Dean's List Interview

Hey everyone!

I’m being nominated for Dean’s List at SBPLI Long Island Regional 2 next month and I’m really excited to talk to the judges. My freshman year, I worked on a small scrapbook with polaroids and illustrations to showcase all of the great things my team has done over our 15 year history, including some events/outreach I helped put together as a freshman. It really supplemented our presentation that year and I was thinking about bringing it into my interview to supplement that as well. Not that it’d be the main talking point or anything, I’m just thinking having something tangible that I created (besides a robot!) to show the judges would be cool. Is it too much? Or a good idea?

Firstly, congratulations! I’m confident that the judges will be just as excited to talk to you as you are to talk to them.

Let’s talk a little bit about the job the judges are doing. They will have read your essay, and they have one 5-7 minute window to talk to you and gather the information they need to decide if you are one of the two semi-finalists at your event that best match the award criteria.

First question: Will your scrapbook help the judges do that job (in a way that reflects well on you)? Well, the scrapbook is part of your overall individual contribution to your team, and it has pictures of your outreach work, so it sounds like a yes. However, you need to be careful not to appear to take credit for the stuff you weren’t involved in. Basically, you are being interviewed for the job of ambassador for and to FIRST. If you use it well, the scrapbook could function as a sort of portfolio showing part of your work.

Next question: Is it up to date? The process of maintaining team history doesn’t end. If you did it once and then moved on without seeing to it that either additional volumes were created or that you or someone else kept this one going, it’s still an achievement, but not quite as strong.

Last question: Will having a prop to point at if you get an appropriate question make you more comfortable in the room or will it be a distraction? Only you can answer that one.

One other note: anything you bring into the room is likely to draw some focus from the judges. If this is the thing you are proudest of, that’s a good thing. If there are other things you’d rather talk about, perhaps not. Five minutes isn’t a lot of time.

Hopefully this helps you to clarify your thinking on this. I don’t know you and I haven’t seen the scrapbook, so I can’t just tell you what to do. Depending on the judges and how you use it, it could either help or hurt you. Whatever you decide, good luck!

Couple of pieces of general advice not related to your question: if you have the opportunity to sit down with a mentor or two and do a practice interview, it will help. Take a couple of deep cleansing breaths right before you walk through the door to the interview room. Remember the judges want you to do well.

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Wow, thanks so much! This really made me think in the right direction and alleviated whatever fears I had haha

It appears that further congratulations are in order.

FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award: Nicole Jacobsen (527)

Just out of curiosity, did you end up bringing the scrapbook to the interview?