said one of the first steps in branding oneself is learning more about yourself as a person. He said it is important not to stay confined to a certain group.
“You have the chance to access ample opportunities at this school, take advantage, branch out, study abroad, do a mission trip, don’t confine yourself to where you’re limited,” said Harris.
Senior William Jenkins, an art and psychology double major, said Harris’ message gave him a new perspective.
“It was nice to hear from people who have already graduated and [hear] their struggles and how they overcame them, and how branding yourself can prepare you for the future,” said Jenkins.
The event also covered the importance of social media representation in the business world.
Sophomore Danielle Sneed said she attended the event to better prepare herself for the future.
“I think it’s important to know how to portray ourselves on social media especially when we are trying to get jobs,” said Sneed.
In addition, McBay said branding is about more than the individual – what you post on social media and how you act reflects not only on you, but on your other affiliations as well.
“I represent myself and everything I’m a part of and affiliated with,” McBay said. “You’re a representation of something bigger than yourself.”
At the end of the evening, Jareem Williams, TCU alumnus of 2012, spoke to the group of students about the importance of following one’s passion.
Williams teaches at the P.L. Dunbar Young Men’s Leadership Academy. He said he found his own passion in teaching.
Williams also said when it comes to branding oneself, that means finding what matters to you and letting that uniqueness guide you.
“One of my favorite quotes is by Mahatma Ghandi,” said Willliams. “He said, ‘My life is my message.’ When people see you what do they see? What do you want them to see?”
McBay shared what she wanted students to take away from the evening’s event as a whole.
“The word ‘brand’ is so much more than a logo, ” McBay said. “The world is waiting for you-tap into it.”