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COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES NEWS

February 27, 2009

Alumni provide students with career development opportunities through mock interviews

By Rebecca Lee

The National Advisory Council of the College of Arts and Sciences is hosting a new career development opportunity for students by facilitating mock interviews this week. 

Distinguished alumni will meet in 30-minute sessions with students, providing an interview as well as feedback. 

Pat Rizzoli Aguglia, FA'75, GR'81, will then conduct a "Network Like a Pro Workshop." Aguglia will be joining the National Advisory Council in fall 2009. 

Following the workshop, students will have the opportunity to practice their networking skills with alumni at "Mocktail Hour."

Kevin Pokorny, AS'78, is co-chair of the National Advisory Council and will participate in the event. 

"The NAC is there to provide support to the college, and the mock interviews are one way that alumni can be involved. It's just a natural fit," Pokorny said.

"It is particularly important for young people to be well prepared to test the job market," said Aguglia. "Mock interviews offer the opportunity to try out new skills and build some 'muscle memory' in the interview process so that in a real and important interview situation, you will feel more competent," she added. 

Aguglia and Pokorny offered tips for students who are soon entering the job market, such as:
  • Keep a current, polished resume. Make it short, highlighting skills and experiences relative to employment. 
  • Use online search engines. Many job postings are available on the Web, and often the application process is completed online as well. 
  • Build strong relationships. Volunteer in the community and make connections. Tell everyone that you are looking for employment. 
  • Be patient. Expect that the search for jobs will be difficult, and do not be discouraged if you are not hired immediately. 
  • Expand your focus. Take chances, rather than waiting for the "perfect" fit. You might get some valuable experience that will push you closer to your ideal employment. 
Aguglia is compliance manager for Western Hemisphere Group Compliance and Ethics for BP America Inc. Previously she served in human resource management and corporate learning and development.

Pokorny is the owner of Pokorny Consulting in Des Moines, a firm offering seminars in areas such as sexual harassment, diversity and one-on-one manager training. He is also a professional facilitator and speaker at conferences on workplace issues.