Higher Education & Student Affairs

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Tips for Interview Placement 2016

Hello all! We are now only two short weeks away from Interview Placement 2016. Interview Placement is an exciting time where you will learn more about Baylor, the HESA program, and life in Waco. We want you to have a great experience during your visit, so here are a few tips about Interview Placement from current HESA students:

252900Megan McNeese, second-year, Graduate Hall Director for Campus Living & Learning

Stay rested the week before; it’s important to come energized! It’s a busy weekend with plenty to process. Explore Waco if you have a little extra time. Think ahead about questions you want to ask and ask a variety of people your questions, so you get a more holistic perspective. Figure out your must-haves in a graduate program, or at least a priority list. Enjoy the journey, and be open to things that may surprise you!

254012Kayla Molnar, first-year, Graduate Apprentice for the Fine Arts Living-Learning Center

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Now is the time! So many people are willing and want to help you answer your questions. Don’t panic if you don’t see your top five choices of apprenticeships on your interview list for Friday. Look on the bright side!  You may be interviewing for an apprenticeship that you will really end up enjoying and had never considered before. If you still want to interview with your top five choices, you’ll have time during breakfast and lunch, although these interviews will be much shorter, but you have to be willing to approach the supervisors in charge of that apprenticeship during the opportunities you are given! It is a little intimidating, but sometimes you just have to go for what you want! Enjoy the experience!

254005Sierra Valdivia, first-year, Graduate Apprentice for Multicultural Affairs

Have an open mind about all your interviews, even if you are unsure about interviewing with a particular department. As you prepare for interviews here and at other institutions, you will naturally have “favorites”. Favorite job descriptions, favorite areas, and maybe even favorite people that work for that department.  It’s okay to have those interviews that you are looking forward to (I certainly did), but be sure to soak in all the other interviews as well. You never know when a specific department will have co-workers that you click with or realize you have never even set foot in a specific area but realize it seems interesting. Ask questions if you do not know or understand how a department works! I certainly never realized that I would be working in the Department of Multicultural Affairs since before graduate school I had zero experience, but I have certainly learned a lot and I am truly enjoying my new experience.

254001Billy Baker, first-year, Graduate Apprentice for Spiritual Life

I would advise to not stay up too late chatting with your host the night before interviews. If you are able to stay after the interview placement occurs, do so – it will be a great time to relax and have casual conversation. Take Interview Placement for an incredible experience and not for the competitive nature it may naturally build.

252893Zandra Cook, second-year, Graduate Apprentice for Admissions Visits Experiences

Don’t be afraid to talk to 2nd-year students about their current positions, especially the ones you are interested in or interviewing for! A great time to do this is at Common Grounds on the first night, after dinner. If you do not get assigned to interview with a department you are really interested in, you will still have a chance to talk to them throughout interview weekend. Make a point to seek out the 2nd-year currently working in that department and don’t be afraid to ask them to connect you with their supervisor. You can always speak with those departments during breakfast or lunch on the second day.If you get a chance, take some time to explore Waco with your host or on your own. You may be spending 2 years of your life in this great city, so get to know it!

254009Sarah Madsen, first-year, Graduate Apprentice for Wellness

Check the Waco weather in the days leading up to interview placement, and pack accordingly. Being comfortable, despite the weather, will help you feel more confident during your time here! Talk to your host before coming to interview placement! Your host will be able to answer any of your questions about Baylor, Waco, and the HESA program, and will help to ease any nervousness you have about interviewing. Have an elevator speech ready! Many times during the weekend, you will be asked to share a little bit about yourself. Having a good idea of what to say—where you are from, your undergraduate institution, why you want to pursue this degree, why you are interested in student affairs—will help you feel prepared and will allow potential supervisors to learn a lot about you in a short amount of time. Be flexible! I was asked to interview with a department I did not preference before interview placement, and now I am the GA in that department – loving what I do and who I work with!

254002Jesse Ross, first-year, Graduate Apprentice for New Student Programs

To better prepare myself, once I received my list of the specific apprenticeships I was scheduled to interview for, I made notes about the details of each and the names of supervisors or the people I could be interviewing with. The night before, I sat down with my HESA host and asked him questions about those specific apprenticeships (job description, office dynamic, possible supervisors, and interaction with students). Though my host was a HESA student and only worked in his specific apprenticeship, his year of experience in the HESA program gave him a useful awareness of all the other apprenticeships, which his classmates occupied. This process gave me a better understanding of the different positions and allowed me to come up with more thoughtful and relevant questions to bring up during my interviews.

254007Yolande Graham, first-year, Graduate Apprentice for Campus Living & Learning, Academic Initiatives

Trust the process. You may have interviews for apprenticeship positions you did not rank. Stay calm, keep an open mind and put your best foot forward. You may find that you love one of these positions you didn’t rank more than the ones you did rank. While it is important to seek apprenticeship positions that you are interested in and will be fulfilled by, in the interview process be sure to pay attention to who your supervisor will be. A good supervisor will help you shape the experience you want to have both inside and outside of your apprenticeship.  Remember, you will be working with them for the next two years, so take the time to consider this as you go through your interviews.


Interview Placement 2016 is a glimpse into what your next two years may look like at Baylor and in the HESA program. We want this to be an edifying, enjoyable experience that ultimately informs your graduate school decision. All of us – hosts, HESA students, faculty, staff – are looking forward to interacting with you and answering any and all questions you may have.

These next two weeks are going to fly by so quickly. We are really excited to meet each of you and share our Baylor and HESA experiences. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or reach out to your host.

Sic ‘Em,

The Baylor HESA Family

yolande_graham • March 7, 2016

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