This month, students, faculty, and staff gathered at The Master’s University to watch five finalists compete to win The Master Interview, a month-long interview competition hosted by the Office of Career Services.
The five students – Samuel Jean, Rachel Culver, Lillian Bleeker, Brandon True, and Cameron Jordan – participated in mock interviews before a live audience and a panel of judges. At the end of the night, the judges awarded Jean the grand prize, a $2,500 scholarship, with Culver placing second and receiving a $1,000 scholarship.
Jean, a kinesiology major, also earned the popular vote from the audience.
“The goal of the competition was to simulate an actual hiring process,” said Nate Dougherty, TMU’s associate director of corporate partnership. “Every single participant gets to experience what it’s like to apply for a job, get called in for an interview, and then actually do the interview.”
Finalists were evaluated by a panel of professionals: Carly Brannon, founder of Carly Jean Los Angeles; Todd Sorrell, attorney at Lagerloff LLP; Scott Floyd, senior director of global benefits at Cisco Systems; Bobby Doyle, executive coach for Bobby Doyle LLC; and Stephanie Beals, lead organizational effectiveness consultant for Kaiser Permanente.
Though only five students reached the final stage, over 60 students participated in the first three phases of the competition, which involved sending in a job application, crafting an elevator pitch, and engaging in a mock interview for their chosen role.
Each participant was also paired with a mentor – a TMU staff member, graduate, or corporate partner who provided personal guidance throughout the process. According to Dougherty, mentorship not only helps students prepare for each phase, but also gives them opportunities to learn and ask questions of a professional in their chosen field.
Throughout the competition, participants gained invaluable insights about answering questions articulately and handling high-pressure situations with professionalism.
Culver shared one such insight she gained in the finale.
“I learned the importance of telling stories,” she said. “Of engaging your interviewer by telling stories that place them in your shoes and bring them into who you are. You can demonstrate that you have empathy, that you are someone who’s relatable and who makes mistakes, but also knows how to overcome.”
According to Dougherty, TMU students took full advantage of the opportunities presented to them in the second annual event.
“I was really encouraged to see students who took this not just as a chance to win the scholarship, but as a learning opportunity,” he said. “I think all of our finalists especially understood that. They were willing to go all in, make mistakes and learn, and ask questions.
“That’s what was cool, seeing the students who saw this as a way to experiment, to try things out before they go into the real world – which is exactly what we wanted.”
Learn more about how TMU’s Office of Career Services supports students and alumni here.
Josephine Lee is a senior double-majoring in communication and interdisciplinary studies.
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|