This week, many Goshen College students participated in Super Tuesday, a mock interview process. Twice a year, this event gives students an opportunity to practice their interview skills with potential employers as well as improve their resumé and get a professional headshot.Super Tuesday is organized by Melissa Kinsey, alumni and career networks coordinator, to prepare students for life after college.
The event provides a large array of interviewers, from businesses such as Everence, Mennonite Central Committee, Goshen community schools, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and Pro Resources Staffing Services, as well as other local businesses.
Kinsey highly recommends this event for all students.
“It’s a helpful tool,” said Kinsey. “Plus, it helps you polish your resumé because you get input from someone other than just faculty and people at [Goshen College]. These are business people who are hiring on a regular basis.”
Kinsey has seen more than just polished resumés come from past Super Tuesdays: “In some cases, students walk away with an internship or job, which is the best of all. But also, [students walk away with] an appreciation for the skill of network building and a comfort level with talking with new people. Also a realization that strangers are great people who you just haven’t met yet. Everybody who participates in this does it for the students. There’s no reason not to do it.”
Sara Azzuni, a sophomore and Kinsey’s student assistant, agreed.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for students to participate in,” she said. “They get a glimpse of the outside community – how it will be when they graduate and go to a real interview later in life.”
Azzuni had a large role in organizing the event. She collected students’ resumés, interviewers’ information and then coordinated schedules to make sure that all students could participate and meet with a professional in their field of study.
“Organizing [Super Tuesday] is crazy, because it’s open to all students,” said Kinsey. “We have no idea how many interviewers we’re going to need until a week and a half before the event. We have a very loyal and wonderful base groups of interviewers who do it as they can. We are so grateful to them and their flexibility to work with us on this.”
Ryan Miller, a sophomore, attended Super Tuesday. Although required to attend the event for his Career Planning class, Miller said that he enjoyed the interview.
“I’m glad I went,” he said. “I’ve [had] other interviews for jobs… and it was just like another interview. It’s kind of fun to do every once in a while, and refresh the skills.”
Miller learned the hard way what skills he needs to work on during his mock interview.
“I managed to accidentally call the company I was [interviewing for] the ‘second best option,’” he said. “I learned - after saying that - it’s probably good to think about what you’re going to say before you say it. I tend to say things without thinking, and I think that’s something I definitely need to work on, in general and for interviews.”
Russ and Marge Liechty, official Goshen College volunteers, have been helping out with Super Tuesday for over four years and have seen plenty of students participate.
“Because we’ve done it over the years, it’s very interesting to see [students’ motives],” said Mrs. Liechty. “Some do it because it’s required in a class. But one person said that he’s a junior and this is the second time he’s done it, and he plans to do it again because it’s such great experience. I think that says a lot about that person.”
“I just think it’s an important exercise,” said Mr. Liechty. “You get a feel for what it’s really like and it takes some of that surprise element away when you go for the real thing and your nervous level comes down. It’s just a good experience to get ready for [real interviews].”
For students who want real life experience interviewing, but missed this week’s Super Tuesday, more opportunities to get involved are coming up.
“There will be another Super Tuesday in the spring, so [students] need to pay attention and register ahead of time because space is limited,” said Kinsey. “That sounds like a marketing gimmick, but it really isn’t. We can only accommodate so many people within the three-hour span that we do this.”
For students who don’t think Super Tuesdays are helpful, Kinsey has three words: “Practice makes perfect.”