Monday, 21 March 2011

The Job Interview: "Get those butterflies out"

Sweaty palms? Wooden tongue? A vacuum between your ears?

Welcome to your first job interview. We've all been there. If you've not been there yet, you will some day.

SAIS prepares its students to confront the world's challenges. For many, the first obstacle once one's studies are under control is the job interview. To help SAIS Bologna students ready themselves, the Career Services Office last week helped organize mock job interviews. Call it learning by feeling uncomfortable.

Students rotated from one scenario to the next, with faculty and staff playing the kinds of roles that SAIS students commonly encounter as they turn to the job market.

Bart Drakulich, who in his day job runs SAIS Bologna's finances and administration, was the head of a New York-based investment bank, riding in a fictitious elevator with the SAIS student.

Richard Pomfret, who teaches Economics, was a mock consultant to the OECD, running into students at a coffee break during a conference on the euro zone crisis.

Meera Shankar of Career Services and Alumni Relations was a U.S. senator on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Speak Spanish? Then you might have met Maria Blanco, who teaches that language at SAIS Bologna but for an afternoon was an HR interviewer at a South American company.

As U.S. ambassador to Italy enjoying a cocktail party, I wish I could say I was type-cast. Alas, it was a learning experience for me, too.

The video below gives you a glimpse of the fun and games.

Nelson Graves