The Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland held ‘mock interviews’ and I had the honor of being an interviewer.
The students came eager to learn from this role-playing exercise. The ‘interviewers’ are seasoned individuals – most are Smith School Alumni – and well experienced in hiring superior candidates.
My ‘interviews’ found the ‘applicants’ well prepared, articulate in expressing themselves, offering direct answers to the questions, and telling stories of relevant situations from earlier part-time jobs.
What did I learn from the students? They are talking about the new normal in the past tense.
An accounting student commented on the radical effect of systems and digital files on the audit function – now requires a team of 2 instead of 10 associates – and felt that a second major in finance will help prepare her for the demands of clients for specific services.
Several other students were in dual-major programs as well – finance and accounting would be partnered with Information Technology – to be agile with both the knowledge and systems recognizing the evolution of these practice areas.
One individual, majoring in finance-accounting, finds math a rewarding exercise in solving puzzles, is a landscape artist, and an avid sports player – had marvelous stories to illustrate answers to interview questions from rich past experience.
Taken together, students are drawing from numerous resources to develop a pretty accurate view of the maturing changes of computerization on processes and practices. In addition, they find time to pursue other interests and gain other experiences – which gives them balance and well-roundedness while providing illustrations to help communicate ideas and concepts.
They are soaking in the various inputs and coming up with a new look of operations of organizations from the outside, while many of us in the working world are heads-down on projects – not seeing the changes around us.