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Refining Your “Personal Brand”

diplomaAs the Career Center‘s Fall Career Expo and Fair wraps up, the next step in your journey of vocational discernment begins.  For many students, the focus will shift to brushing up on interview skills and finding new ways to get involved on campus to gain new experiences. For other students, the Career Fair provided an opportunity to reflect on interests and identify potential career paths.

One area that becomes more important as you get closer to securing your first internship, and eventually your first professional position after graduation, is the concept of a “personal brand.”

Your brand is manifested in everything you do and everyone with whom you interact. A major part of your personal brand is your online presence, particularly with social media. Whether you realize it or not, the internet is one of the primary sources that employers use to look beyond the resume and cover letter to learn more about candidates.

The decisions you make in your days at Notre Dame will directly influence your future. Just as you learn in the classroom, the decisions you make outside of the classroom (particularly in social settings) can have far reaching implications.

Shama Hyder provides a summary of personal branding in an August 18, 2014 Forbes article, including these 2 key points:

  • Audit your online presence
  • Be purposeful in what you share


As you begin to refine your personal brand, consider the following questions:

  1. What appears when you perform a Google search (or better yet, a Google image search) of your name?  Is this brand reflective of the “true you”?
  2. Does your Facebook profile really need to be public?  Is what you post on Facebook something that a potential employer would find appropriate?
  3. What impression would a potential employer have of you if they spent 5 minutes scrolling through your Twitter feed?


Be smart; be thoughtful; and remember… you are responsible for developing and refining your personal brand.



No longer a verb…


In recent years, Notre Dame students have referred to the University’s disciplinary process as “Reslife.” Not only were students “reslifed,” they were also “sent to Reslife” or “received a Reslife.”

Two years ago, a review of student disciplinary procedures at Notre Dame began.  Through the review, a few common themes were identified. We learned that myths and ghost stories of “Reslife” resulted in a skewed perception of the true purpose of Notre Dame’s student conduct process.  We also learned that some of the most meaningful conversations and life changing experiences were a direct result of an experience with the Office of Residence Life and the student conduct process.

As a result of the review, a number of refinements have been made to the administration of student conduct processes which take effect this semester.  The most noticeable change is a transition from the Office of Residence Life to a new model with the Office of Community Standards.  You may have noticed that we are no longer a verb.  As an office within the Division of Student Affairs, we are committed to the holistic development and formation of all of our students.  We do this by engaging students when their behavior has not aligned with the University’s standards of conduct.

In addition to the name change, three themes were established to guide our work in student development and formation:

  • Transparency and accessibility of the student conduct process
  • Education of the University community on student life policies and procedures
  • Articulation of, and adherence to, the practice of student conduct administration rooted in the University’s mission as a Catholic institution founded in the tradition of the Congregation of Holy Cross


Although we encourage interaction between students and our staff, we recognize that students may not find a conduct office as welcoming and accessible as an office like Student Activities or MSPS. Throughout this year of transition, we will be more accessible to students. Some of the ways we will do this include:

  • Meeting with student groups to share insight about the revisions made to our office and processes
  • Visiting residence halls to have conversations with students in their communities about our standards of conduct
  • Advising student clubs and organizations
  • Becoming more present and involved in campus activities


As we look for other ways to connect with the Notre Dame community, we invite you to follow us on Twitter and engage us through this blog platform.

By engaging students through a variety of means, we hope they realize the value of our standards and how we each contribute to building community.

After all, we are all ND.



About this blog…

The Office of Community Standards endeavors to educate the Notre Dame community about our standards.  In addition to managing du Lac: A Guide to Student Life, we are pleased to offer a thought-provoking series of reflections to develop “a sense of community and of responsibility that prepares students for subsequent leadership in building a society that is at once more human and more divine” (Notre Dame Mission Statement).

Throughout the year we will be posting reflections alongside the best photographic work you will find on Notre Dame’s campus.  Among our blog posts you will find reflections on:

  • Quotes from influential Notre Dame leaders 
  • Passages from historical Notre Dame documents
  • Articulation of our University Standards of Conduct
  • Evolution of our Standards of Conduct over the years