One of the hardest things about an online class is the development of relationships over the period of the course. However, one great thing about them, is the opportunity to take anywhere from 300-1000 words (depending on the class) to introduce yourself. Never have I experienced that in an actual classroom, so I intend to take full advantage of that opportunity.
My name is Ben and I’m pictured here next to my beautiful and adventurous wife of over 8 years. While we’re on the topic of families, we have a three-year-old who appears to love life as much as we do. We also have two Labrador retrievers who accompany us on many of our adventures.
I live here in Boulder County, in a smallish community called Erie. When we were looking for a place to set down our roots about three years ago, this area had everything we wanted including lots of open space, proximity to Boulder, and a thriving community. Prior to moving here, we lived in San Diego for about 13 years. Before San Diego, I lived Wisconsin where I spent the first 18 years of my life. So, I’m not a native Coloradoan, and I’m shamefully part of the influx of people moving here from despicable places like California, but as the bumper sticker says “I’m not native, but I got here as soon as I could”. This is actually true for me, since I remember being about 12 years old and deciding that one day I would move to Boulder. So what if it took almost two decades after that to finally do it.
Yes, like most of you, I’m in this class because it’s part of my major, which is Business with an emphasis on Information Management. My immediate plan is to obtain a Masters in Interdisciplinary Telecommunications and eventually pursue my PhD in the same field. In all honesty though, I was excited to take this class. While I spent the first 5 years of my adult life as a United States Marine, I joined a technical field immediately thereafter. So, I’ve been in the business world for over a decade now. In my field, I have done a good bit of technical writing, I’ve written proposals, and I’ve written thousands of pages of just about anything boring you could think of. Then, about 5 years ago, I had a professional mentor who stressed to me how important it is to grow my own personal brand. I had never thought of that, but rather thought the key to success was to doing a great job, getting noticed, and moving up. I never realized that relationships and my brand were so important to my success.
But, I took this class thinking it was going to teach me how to write professionally…which sounded a bit dreadful. I was happily surprised when I found out that branding was actually a main focus point.
I still have a long way to go in my branding strategy. I have a strong LinkedIn profile which can be found here. I follow people close to me on Twitter, but I rarely post. I don’t have a website. I don’t have a Facebook account; though I’m probably still lurking around on MySpace (see my blog post 1 for details on that). I think I have a strong resume, but I’ve only copied formats from those whom I respect, I’ve never taken a formal resume class. So, all that to say, I’m very much looking forward to this class and I’m very much looking forward to what I can learn from it.
Okay, so maybe 600 words still wasn’t enough time to introduce myself, but please comment if you have any questions or want to talk about anything further. I look forward to interacting with everyone this semester.
Oh by the way, if anyone else is in Leeds, I spend a good amount of time at Kolbel, so feel free to reach out.