Personal Branding Interview: Paula Loop for Personal Branding Week 2.0 at PwC

Career DevelopmentInterviewPeoplePersonal BrandingSuccess Strategies

Today, I spoke to Paula Loop, who is the US and Global Talent Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). Paula is leading Personal Branding Week 2.0 at PwC, a program that shares the importance of and tools needed to differentiate oneself from the competition. Starting on Monday, February 7th, day one will include three simple steps to building a strong and authentic network. I interviewed Paula about Personal Branding Week 2.0 below.

What results did you see out of your first Personal Brand Week?

Response to the program last year was tremendous. We anticipated that students would gravitate to the content – and they did. What surprised us was the significant and sustained interest from career services offices at colleges and universities throughout the country. That led to the Personal Brand Week e-book being distributed to NACE, which in turn sent it to their entire membership. The program really struck a nerve.

And those results are above and beyond recognition that the program received in traditional and social media.

Where did you learn about personal branding and why do you see it as important to PwC and the rest of the world?

Personal Branding has become a hot topic in the media recently, but it is not a new concept. People have been coached for years on how to conduct themselves in meetings, dress for success and speak persuasively. These are all things that are coached within PwC.

What has made it more ubiquitous is that people not only have the opportunity to create a personal brand in the office and in meetings but also on blogs and in social media. People are more empowered today to create a personal brand.

In an age where people are trying to stand out, strong personal brands can set a candidate apart.

What’s in store for Personal Brand Week 2.0?

Believe it or not, we are working to make the program more personal. The tips and resources that we present will have the same significant value as last year but we’ll be incorporating more video throughout the week-long event. You’ll hear directly from recruiters, employees and even interns about what they are looking for and what makes them different as individuals. New content for Personal Brand Week 2.0 will go live on February 7th and can be found at

Personal Brand Week 2.0 will feature daily content that focuses on “Building Your Network” – three simple steps to building a strong and authentic network; “You are What You Write” – the art of effective writing skills; “Your Online Image Makeover” – promoting your online brand; “View from the Other Side: Getting the Job” – what recruiters look for in prospective hires, and “Pulling it All Together – Elevator Pitch and Body Language” – how to successfully express and articulate your personal brand.

One other element that we’re excited about is the elevator pitch contest that is open to undergraduate students at four year institutions. The student with the best 30-second video that highlights what makes them valuable and unique to potential employers wins $5,000.

You’re holding an elevator pitch contest for undergraduates. Why is it so important that an undergrad comes up with a pitch?

Effective communication is critical. Think about business opportunities that present themselves. They often do so at unexpected times. Now think about trying to land a job or build a career. Being able to tell someone what you do – and even more importantly, what makes you good at what you do – can make a big difference in a career.

The elevator pitch contest engages college students in a creative, engaging way that not only enables them to practice their own pitch but also see how others are presenting themselves.

What 3 tips do you have for undergrads as they start to build their brands?

  1. Know where you want to be in five years. Your goals may change over time, but it’s important to have direction.
  2. Have a professional online presence. Many people are on social media channels but not always for the right reasons. Give people and potential employers something positive to find if they search for you.
  3. Network. Though it sounds basic, keeping in touch with professional acquaintances can lead you to your next big opportunity.


Paula Loop is the US and Global Talent Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). She joined Coopers & Lybrand in 1983 in San Francisco and became a manager in 1988. She got married and transferred to Los Angeles in the same year. Twelve months later, She had her first child. Paula worked as lead manager on a major account; but part time schedules were unheard of at the time so she left the firm. Having relocated from California to the US East Coast, she rejoined PwC in 1997 and had a flexible work schedule for four years, whereby she left the office at about 3pm so I could spend time with her three children. Now she works full-time, serving large multinationals (SEC registrant firms) in the retail and consumer sector.