A Student’s Perspective on Career and Interview Readiness

Key Points

  • Sharing experiences in real-world learning is an asset when interviewing for early career opportunities.

  • Building confidence in not only being interviewed but also speaking about your skills in common language is a key part of creating effective pathways.

By: Tyler Robert and Todd Smith

A Student’s Perspective

My name is Tyler Robert and I have been a Find the Why! (FTW!) student competitor (see my FTW! Digital Resume below) for 5 years. I am currently a 3rd year Accounting and Finance major at the University of Nebraska Omaha. I recently interviewed with a CPA firm called RG & Associates

The interview experience at RG was unique, and it was unique because it did not feel like an interview. Of course, they asked me questions, and we talked about experience, education and the normal things of an interview. In many ways, we were getting a feel for the culture fit, and I felt during that interview that I was already a part of the company. 

They took a particular interest in my experience with the FTW! platform, asking what it was and what it entailed. I explained how FTW! connects businesses to students in a revolutionary new way, and allows for the direct offering of internships and apprenticeships to students that do well and fit the culture of that company. They loved the concept, and dug deeper into my FTW! digital resume I linked to my traditional resume. A good 15 minutes of our interview was focused on the FTW! platform and digital resume, and we had such a great conversation around it. They then asked me if I had taken a personality test before, and thanks to my experiences in the FTW! program, I had. They offer the DISC profile, as well as 3 other assessments. Having this information accessible for the interviewer was super helpful. 

My experience with RG was so particularly impactful, that I left knowing that this was the place for me. The very next day, they sent me an offer letter, I signed it and sent it back. My start date is in May of this year.

Todd Smith On Interpreting the Dashboard

My name is Todd Smith, Founder of FindTheWhy! The students that participate in FTW! choose from current industry or social problems to attempt to solve. Problems that result in solutions such as mental health app solutions for teens, designing light rail systems that move people around a region to solve the workforce crisis, and urban rooftop vertical farming solutions with renewable energy components.  stations. As students discover careers that solve problems that matter to them, they are discovered, recruited and retained by businesses. 

Along the solution iteration journey, each FTW! student team can select up to 3 virtual advisors from our prescreened list of dynamic professionals with knowledge that can help them ideate. Due to the back and forth with highly skilled professionals on our platform, students get the most realistic first-touch experience with a new industry and the culture of the adults in said industries. 

As Tyler mentioned, participants in our 10-day Challenges get access to industry-valued assessments that translate who they are, how they behave and their talents into data that tenured HR professionals can easily assign professional value to. 

The assessments include: 

  1. DISC Assessment (How does a person tend to behave) 
  2.  My Story Assessment (How they viewed the problem, industries that solve this problem, demographic, work-life balance preferences, demographic preferences and next step in educational/work pathway.)
  3. Student Team 360 Assessment (How did they collaborate)

In Conclusion

Programs like FindTheWhy! equip young learners with experiences, language, and competencies that will help them find success in what’s next. They build confidence and career awareness as well as expand social capital and enable students to work on real-world projects.

For more on this initiative in Nebraska, check out the recent podcast episode I hosted with the Omaha Taskforce.

Guest Author

Getting Smart loves its varied and ranging staff of guest contributors. From edleaders, educators and students to business leaders, tech experts and researchers we are committed to finding diverse voices that highlight the cutting edge of learning.

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