This story was originally published as part of the winter edition of The Master’s University Magazine. Read the full magazine here.
More than three dozen students at The Master’s University competed for a $1,000 scholarship in the school’s first-ever interview competition last semester.
“The Master Interview” consisted of four phases, with students creating resumes and cover letters, executing elevator pitches, meeting with mentors, and sitting for mock interviews.
Ultimately, five finalists took turns answering questions in front of a live audience.
The competition, it turned out, was too close to call. Seniors Zach Garey and Liam Payne both received $1,000 scholarships. What’s more, they were two of the 39 students who received invaluable professional development.
“At TMU, we want students to be trained up in the classroom and developed academically. We want them to have a great campus life opportunity, too,” said Michael Chrzanowski, interim director of TMU’s Office of Career Services. “But we also want to provide them with the professional development that they need in order to go into these companies and represent the Lord rightly.”
The first step in The Master Interview was relatively simple: Students picked an actual job listing and tailored a resume and cover letter to the position.
From there, they made elevator pitches of 60 to 90 seconds, answering one of the following prompts: “Tell me about yourself,” “Why did you apply for this position?”, or “What is your long-term career goal?”
Phase 3 involved a mock interview with a professional from TMU’s network, the outcome of which factored significantly into which students advanced to the final.
The grand finale took place Nov. 2 at TMU, with a crowd of more than 100 people packing inside the John R. Dunkin Student Center.
Todd Sorrell, an attorney and a TMU alum, interviewed each contestant. Afterward, the students received feedback from a panel of judges that included Tango Packaging founder Trent Jackson; bookreport CEO Cassie Gerdes; Enviro Safety president Chris McCarty; Executive and Leadership Coach Bobby Doyle; and Sorrell. Jackson and McCarty are both TMU alums.
“The judges’ feedback was amazing,” Chrzanowski said. “They were direct. They were kind and encouraging. But they were clear on the areas where the students can improve.”
During the month-long competition, students also benefited from professional mentorship. Contestants met at least twice with a mentor who works in an industry of interest to them. It’s likely that internships and job opportunities will arise from the networking that took place, Chrzanowski said.
In other words, the impact of The Master Interview is far from over.
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