For those of you that follow my blog, you’ll know that I’ve worked in several different offices around UNH throughout my time here. Through these experiences I’ve discovered that I can make a career out of working on a college campus with college students. These past few months I’ve been applying and am now visiting a variety of graduate schools for student affairs related work, and interviewing to get into their programs and obtain jobs to gain practical experience. Last weekend I visited the University of Georgia, completed Skype interviews with Oregon State University this week, I’m currently at the University of South Carolina, and will soon be on my way to Appalachian State University. I’m sure many of you are wondering how to prepare for an interview, and how UNH contributed to that preparedness.
Before an interview, I’m usually pretty nervous about the questions employers will ask. In order to feel more relaxed, I usually read over the position description that I’m applying for. I take the time to reflect on my strengths, weaknesses, and leadership style because there are usually questions about those. I also make sure to print extra resumes, and research the people I will potentially interview with – there’s usually a “meet the staff” page on company’s websites!
During an interview, I make sure to maintain great eye contact with the employers – that’s something they usually look for during an interview. Giving examples referencing real life experiences is important, as well as your body language, and showing your personality a little bit! After an interview, I make sure to write thank you notes to each individual interviewer, take notes about how I felt during the interview, create a pro/con list, and seek out advice from my mentors at UNH.
Overall, I think that UNH really prepared me to interview for graduate school. A lot of my professors in the Sociology department required students to do presentations, so I’m really proud of the communication skills I’ve gained. I’ve had so many amazing mentors throughout my time as a Wildcat, and they always offered to do mock interviews, as well as read over my resumes and cover letters. Finally, I’ve used several of the offices on the UNH campus – particularly the Center for Academic Resources and the University Advising and Career Center for their feedback and skill building.
If you have any questions about what it’s like to apply to graduate school, feel free to contact me, and be sure to use all of the wonderful resources on the UNH campus!