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Preparing for the job hunt: students experience employment search through mock job search and interviews

June 10, 2021

During the 2021 spring semester, the International School of Business collaborated with Finlandia’s new Seaton Center for Vocation & Career to equip graduating seniors with the skills they need to prepare competitive job applications and interview successfully. Director of Career Services, Emma Dorst, partnered with Assistant Professor of Management Nathan Perreault and Dean Kevin Manninen to restructure the Business Senior Seminar course, with opportunities for students to put their job search skills into practice and receive individual feedback. Ms. Dorst delivered a series of six lectures focused on helping students to embrace their qualifications, identify and promote transferable skills, and tailor an application to speak to the job in question. Students drew on their personal, academic, co-curricular and work experiences to craft resumes and met one-on-one with Ms. Dorst for feedback before making revisions. Ms. Dorst and ISB faculty members Nathan Perreault and Steve Nordstrom also provided instruction on effective job search strategies, writing persuasive cover letters, professional networking, business etiquette, and perfecting a personal “elevator pitch.”

In the second half of the semester, students participated in a multi-stage job application simulation, culminating in a round of mock interviews through which several student-candidates were ultimately selected to receive a “job offer.” Students were introduced to the job interviewing process in a set of lectures, after which they were asked to select a job posting from five supplied options that aligned with the majors represented in the class: Sports Management, Healthcare Management, Accounting, Management & Entrepreneurship, and International Business.

The candidates were required to send a professionally-worded email expressing interest in the selected position, attaching a revised resume and requesting an interview appointment. Interviews were conducted in the newly established Seaton Center for Vocation & Career (CVC), located in Nikander Hall and equipped with a dedicated interview room, designed to resemble a corporate meeting space. Candidates were expected to dress professionally and practice standard business etiquette while interacting with Ms. Dorst, who played the role of Hiring Manager for each of the five employers.

Students were assessed on their level of preparation as demonstrated by their ability to respond to common interview questions, along with their knowledge of the employer and the position for which they were applying. Professional communication skills were also evaluated their pre- and post-interview email exchanges. “It was incredibly rewarding to see how seriously these students took the mock interview exercise and I was impressed with their professional conduct and communication across the board,” says Ms. Dorst. “The selected candidates really excelled in taking ownership of the skills they have gained across many aspects of their lives, not only through work experience. They were able to convincingly describe how their skills would serve the employer, thereby demonstrating good self-knowledge as well as a solid understanding of the role for which they are applying.” Each interview was recorded and provided to students for their review, along with written feedback on their performance.

Six students received perfect scores in the job application simulation: Ethan St. Germain (Accounting), Kevin Danks (International Business), Kaytlin Richardson (Healthcare Management), Julia Kramer (Marketing), Sawyer Murrell (Management & Entrepreneurship), and Santeri Seppinen (International Business). These students received a “job offer” in the form of a Finlandia University t-shirt and other small prizes, generously provided by the Office of Admissions.

Pictured above: Management & Entrepreneurship major Sawyer Murrell was one of the “winners” of the job application simulation held this spring for all graduating seniors.

RELATED ARTICLES & LINKS

Finlandia International School of Business
Accounting Degree
Marketing Degree
International Business Degree
Healthcare Management Degree
Management & Entrepreneurship Degree
Seaton Center for Vocation & Career

Pictured: Healthcare Management senior Erika Lambert participates in the mock interview with Career Services Director Emma Dorst

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