As part of all of the degree programs at Bryant & Stratton College, one of the requirements is that we all attend or take part in the PDD (Portfolio Development Day) seminars. Sometimes they are rolled into the course that you are taking, and you have to complete various assignments or activities to satisfy the requirements.
This semester I was enrolled in a Career Management Seminar. Most of the activities in this seminar are geared towards students in their 20’s who have never been part of the working world. We put together a resume and a cover letter. We researched volunteer activities online. We looked for a job in our career field. Then we wrote a Thank You letter as if we had interviewed for the position.
The latest activity has been mock interviews. In our Optimal Resume Account [OR is an online portfolio showcasing our work in all of our classes], there is a feature where you can create “interviews”. The software allows you to select a type of interview, how many questions you would like to answer and even select an interviewer from four choices – an older white woman, a young white woman, a middle-aged white man, and a middle-aged black man. The interviewer asks the questions, and then you use your webcam to record your answers. If you don’t like how it comes out, you hit the “re-do” button and re-record the answer. Pretty simple stuff. The only challenge I found was finding a quiet moment to get it recorded. My sons obliged by going train-watching, and I was left to record in peace. Once you are done, you can watch the entire interview. The interviewer asks questions, and you answer just like in a real interview.
I cannot believe the grief some of my classmates have been giving the instructors. First off, this “seminar” has 58 attendees. Way too many for an online class. That has been my only complaint. You log in to check for posts, and there are 106 to wade through. It’s way too much. I have had weeks where if it wasn’t addressed to me, I deleted it. There simply isn’t enough time in a 7-1/2 class to read each and every post. Half the time, if it’s not addressed to me, I can’t make any sense out of it anyway.
As for the mock interviewing exercise, I think it’s great. Having already taken a public speaking class online, the mock interviews are a piece of cake in comparison. For public speaking, you had to research a topic, write a speech, and then record yourself giving a 3-5 minute speech. That was tough. You couldn’t read your notes – you had to have most of it memorized. I did multiple “re-do’s” on those speeches. It taught me a lot about myself, though. When I started, I hated looking at myself. I looked old. I looked fat. I didn’t make good eye contact. I mumbled. I held my mouth funny. It was painful to watch. However, as the weeks went on, and I got comfortable with speaking, I got comfortable with looking at myself. I worked hard at projecting a more professional and friendlier appearance. When I was done and gave the speech for my final project, I liked how I looked and sounded.
I now come to the part about my big mouth. While reading the posts today in the CMS class, I got so disgusted with the whining and the bellyaching about how much extra work this seminar is and how it’s making them all fall behind on their content courses. One person went so far as to refuse to record an interview, and she handed in a typed page of the interviewer’s questions and her typed responses. She didn’t have time. I notice she had time to type all that up. I ended up posting a comment that said, “Everyone needs to remember that if you are asked to take on a special project at work, you have to graciously accept and complete the project. You can’t complain that your regular work is not getting done because of the time you spent on the project. Try to look at this class like a special project your boss asked you to do.”
I can’t wait to see the feedback on my comment. I’m sure I didn’t make any friends. I don’t really care. It felt great to post it. It’s time some of these folks grew up and put on their big girl panties (yes, it’s the women who are complaining, not the men). No one said college was going to be easy. No one ever said life was easy either. It’s time some of these dolts get the message before they get out into the real world.