Brand Yourself: Correcting Your Online Presence

Everyone wants to have a good reputation online, but we often feel like that’s something out of our control.  Well good news, it’s not completely.

Go visit the website, sign up and search your name.  Many links will pop up and you may be surprised at what you’ll find.

You can rate each link as:

  • POSITIVE: Relevant to you specifically
  • NEUTRAL/NOT ME: Something that has nothing to do with you
  • NEGATIVE: Something damaging that is also relevant to you.

I even had an assignment from high school lurking around on Tumblr that still comes up when my name is searched.

This tool helps assign relevant links to you, while getting rid of ones that are irrelevant.

The point here is to improve your grade, or at least make sure the right links appear when your name is searched.

I did this with mine over this past semester at Grand Valley.  Here’s my before and after .







My score decreased because I was able to search through the links and identify a negative result to my reputation.

I enjoyed this exercise though.  I was able to view the scope of what others see when they search me, while catching a whiff of nostalgia in the process.  I highly recommend that everyone try this out.  Strengthen your web presence and  shoot for that A!


Group Projects Are Forever, But Don’t Fret.

People usually dread collaboration.  A lot of us don’t want to entrust our work and credibility to an individual we don’t necessarily like or know.  We don’t want to go through the struggles of uncooperative members, or conflicting schedules, or a flood of ideas, or any of the headaches that comes with working in a group.  If I had a choice to do any of the group projects in my entire educational career, I probably would have skipped 80% of them.

However, in reality we have to work with others everyday, and that’s not such a terrible thing.  Having the ability to work well in a group can yield results that would never have even been imagined when working alone.  Working with people increases your social skills, creates a supportive environment, and explores a broad range of perspectives just to name a few pros.

We were forced into group projects our whole lives as a preparatory action.  In order to make sure we would be good assets for the workplace, well any place, we need to be comfortable with working with a diverse group of people.

“Collaboration is essential for organizational change.”  This means that if you want to accomplish something grand, complex, and great, the it would  require the ideas, commitment, and brainpower of a great amount of people.

Sure, it could be done on your own, but it wouldn’t be efficient; it may be missing a component that you may have overlooked, or you might be lacking in a skill set needed for part of the project.  Strong organizations have strong leaders in different departments, because everyone has different skills and talents.  Leveraging everyone’s strengths ensures that each base is covered.  On a micro scale, the same can be said of group projects and collaborations.  A project has a much greater potential of being amazing when there is a team of different expertise behind it.

As we transition from job to job in our careers, we should keep in mind that people can be pretty interesting, and there’s always something a person could bring to the table.  Collaboration should be viewed as an opportunity to creative something fresh, rather than a hindrance.




Field, A. (2012, November 30). 6 Ways to Foster Collaboration in Your Workplace | OPEN Forum. Retrieved from

Gomen, C. K. (n.d.). 7 insights for collaboration in the workplace. Retrieved from

Morgan, J. (2013, July 30). Forbes. Retrieved from