Alumni Series: Kait Lanthier Discusses What Your Online Presence Says About You
By Makena Gera
Opening her presentation with the display of her Bitmoji and a small tangent about her love of tacos, Kait Lanthier, current Brand Journalist at Babson College and proud Marist alum, discussed her experience with branding and crafting digital identity.
Lanthier returned to Marist College on Oct. 6 to give a lecture on the importance of one’s online brand and social media presence for the Emerging Leaders Certificate Program. She shared advice on branding, developing your own digital identity, and using social media to your advantage, as well as the importance of the “Deep Creep” and the dangers of internet “#FAILS.”
The overall message of the lecture, entitled “You Are What You Tweet,” was to display the opportunities that we have in a digitally-centered age to develop our own online brand.
Lanthier defined “personal brand” as being comprised of your personality, your goals, your passions, and your objectives in life. Defining this statement of who you are is important, and by “making sure that it comes across in everything that you do, both in person and online,” you can shape this image of yourself before someone else can shape it for you.
Lanthier believes that with the Internet and social media “we are choosing how we want to curate and develop our own identity.” She expressed that no one is truly who they appear to be online, but as students beginning to enter the job market and young professionals who are already a part of it, we can use this opportunity to tailor our image to our utmost advantage.
By choosing to share only the best moments of our lives on social media, we are curating our image so that we appear to others in the exact way that we want to. This is part of our personal brand and our digital identity.
When a potential employer views you online, they make snap judgements about who you are. Lanthier emphasized the importance of this idea and the significance of making sure others get the right impression of you, both personally and professionally.
She shared guidelines about how one should present themselves online, including the idea that there is truly no difference between public and private; once something is online, it is there forever.
Additionally, Lanthier stressed that, just because you can post something online, it doesn't mean that you should.
One of the most engaging aspects of her presentation, however, was the live-action “Deep Creep” Lanthier did of herself. In order to showcase the lengths to which a potential employer, or even a complete stranger, will go to discover more about who you are, Lanthier Googled herself and members of the audience, critiquing the ways that they appear online.
On her own social media pages, Lanthier is sure to include her professional aspirations and desires as well as aspects of her personal life; specifically important articles about Babson and images of her favorite craft beers and restaurant dishes.
Lanthier closed with a request of the audience: audit our own social media accounts and “Deep Creep” on ourselves to determine if we really are effectively communicating our own personal brand.
So, what does your digital identity look like?