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JennieRSmithJennie Smith (MBA ’05), Technical Account Manager with Nextrio

I recently had the opportunity to participate as an interviewer in the Eller College Professional Admission process.  What a great experience!  From the moment I walked through the doors of the McClelland building I became a much-appreciated cog in a very well-oiled machine.  Of course, while this was my first time as an ECA interviewer, it was the 20th time that these admissions interviews were being conducted, so for many this was old hat.  My personalized interviewer packet was placed in my hands as I was directed to the breakfast spread.  After assembling a plate of glossy sausages, fresh fruit, and a mini-croissant I took a seat with several other interviewers.  As luck would have it, I found myself across the table from a seasoned interviewer who outlined the order of activities for the day and shared some valuable tips.

#1 Review all of the contents of the packet (the agenda, interview questions, cover letters & resumes for six applicants, six scoring sheets, the ethics case, and general guidelines)
#2 Fill out the scoring sheet with the general information in advance
#3 Read and evaluate the cover sheets and resumes for the six applicants

Check, check, and check.  Sipping my coffee, I thought to myself how fortuitous that I selected a seat next to such an enthusiastic and experienced interviewer.  Of course, what I soon discovered was that the room was brimming with folks equally dedicated to the process.  As breakfast concluded all the interviewers were directed to gather in one of the lecture halls for a brief overview of what to expect, and what was expected of us.  While we were addressed by five members of the Eller staff and faculty the session was still short and informational.  We were all thanked profusely for our participation and reminded of the value of this process to the students and to the program.

Funneling out of the lecture hall in search of our interview rooms I meet my soon-to-be interview partner in the stairwell.  Turns out Mark’s been participating in these interviews since he graduated in 2005.  Now residing in Phoenix, he’s just made the two-hour drive to Tucson for this very activity.  Great!  Another person to show me the ropes.  Mark describes both his own experience as an interviewer, but also what it was like to be on the other side of the table as an undergraduate.  The rest of the dew flew by at warp speed.  All six applicants were polite, prepared, and seriously invested in the interview.  Mark and I briefly discussed each interviewee after he or she left the room and independently recorded our scores and feedback on the scoring sheet.

As I exited room 118 and walked toward the door several of the student volunteers thanked me for participating.  Wow, what a treat to be engaged in an activity where every single person involved is committed to its purpose and success.  Will I interview again?  Absolutely.