Sell Yourself vs. Sell Something #Final Reflection on Learning #Post6

“When you get to the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on” – Franklin D. Roosvelt

Tomorrow is the last class for ES2007S Professional Communication. It makes me feel sad. For four hours a week through out the semester I actually felt like a I belonged to a class. In all my other modules, as an exchange student, I have been more or less by myself. Looking through the schedule reflecting over the elements we processed, the assignments we submitted and the presentations we performed I have been trying to figure out what developed my skills the most. Together it all creates a completeness and understanding of communication, so it is difficult to pick only one focus.

If I have to pick, I think I developed the most when we were working with the cover letter, resume, and mock interviews. Looking back at my initial attitude towards the topic, I realise it was very naive. I thought I had a “strong” cv. But after lessons, processing of material, evaluation and viewing class mates work I understood that I would end up in the “throw away”-stack straight away in a job interview situation.

My cover letter did not show enough passion, it was just a repetition of what my resume already told the reader. My resume was unstructured, hard to follow and did not display the relevant facts and dates. I managed to rewrite my material in time for the mock-up interviews, which was another cold shower. An eulogy to Eunice and Rui being excellent actors making me leave the set up job interview on shaky legs, absolutely convinced I did not get the job. They asked relevant questions with high frequency and flipped my resume against me so it indeed felt like a real life experience. This is invaluable and I definitly feel more confident and prepared for my next (real) interview. Being put in the position of the inerviewer was also very instructive, it gave me an insight in what the interviewer are looking for, which I found very useful when making final changes to my own set of material.

I have been reflecting on how similar it is to sell yourself (for example in an job interview) and to sell something (for example as we did during the oral presentation of the project proposals). Do we have to learn to sell ourself before we can sell something? It boils down to having good presentation skills in both scenarios, this module have given me a great ground to keep developing from. With more confidence, awareness of the the 7 C’s (clear, courteous, complete, concise, coherent, concrete and correct) and a smile I feel ready for the challenges ahead.

Although, I will follow the words of Franklin D. Roosvelt and tie a knot and hang on to Mr Blackstone’s world without walls for a little longer. Because with invaluable information when it comes to all kinds of communication I will surely return to the materials to improve further or when stumbling in expressing myself.

Finally I would like to thank Brad for an amazing committment, an  innovative modern way to teach a modern topic and an open mind to new ideas, improvement and feedback. More professors should take after you and learning will become easier, funnier and better for many students. Also a huge thank you to my class mates for your valuable feedback and hard work, it has been a pleasure working with all of you.

Practice makes PROFESSIONAL!
But first Christmas Holiday:


6 thoughts on “Sell Yourself vs. Sell Something #Final Reflection on Learning #Post6

  1. Dhash man says:

    Your english is so amazing now. Really you’ve come a long way nuclear child, really proud of you. Im very tempted to start a blog too. Random musings. 🙂

  2. Maxime says:

    Hi Sofie !

    First of all, I would like to say that I like your choice of quote. Roosevelt’s sentence is really interesting!

    I think that we will all miss the class of Brad! It was really a perfect module where we learned so much interesting things.

    Your post is really good written but maybe a little bit long if we pay attention to the conciseness of our 7C’s. Nevertheless, I understand this, it was really difficult to make a short post because I wanted to say a lot about this amazing module! Moreover, your English is so amazing and good, that it is a pleasure to read you.

    One more time you are rude with yourself. I have evaluated your resume and your cover letter. I think that you have a lot of experiences and that your resume was good. Your cover letter is the best one that I have read in this class and since a lot of time: creative, effective…

    Finally, thank you so much for being a very good partner of Peer Teaching. I wish you all the best for your future!

    See you in Europa !

  3. eunicea says:

    Hi Sofie!

    Been ages since I commented on your posts! I agree with Maxime about your resume experience. Your cover letter is the MOST interesting one that I read, especially since the introductory story was so original (and adorable!) it made me laugh. In your blog posts and presentations as well, you are an engaging story-teller, and possess one of those spontaneous turns of phrases which make your expressions refreshingly witty.

    One aspect that could bring you to the next level is developing the confidence to be lively during a presentation. Although you were not overly rigid, but I sensed that you were actively corralling your body to remain still, and to avoid making sudden movements, so that you could remain calm. From your feedback and blog post, i understand it is a combination of nerves and the Swiss culture, but I can also see that you are well on your way to becoming more comfortable with public speaking. Thus, the next time you are practicing for a presentation, do not be afraid to let some of your enthusiasm and positive emotions rise to the surface. This will help to bring the human-ness into your formal presentation, and thus help your team to project not only confidence, but also to stand out from the rest of the hum-drum-ly formal teams.who id not attend his course (ha!). Of course, this will require some prctice and feedback, so that you can gauge how much emotion/enthusiasm is appropriate for the culture that you are presenting in, and the nature of your topic.

    I am very glad to have met you and gotten to know you through your blog. You’re a brave soul, as I can see in the interview, and your traveling journeys. All the best to you, and hope to see you again soon (in person or virtually).


  4. Brad says:

    Dear Sofie, Thank you for this beautifully written final post. I don’t “say” this just because you’ve stroked my ego in the process (which I do appreciate). You have done a great job of starting this essay with an apt Roosevelt quote, one that seems to appeal to many students’ experiences in ES2007S. With fine concrete detail you also share your reaction to the position search segment of the course and your various feelings throughout the process.

    Shaky legs, eh? Your outward demeanor would never betray such emotions. But then through your smile, mellow demeanor and unflinching eyes somehow I could tell you were holding in any awkward emotions with great control. In combination with your astute observational skills, it’s that inner strength and outward cool that makes you so interesting, so dynamic and so potentially capable. When I write “potentially” you might get the idea that I’m wearing a wizard’s hat and just reading from a crystal ball. Of course I’m not. It just seems to me that you have all these capabilities that need more Rays and Eunices to get refined. But I have all the confidence in the world that you will meet those people and encounter exactly each of the challenges that you need to develop yourself in the way that will give you great satisfaction and continue to tickle the people for whom you mean so much.

    As for the world without walls, I’d suggest that you’ve been well aware of that phenomenon ever since your parents drug you off to faraway places as a child. And now that the burden of sharing the “secret” is squarely on your shoulders, I can see that you’ve realized that every journey begins with a single step, and you’re well on your own way.

    All the best for that adventure, Sofie!

  5. Renick says:

    Hi Sofie,
    I shared a similar experience with regards to the cv writing. Initially I thought that what was required was to exhibit extravagant writing prowess but obviously that was not the case. I realized it’s not about how powerful you can showcase language or knowledge of the company, praise the company or yourself, but rather how relevant you can be to them. As such I probably would have been discarded as well.
    Being an interviewer was also insightful for me as it required strategizing and being aware of what questions are important.
    With that, I wish you all the best, am going to miss having you as a classmate.

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