Practice makes perfect: PR students meet the Pros during Mock Interviews at “The Hudson”

By Francesca Glorioso, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

Undergraduate PR students from the University of Wisconsin-WhitewatiStock_stopwatch_speed_networking_smer participated in an opportunity to sharpen their interview skills during an event sponsored by SEWIS PRSA. On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 88 students met 45 public relation professionals and practiced their interviewing skills in speed-style networking. The professionals at the event worked for firms such as Trefoil Group, BVK, LePoidevin Marketing, Laughlin Constable, Big Shoes Network, Harley Davidson, Marcus Hotels, Froedtert Hospital and organizations. The purpose of the event was to give undergraduate public relation students the opportunity to meet and network in the professional world.

In addition to PRSA, Big Shoes Network and the Hudson Business Lounge sponsored this event. It was my first time at the Hudson Business Lounge, a very trendy business venue in Milwaukee’s 3rd Ward.

The students each participated in two “formal interviews” and conducted one informational interview. They received constructive feedback about their interviewing skills and ideas that could help them improve their skills during an interview.

Jeff Carrigan, from Big Shoes Network, provided an overview of the regional job market. He offered statistics about what jobs and internships are available in the Milwaukee area. Carrigan recommends the 4 C’s to stand out in any kind of an interview: competence, connections, character and chemistry. He said, “By asking good questions, making industry leading contacts, being honest, and thinking like the ‘CEO,’, you will be able to ‘wow’ interviewers, and show them how much of a great asset you are to their company.”

In my first mock interview, I spoke with Steve Staedler, a senior account executive at LePoidevin Marketing. For my second “mock” interview I talked with Melissa Bohl from GE Health Care. Both were very helpful, and found myself making “industry connections” like Carrigan had suggested. Walking away from these interviews I felt my confident in my interviewing skills, both giving me great feedback that I can take back and apply when interviewing for internships and jobs.

This event was extremely helpful and insightful; it gave students an opportunity to test their interviewing skills, and give students real world experiences. By having the opportunity to listen to Carrigan’s professional insight and meet professionals in my field, I feel more confident when interviewing for internships this school year. Thanks, SEWIS PRSA, for partnering withstudents and professionals in producing this event.