Q&A with Patrick Slay of the Career Management CenterFall 2011, Inside Owen | One Comment | Print | Email
Patrick Slay, Senior Associate Director and Director of Coaching, has enjoyed two stints at the Owen School’s Career Management Center (CMC), first in 1999 and then again starting in 2008. A national certified counselor, he works primarily with consulting, general management, operations and strategy MBA students, as well as MSF students. Among his responsibilities is organizing the school’s annual mock interview day each fall.
Q: What is mock interview day? When and how did it originate?
A: It’s an annual event that started in fall 2008. The CMC saw both the need to provide job interview practice to Owen students on a large scale and the opportunity to engage Owen alumni in giving back to the school. Each student gets 45 minutes to practice interviewing with alumni, but there’s also time to network a bit and learn more about the roles they might pursue. In all, 35 to 40 alumni representing different industries and job functions come back for the event, and about half are from outside the greater Nashville area.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you give students looking to improve their interviewing skills?
A: Practice, practice, practice. No matter how good you think you are at interviews, practice is still essential for being able to walk into a room and sell yourself for a job. We remind students that the person who gets the offer is not always the most qualified, but rather the person who best articulates how he or she can do the job at hand.
Q: What have you learned from being part of mock interview day?
A: That everyone seems to enjoy it. It’s great to see the energy in the building on the day of the event. Alumni like being back, catching up with old friends and helping current students. Students appreciate the time alumni put into it and the great advice they receive. There’s not a downside to the event—except maybe it’s not held often enough!
Q: How can alumni get involved in the process?
A: We solicit help from alumni based on the information we pull from VUconnect. I always remind alumni to keep their profile updated online. If they’re interested in helping with this event or in some other way, they can always contact the CMC directly and we’ll figure out how to get them involved.
photo credit: Daniel Dubois