Dr. Abbey Levenshus came up with an exciting twist on her public relations professional seminar students’ midterms. On Sept. 16, Dr. Levenshus hosted a mock interview activity where recent graduates came back to help current students prepare for the job search process. In total, 10 graduates of the Advertising and Public Relations program were invited back to interview 43 students. The assignment was designed to give students practice interviewing for a job before they launch their career search in earnest.
Dr. Levenshus explained, “I asked recent grads to serve as interviewers because it puts student at ease to practice with someone who's recently been through this experience.“
Students identified a target job, wrote a resume and cover letter tailored to that job, and then participated in a 20-minute mock interview.
The alumni "employers," dressed in business professional attire, met with students in “offices” temporarily set up in the Scripps Convergence Theatre. Employers had reviewed in advanced students’ job application materials and came prepared to ask interview questions relevant to each student’s application.
After the mock interview portion, alumni interviewers “broke character” and offered feedback to the students. Students left with greater confidence and experience. Several gained leads for internships and professional contacts that would expand their professional networks and knowledge.
As one student wrote to Dr. Levenshus after her interview, “The event was awesome. I found the interview to be really helpful and I just loved the alum who interviewed me. She was extremely resourceful and gave me a lot of valuable feedback and information.”
The event also gave alumni the opportunity to re-connect with each other. Given the event’s success, Dr. Levenshus looks forward to coordinating mock interview activities in the future that bring together current and former students.