If you had 60 seconds, could you persuade an employer to interview you? After your first summer in the CRMBA program, you will know how to deliver an effective elevator pitch and ace the interview.
My name is Kathleen Heymans, and I am in the first year of the CRMBA program. At the beginning of September our class completed the program’s notorious Pitch Day and Interview Day events. On Pitch Day, each of us delivered our 60-second pitches to a room full of potential Corporate Residency employers. If an employer is interested in a student after their pitch, they can offer a interview for Interview Day, which typically takes place the day after Pitch Day. This is one of several ways an interview offer can be made for Interview Day.
Throughout July and August, the first two months of the program, my class worked closely with Dalhousie’s Management Career Services (MCS) to prepare for Pitch Day and Interview Day. We crafted our resumes and profiles, honed our interview skills, and prepared our 60-second elevator pitches. Pitch Day and Interview Day allowed our class to practice the professional skills we learned during the summer, but ultimately, they were an opportunity for many of us to secure an eight-month Corporate Residency position.
I struggled for weeks to write my pitch. My passion is for sustainability and entrepreneurship, but I was trying to write a pitch that would have a broader appeal to employers. In the end, I learned to be true to myself and delivered a pitch focused on my interests. After Pitch Day, I received two ‘wildcard’ interviews and ended up accepting a job offer from one of those employers. In January I will be starting my Corporate Residency at the Starting Lean Initiative.
Pitch Day and Interview Day were unique and exciting experiences for all of us. I asked a few other students from the Class of 2016 to share their thoughts:
Alison Conrad, BSc. Environmental Science, University of Guelph
“Interview Day was the best kind of whirlwind. The experience really pushed us all outside our comfort zones, which is what I think the program aims to do so that when we graduate, we know how to take on a challenge head on and succeed.Coming into Interview Day, I was less focused on the type of degree I had and more focused on what I had learned from my past experiences both within my degree and in my life, and how that could be an asset. I really wanted a job in finance, and with no financial background, I had to be able to show employers that I possessed the qualities needed to succeed in that aspect of business.”
Patrick Brousseau, B.A. Political Science and History McGill University
“The best thing to do on Interview Day is be yourself. It may sound cliché, but some of my best interviews happened when I was able to showcase my personality. Employers are looking for more than what is on your resume; they’re looking for someone they like and can work with. Because Interview Day can be very stressful, I also made sure to keep everything in context. If you don’t get a job out of it, there are plenty more opportunities later on! This really helped me relax and answer questions confidently and without (too much) stress.”
Tongfei Wang, B.A. Business English, Shanghai International Studies University
“I came from China with a major in Business English, aiming to find a new career path and an international perspective. As an international student, it was particularly difficult to adjust to a totally new culture and catch up with the fast pace of the program at the same time. But after I got through the busy summer, I found that this program provided me with a great platform and skill set to start my new career. Having secured a Corporate Residency job at BMO from Interview Day, I’m really excited to be approaching my goal and to be immersing myself in a brand new work environment.”
Check out our Class Galleries to learn more about CRMBA students and graduates!