Walsh College

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Jun 13 2013
Dissect Your Degree, School Experience Like a Surgeon
3

You’re in an interview and the interviewer asks, “In what way will your degree help you in this position?” One way to answer this question is to list what you learned to provide relevance to the question.  Another way to answer the question is to state a very general yet applicable response that may still lack any differentiation from the next candidate.  Or you can answer the question to discuss how in your QM 515 course where you learned to predict the market growth for social media over the 10 years using data from the Census Bureau and the First Research (a tool available to Walsh students).     

Here is another interview question: “Tell me about how you would do our company’s S.W.O.T. analysis?” How would you answer that? If you recall from the MGT/BBA 461 you learned about that: strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. You begin by detailing what strengths the company has because you employed First Research (from the library database) to understand the industry. Furthermore, you explain what their threats are because you did research on the challenges in their R & D department. Additionally, you discuss the company’s expansion opportunities due to the depth of their executive’s industry experience and talent. Lastly, you remind them of the threat that technology presents to the company and how they can position themselves just a little differently. By using the D & B Million Dollar Directory -another tool from the Library’s database in the portal- you learned the names of the people who operate the company where you’re interviewing.  All of this while informing them that you also possess relevant and transitional work experience.   

Differentiating yourself is important in this high unemployment and extremely competitive job market. Some people pursue a degree to have a “piece of paper” but if you really look at it, it’s much more than that. Dissect your degree and the educational experience that came with it. There is a chance it could improve your interview experience and perhaps receive an offer. 


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Derek Baker June 14, 2013 at 01:49 pm

You provided some great examples Scott on how to use experiences in the classroom to improve the chance of success during an interview. I will share my own! For me, in the BBA program we started out learning about the APA format. Then using the APA format and Walsh database I was able to create a thorough research paper on the ADEA act of 1967. How does this help in an interview related to my career path? Through my improved research abilities I can analyze and interpret what is happening in the financial markets and share my findings with others. I have been able to combine my knowledge from the BBA program on finance and economics to understand the topic and author(s) message. Then using the communication and writing/rhetoric skills learned in the communication and management courses I can discuss my findings with others in an organized, logical, and persuasive way.

Scott Wyckoff June 14, 2013 at 01:13 pm

Quote
Derek Baker (6/14/2013 4:49:52 PM)

You provided some great examples Scott on how to use experiences in the classroom to improve the chance of success during an interview. I will share my own! For me, in the BBA program we started out learning about the APA format. Then using the APA format and Walsh database I was able to create a thorough research paper on the ADEA act of 1967. How does this help in an interview related to my career path? Through my improved research abilities I can analyze and interpret what is happening in the financial markets and share my findings with others. I have been able to combine my knowledge from the BBA program on finance and economics to understand the topic and author(s) message. Then using the communication and writing/rhetoric skills learned in the communication and management courses I can discuss my findings with others in an organized, logical, and persuasive way.


The process of doing the work should provide one with insight on how to think. When a student has to gather resources to present information it should be concise and clear if he or she is editing the work. That in turn should help with answering various questions that may involve asking what you learned when you were a student. Then again you may never have to answer a questioin like that but it helps to be prepared. The bigger question is, why should someone hire you to do the responsibilities of a position you're looking to pursue as a career? Attempting to answer that question may require you to have to dissect what you've learned.

Derek Baker June 16, 2013 at 01:49 pm

I agree with you Scott on the biggest question being can you do the job better than the other applicants? I will shed some more light on that topic, tell me if you think this is accurate or not. From time-to-time I read career related blogs. One I really enjoy is called Mergers and Inquisitions (M&I), the content is on breaking into the world of finance. Brian DeChesare of M&I says, "any interview comes down to 3 key questions about yourself: Are you smart, can you do the work, and do I like you?" You have to show evidence you are intelligent, have qualities related to employees in that field, and are able to talk about your experiences/story in a way that makes you stand out the to interviewer. For this part, it is suggested you stick to traits you have that are what makes you different than the rest.



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