Business Honors students at Mays Business School learned about personal branding and building relationships from the top leader on campus, Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin. He will step down in January to a faculty position after serving as president since February 2010 and interim president since June 2009.
Here are some of the students’ takeaways:
My largest takeaway from President Loftin’s presentation was his emphasis on working hard to build relationships. He said that this first begins with making a strong impression and being memorable, which is what his bow tie does.Â The relationship then strengthens and grows by making connections.Â Dr. Loftin places a huge amount of value on his ability to make an impression and make connections, and he believes that this ability has led to his success in all aspects of his career.
-DJ Tharp ’16, Business Honors Major
When I attended Dr. Loftin’s lecture, I learned several important things. First of all, Dr. Loftin truly created his own personal brand with his signature bowtie. When he meets people for the first time, the connection they draw with his bowtie and his first name “Bowen” subconsciously forms and creates recognition. I enjoyed the lecture very much, and it allowed me to appreciate what a great speaker Dr. Loftin is.
-Samir Syed ’17, Business Honors Major
President Loftin does not fit the stereotypical mold of an administrator, or even a professor. Dr. Loftin genuinely cares about each individual. While he was speaking, I forgot that he was the president of one of the largest universities in the nation because I felt like he cared about me as a person and not just as a student.
-Sarah Burns ’16, Business Honors Major
I learned from President Loftin that I need to find something about myself that will be memorable and unique to other people.Â I need to discover my “personal brand,” similar to President Loftin’s bow ties.Â First impressions are obviously very important to building relationships, so we should want to create a good one for ourselves. President Loftin also inspired me to try to relate to as many people as I can, no matter how different they are from me.
-Allison Sanders ’17, Business Honors Major
Listening to President Loftin was a very enlightening. He taught us that finding something that distinguishes yourself in the professional world is a key strategy to your success. He always stressed working your hardest to find a personal connection with people.
-Haley Hoekstra ’14, Finance Major
My main takeaway from hearing Dr. Loftin speak about what his bow tie means to him was that I can find my own “thing” to do — and it doesn’t have to be clothing related. I love talking to people, and he made it clear that conversing is an important skill anywhere you go in the business world — or anywhere for that matter. If I am always polite when talking to people and can successfully converse with strangers, that can be my own personal branding “thing.” Dr. Loftin assured me that I have what it takes to succeed in the world — a smile, and Aggie ring (when I get mine!), and the ability to converse.
-Caitlin Falke ’17, Business Honors Major
I recently attended the presentation “What my Bowtie Means” by Dr. Bowen Loftin and was introduced to the concept of personal branding. I had never thought of myself as a brand, but this talk gave me a perspective as to why it is important to sell yourself. Loftin discussed how his bowtie made him memorable and created a connection to his name, and that is something I want to emulate. One of the most valuable pieces of advice he gave was to always listen and try to connect with people you meet for the first time — there is something that you have been through that is meaningful to the other person, regardless of position.
-Luke Williamson ’15, Business Honors Major
Hearing Dr. Loftin speak has been on my college bucket list for some time now. I am amazed not just by how well he’s been able to brand himself with his bow tie, but also by how well he is able to connect with people. It also astonished me just how much time he puts into his job. He really lives and breathes Texas A&M and is a true leader.
-Chris Clayton ’14, Business Honors and Accounting Major
I never thought about personal branding much, but Dr. Loftin’s speech was very eye opening in his explanation of its importance.Â It helps people remember you, which is a key advantage in the bustling business world. When your job is to interact with others on a daily basis, branding is a useful tool to make yourself stand out.
-Audrey Haynes ’17, Business Honors Major
About Mays Business School
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.