Academy Holds Mock Interviews for Students

While providing our students with cutting-edge laboratory skills is the foundation of the Academy model, the synergy of all aspects of the curriculum come together to produce a successful graduate.  Career skills – the non-technical skills that relate to how you do your job – are as important as the technical skills. Throughout the nine-month program, students work with industry professionals to build this skillset, which includes resume and cover letter writing, professional communications and negotiation, receiving feedback, financial planning, diversity-equity-inclusion, and a great deal more.

Interview skills are highlighted each year with a half-day ‘clinic’ of mock interviews with scientists from companies including Abbvie, GMGI, New England BioLabs, North Shore Innoventures, Qiagen, Recruitomics Biotalent, Synlogic, and Mooring Stone Consulting all generously donating time to interview and provide feedback to the students. This unique opportunity comes at an important time for the Class of 2021, as they are about to begin the interview process for internships that start in early March.  It’s one of Education Director John Doyle’s favorite days of the year. “We are passionate about training students to be excellent lab technicians as well as confident, prepared employees. Mock interviews are a huge part of the training that provides practice and confidence before they embark on internships in March,” said John.

The event is typically held in-person in a round-robin format, but with COVID-19 restrictions, Academy staff got creative to give students a similar experience. Twelve computers were set up in the Academy laboratory and classroom, each with a different industry professional available on Zoom. Students rotated through four stations to practice with different interviewers over the course of the half-day workshop. Student Annie Alto reflected on the day, “It was such a great experience. I was given a chance to highlight my strengths and work on my composure under pressure. I wasn’t prepared for some of the questions the interviewers asked, but it was actually very helpful. I feel prepared for a real job interview now, and I’m very grateful to have had this unique opportunity.”

The students’ last day of class is March 5 with internships beginning on March 8. We look forward to seeing where they land and hearing of their professional successes before their June graduation!