So what can you tell me Ben
This was a line early in the film 21, which I watched on Saturday night.
It was part of the interview process for Harvard Medical School, where lead character Ben was looking to secure a scholarship for the $300k it would cost him to complete his education and achieve his dream.
Ben, who is clearly a genius, had just been told that there were 76 applicants for the scholarship; most of whom had academic achievements and resumes just as impressive as his.
He was in the room because of his academic ability but at that point the reality is that it counted for nothing. It got him no further than through the door, which is when the competition really started!
Ben is informed that the Scholarship is going to go to someone “who dazzles, somebody who just jumps of the page!” He needs to explain “what makes him special, what life experience separates you from all the rest?”
When looking at his personal value proposition, his outstanding grades were nothing more than what was expected at this level, what else did he offer, what were his augmentations, differences and benefits?
How was he going to differentiate himself and standout from what was clearly already a standout crowd!
Now I know this is an extreme example and very few of us are going to ever get the opportunity to go to Harvard Med, however it demonstrates very clearly a fundamental part of the interview process. No matter the level of role you are looking for and the level of education or professional qualifications you have achieved it gets you no more, than through the door!
When you are in the room it is down to you, what else you bring, how well you fit, the type of person you are, along with the most important aspect of the experiences you have and resulting stories you tell.
The rest of the film is about the rollercoaster ride Ben takes to end up with what can only best described as both a dazzling and memorable story. It was a story that took him out of his comfort zone, after saying yes to an opportunity that he initially turned down. He made some new friends, while learning a great deal from adversaries. He developed his communication skills, learned a great deal about himself and got the girl of his dreams; it is a Hollywood movie after all.
Whilst it might not be as extreme as the journey taken by Ben, when Powering Your Potential we will help and encourage you to look for opportunities, learn about yourself and communicate with others. Explain how to develop your Personal Value Proposition to enable you to differentiate yourself, stand out from the crowd and make yourself memorable.
Write down three things that you have that differentiate you. These can be skills, achievements, or traits that set you apart. Remember them and draw upon them, get them in your CV. Keep thinking about other areas where you are differentiated.
Don’t take the things you do for granted.