Merging Psychology with Brand Strategy

Posted by Tucker Quinlan

Jun 28, 2017 4:28:32 PM

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Jumpstarting my Job Search

Having successfully completed my junior year at the University of Richmond, I boarded a crowded flight back to my hometown: Newbury, MA. Unlike some of my peers, who had previously secured summer-internship opportunities, I had no clear understanding of how my own summer would unfold.  After unpacking my bags and settling in, I decided to jumpstart my job search with the goal of applying to ten part-time positions each day until acquiring an opportunity of interest. The first day of search yielded ten successfully submitted applications to a variety of organizations ranging from the YMCA to local restaurants. On the second day, I encountered my first obstacle: unfortunately, the greater Boston area’s supply of interesting part-time positions had run dry. Thus, I solicited the professional help of two Boston based recruiting firms. My interviews went smoothly and produced a variety of temp opportunities, yet none sufficiently captivated my interest. Confronted with my second major setback, it was time to completely rethink my job-search strategy.

Adopting a New Approach

After some brainstorming, my newly formulated plan involved identifying local companies of interest and personally inquiring about potential summer internship opportunities. I took to my computer in search of a local business directory and set my sights on several companies within the greater Newburyport area. My first attempts to gather information, deliver a resume and inquire as to any available internship opportunities were met with failure. However, I pushed forward with my company search despite uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of my unorthodox tactics. As the day wound down, I returned to my desk for one final search through Newburyport’s company index. To my delight, Brandigo, a global brand strategy agency, caught my attention. After visiting their website, I was fascinated by company concepts such as brand strategy and the potential to cultivate a fully aligned organization. Completely captivated, I decided to seek out further information in person.

Arriving on Brandigo’s Doorstep

Upon entering the office, I was greeted warmly by Bri Roy, one of Brandigo’s account managers, to whom I expressed my enthusiasm surrounding the company and my desire to learn more about its day-to-day operations. Coincidentally, Chris Langathianos, Brandigo’s Vice President of Brand Strategy, was available to answer questions. Chris and I sat in the office lobby as he provided a brief overview of the company and inquired as to the nature of my impromptu visit. I explained that I was a student home for the summer seeking an internship opportunity should Brandigo have one to offer. I handed Chris my resume, the conversation shifted gears and he suggested that we migrate upstairs to meet with Matt Bowen, the company’s president.

After briefly scanning my resume, Matt and Chris expressed a curiosity in my chosen major, prompting a discussion of my unconventional path at the University of Richmond. I explained that I had begun my undergraduate career as a business student, yet decided to shift my focus and pursue a degree in psychology at the beginning of my junior year. When asked about my professional goals, I expressed my ever-developing interest in organizational functionality. Although I am continuously uncovering new pieces of the larger, somewhat unknown puzzle that is my career path, I’m intrigued by the idea of serving as a consultant, assessing the vital interplay of company factors such as culture, communication, and strategy. I was delighted to learn that my professional interests overlap with one of Brandigo’s core service offerings: organization alignment and strategy fluency. I left Matt’s office, hopeful that an opportunity to work with Brandigo was in the cards.

Lessons Learned Throughout my Job Search

Thus far, this entire process, from job search to beginning work with Brandigo, has proven a valuable learning opportunity. Throughout any experience, it’s important to keep progressing forward despite seemingly unsurpassable roadblocks. When the path ahead seems unclear, step back, take a look at your current approach and find a way to reinvent your strategy - there is always an alternative rout and each failure progressively brings you closer to your ultimate goal. 

How my Psychological Perspective may Benefit Brandigo

Throughout my time with Brandigo, I hope to see elements of strategy fluency implemented in person as to familiarize myself the current techniques used to center an organization around a universally understood mission. The opportunity to speak with real executives, middle managers and general employees and hear their unique perspectives regarding their company’s core values, strategy and culture would be fascinating. Should the chance to work closely alongside Brandigo’s brand strategists arise, I feel that my psychological background may offer a unique perspective. Of particular interest is the study of mindsets, specifically Dr. Carol Dweck’s exploration of the growth and the fixed mindsets, and its potential application to the strategy fluency process. (If you have some free time, check out Dr. Dweck’s mainstream book Mindset: the New Psychology of Success, as I found it incredibly impactful within my own life.) If a company were able to definitively hire those with a growth-oriented mindset, and or effectively generate a culture of growth minded individuals, success would be inevitable.

In all, I hope to learn as much as I possibly can from Brandigo’s welcoming community of kind employees. I look forward to the remainder of the summer and all that this experience has to offer.

 

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