Thursday, December 06, 2012

Students learn skills for job employment

Clarion University Sigma Phi Epsilon | The Clarion Call

“Hired or Fired” first-place winner Zach Motyl (far right)
stands with his fellow contestants.

CLARION, PA. – The brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon hosted a one-of-a-kind career development competition Thursday, Nov. 29 in Hart Chapel.

“Hired or Fired” was a competition to see which contestants are the most professionally prepared based on their resume, elevator speech, attire and interview.

Recognized student organizations and recognized university organizations sponsored 12 students to participate in the event.

Erin Lewis, assistant director of Career Services, emceed the competition. Zach Motyl, sponsored by the Theta Xi fraternity, won first place in the competition.

Greg Jacobs came in second, and Maddie Robinson won third place.

Motyl received a Pepsi gift basket with more than $120 worth of professional development items; the  sponsoring organization of the first place winner also received $100.

Motyl said he was excited to win representing Theta Xi and apart of the university because it shows how well Clarion had prepared him for the job market.

“You come and do four years, not just to get an education, but to get a job,” he said.

“Hired or Fired” was judged by three local professionals: Todd MacBeth, principal of Clarion Area Elementary; Jim Crooks, owner of F.L. Crooks & Co: and Pam Watkins, site administrator of PA CareerLink.

In addition, participants’ resumes were judged and scored by another group of local professionals and one university professor before the event began.

The first round of the competition was the elevator speech, which is a 30-second speech meant to introduce and promote yourself to a potential employer.

It is a way to “make yourself stand out in a crowd,” Lewis said. Contestants were judged based on their on eye contact, poise and confidence in this round.

The elevator speech scores were combined with the resume scores to give the students their combined first round scores.

After the elevator speech, five of the 12 contestants were eliminated. Once the eliminated contestants were revealed, the audience could text in an immunity vote to keep their favorite person of the five.

In the second round, the contestants were judged on their professional attire. Proper attire was judged on maturity, fit and overall appropriateness.

For this round, Lewis individually announced the contestants’ names and what they were wearing while the contestant promenaded around the stage to show off their attire to the judges.

After the second round, there was another elimination and only five of the original 12 contestants were left.

Contestants Maddie Robinson, Greg Jacobs, Brett Ferringer, Zach Motyl and Ryan Greguric received high enough scores to make it to the  final round,  the interview.

Contestants came out one by one and chose two slips of paper, each containing one question, from a container and gave them to Lewis, who then read the two questions aloud.

Contestants were judged on the fluidity, conciseness, content and clarity of their responses.

Lewis said events like these are important to help students see the value of professional development throughout their college careers.

“It’s important because it really does help students to see the importance of professional development in a fun way,” she said.

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