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Forbes Column 2009: Building Your Personal Brand

Posted on Friday, Sep 4th 2009

Zero In this week looks at the issue of idle youth talent, offering ideas on how to harness their energy and groom the next generation. Read: Building Your Personal Brand. In it are featured many of the authors you have gotten to know over the last few months on this blog — my interns for the summer of 2009.

Addendum:

Many of you have written to me asking for details on the internships. Here are the internship Details:

• Intern should pick a core concentration area from the blog’s spectrum of coverage. Topics may include: an online vertical (Travel, Real Estate, Finance, etc.), Healthcare IT, Online Education, SaaS/Enterprise 3.0, Microfinance/Microfranchise/BOP, Convergence (chips, devices, carriers), Online Video, Digital Media, Online Advertising, Online Collaboration, Networking, EDA, Outsourcing, CleanTech (Solar, Hydro, Water), Entrepreneurship (Bootstrapping, Venture Capital, Innovation, Positioning/Strategy, India, Latin America, China, Insrael, Europe), Design, etc. [Look around on www.sramanamitra.com for ideas]

• Also, please see the Forbes piece: Building Your Personal Brand. It gives you a flavor of the types of work we do.

• Once you have identified the topic, start reading up on it (use the frameworks from the blog, then do additional research on the web).

• Develop a point of view on topic through the above process.

• Write at least 20 well thought through analysis pieces as “comments” on relevant posts on the blog. Could be ideas. Could be opinions. Could be questions. Could be contradictions. But has to be interesting and thoughtful, as well as thought provoking, and must demonstrate your understanding of the industry / business / issues in question. [They can be in the context of older posts. Typically comments always show up on the home page, and threads get revisited often.]

• These comments must also facilitate discussions from the community. I will be watching for your ability to not only contribute with ideas, but also contribute by engaging the community. Facilitating discussions is an art, and a great leadership skill. This portion of the internship is geared to help you develop and enhance this skill. You can use tools like Twitter, Facebook, etc. to engage people, but try to get them to come and comment at the site, so that you can showcase your work in one place.

• All comments must be posted in your real name, otherwise you won’t be able to cite it for evaluation.

• Those who demonstrate enough mastery of a topic and strong writing skills will be invited to write a series of guest columns on the chosen topic to establish industry credibility and visibility.

• If this opportunity interests you, take a look at the body of work done by Vijay Nagarajan on the wireless chip sector. Vijay was my intern while working at Atheros as an engineer. He wanted to switch to product marketing. Through his work with me, as well as his own blog, he gained enough visibility and credibility that he was aggressively recruited by Broadcom and is now a product manager there.

• I learnt a lot through the process of mentoring Vijay. And the internships that I have put together above are designed to help a larger set of young, ambitious, and hard working people achieve their career goals.

• I would like to particularly stress on the hard working point. I believe, anything can be learned by anyone, as long as you possess the right work ethic and attitude.

• And those who share my passion for entrepreneurship and innovation are the ones likely to get the maximum out of these internships.

This segment is a part in the series : Forbes Column 2009

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I have gained immensely working with Sramana on a project concerning Enterprise CIO Priorities. Through this process, I have had the opportunity to talk to several high profile, Fortune 500 CIOs to understand from them, what their priorities are today, given the effects of recession.

I have published my first conversation (with CIO of Accenture) in this website, and shall be publishing more conversations in the days to come.

It has been an excellent opportunity, and a great addition on my Resume. Interviewers and recruiters have literally been ‘wowed’ on the fact that I have had these high profile conversations.

Thanks Sramana for the opportunity.

Regards,
Narayanan

Narayanan Raman Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 1:30 PM PT

This internship was a great learning experience for me. I was working to track entrepreneurial activity in the Indian education sector. This internship taught me a lot about this sector, about the factors that influence it and the problems that it faces etc.
Sramana has been always available to guide me through any road blocks through out the process. I have written one article on the overview of Indian Education Market, I will be soon writing more on the challenges and problems of this market.
Thanks Sramana for the opportunity.

Shipra Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 9:16 AM PT

Ms. Mitra’s ideas have helped to focus my direction better. I have gained good exposure.

Ms, Mitra has helped by connecting with knowledgeable resources, by providing pointers to things I should not miss, by providing ideas to extend certain areas of work, insight into shaping blog posts for better readability.

Nalini Kumar Muppala Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 3:36 PM PT

I wrote about 10 articles fr Sramana in summer. The more you work for her, the more she is willing to spend time with you. She went out of her way to help me out with recruiting and other questions.

I learned about the social media and mobile space a lot. I was able to use that knowledge to do well in my interviews and find a full time job in a product strategy position.

She is a great mentor, and I would highly recommend working with her to learn more about writing, industry, and entrepreneurship.

Saad Fazil Monday, October 26, 2009 at 7:39 PM PT

Working with Sramana has certainly opened many doors. I had the opportunity to interview many executives of companies that I would not have otherwise even had the chance to contact because of her connections. It was a greatly rewarding experience. In no way was this an internship where people held my hand through the process, but rather, I learned so much through experiencing both obstacles and successes in my work. Thank you Sramana for this great opportunity!

Cindy Weng Monday, December 7, 2009 at 1:41 PM PT